Celebrity guests arrive to pay farewell to the Queen: Bear Grylls OBE takes his seat at Westminster Abbey as figures from world of showbiz head to historic state funeral for monarch
- Grylls met the Queen on numerous occasions due to his work as Chief Scout and when he was appointed OBE
- He previously detailed how the Monarch ‘lit up the most’ when they worked on Scouting projects
- The Queen’s lying in state ended at 6.30am today at Westminster Hall
- The Queen’s coffin will be taken to Westminster Abbey for her state funeral at 11am
- The service ends at 12pm and her Majesty’s coffin will then be taken for Windsor for the committal ceremony
- The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage
The TV personality, 48, was seen waving at onlookers who had gathered outside the Abbey ahead of the monarch’s funeral service at 11am.
He joined Royals and world leaders inside the church to bid a final farewell to Her Majesty following her death aged 96 on September 8.
Grylls, who met the Queen on numerous occasions due to his work as Chief Scout and when he was appointed an Officer of the British Empire in 2019, previously paid tribute to the Royal.
He said: ‘I was lucky to meet the Queen on a bunch of different occasions – from the amazing evenings she hosted for Explorers at Buckingham Palace to sitting next to her at dinner one time and she did my OBE.
Bear Grylls led the celebrities attending Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday.
‘The times I met her, the times she lit up the most, was whenever we did something Scouting. I think it was one of the organisations she was most proud to represent.
‘I remember especially in 2012 driving her up and down the ranks as she inspected all the Queen’s Scouts,” he said.
‘This was the time when her face was just a huge beaming smile from start to finish. She just loved seeing young people get opportunities and skills routed in old fashioned values like kindness, loyalty, friendship and respect that never go out of fashion.’
Grylls joined the first members of the congregation for the Queen’s state funeral – as tens of thousands packed the procession route that became full at just before 8.30am.
The grand oak doors of the UK’s most important church – where Her Majesty married Prince Philip and had her coronation – opened at 8am, three hours before the service starts.
2,000 royals, world leaders and hundreds of members of the public have began filing into the Abbey as billions around the world will watch Her Majesty’s state funeral.
Most of the VIPs arrived by coach, meeting at the Royal Hospital Chelsea before being put on a bus into Central London. Britain’s ministers – past and present – were among the first arrivals including Nadham Zahawi, Ben Wallace and Jacob Rees-Mogg.
The TV personality took his seat inside Westminster Abbey alongside Royals and world leaders ahead of the ceremony
Grylls, who met the Queen on numerous occasions due to his work as Chief Scout and when he was appointed an Officer of the British Empire in 2019 (pictured), previously paid tribute to the Royal following her death on September 8
The Queen’s lying in state officially finished at 6.30am on Monday – with an estimated 400,000 mourners thought to have passed through Westminster Hall over the past five days
Michael and Carole Middleton, the parents of Kate, the Princess of Wales, arrived two hours early for the service, followed by Tom Parker Bowles, the son of Queen Consort, Camilla. They were also on a bus together – despite their close links to the Royal Family. Celebrities at the funeral include TV personality Bear Grylls.
Funeral flowers in the abbey featured myrtle – which was used in the Queen’s wedding bouquet as is royal tradition. The huge white and green displays of blooms included asiatic lilies, gladioli, alstroemeria, eustoma and foliage of English oak, weeping birch and the sprigs of myrtle.
Around the coffin will stand the four tall yellow candles which usually rest around the grave of the unknown warrior at the entrance to the historic church.
And outside hardy royal fans defied no-camping rules, as people of all ages set up tents, deck chairs and even a makeshift minibar to grab premium seats for the spectacle that will see 2million flood into the capital. By 8.30am member of the public were told that the procession route was full and began diverting people to Hyde Park to watch on the big screens.