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Wellington Arch, the London landmark that will mark the starting point of Queen Elizabeth II’s final journey

On Monday, 19 September at 12:15 pm, Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral procession will leave Westminster Abbey and follow a 45-minute route through London. It will end at the historic Wellington Arch, 

Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral procession will pass several significant London landmarks, including Parliament Square, Whitehall, The Mall, and Queen’s Gardens. Its final destination is Wellington Arch, the monument that sits at the corner between Hyde Park and Green Park. 

Wellington Arch, along with Marble Arch, was planned in 1825 to celebrate Britain’s victories during the Napoleonic Wars. King George IV wanted to develop London’s parks to match those of other European capital cities and felt that the arches fitted his plan. George intended the monument to serve as one of the entrances to Buckingham Palace, the new home of the Monarch. 

Wellington Arch was largely built from 1825 to 1827, and stood outside Buckingham Palace. King George III had bought the then-Buckingham House as a country retreat for his family, but the area surrounding it had been built up and as George IV favoured it, he chose to develop into a palace.

The arch was dedicated to the Duke of Wellington in the 1830s. In 1846, a large equestrian statue of Wellington was erected on top of the arch. 

The statute of Wellington was removed when the arch was dismantled in the 1870s to be moved. Hyde Park was affected by traffic issues, and a new road was needed. Wellington Arch was taken apart and rebuilt by 1885 in its present-day location. The current statue was erected in 1912.

Wellington Arch has been included in countless royal processions throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, including Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation procession in 1953 and the late Diana, Princess of Wales’s funeral procession in 1997. 

The King and several other senior members of the Royal Family will follow behind Her Late Majesty’s coffin in the procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch. They will be driven to Windsor Castle following the State Hearse where Queen Elizabeth II will be interred in St. George’s Chapel with her husband. 

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