Why was there so much sand on London's streets for the Queen's funeral?

·3 min read
The proceedings in London with the Bearer Party, formed of personnel from The Queen's Company, 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards, transfer Her Majesty's gun carriage on a road surface covered with sand. (Reuters)
The Bearer Party, formed of personnel from The Queen's Company, 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards, accompany the Queen's coffin down a road covered with sand. (Reuters)

The Queen’s funeral has taken place in central London, with hundreds of thousands of people lining the streets to say goodbye to the monarch.

Her Majesty’s coffin made its final journey from Westminster Abbey to Windsor Castle on Monday afternoon after her funeral, when she will be reunited with her late husband the Duke of Edinburgh.

Many viewers of the funeral TV coverage noticed sections of the procession route were covered with sand as the longest-serving monarch was transferred by the state gun carriage.

Some have speculated it may have been laid down to help the horses maintain grip during the walk.

Read more: Britain's last goodbye: Mourners shed tears in final farewell to Queen

Social media users said they believed the large amounts of sand where there to help the gun carriages and horses. (PA)
Social media users said they believed the large amounts of sand where there to help the gun carriages and horses. (PA)
The sand on the floor along the funeral procession may also have been in place for the safety of the horses. (Reuters)
The sand on the floor along the funeral procession may also have been in place for the safety of the horses. (Reuters)
The State Gun Carriage carries the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign's orb and sceptre, as it makes its way for the State Funeral at Westminster Abbey, London on September 19, 2022. (Photo by Marc Aspland / POOL / AFP) (Photo by MARC ASPLAND/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The State Gun Carriage carries the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II. (Getty)

Why is there so much sand on London's streets for the Queen's funeral?

The roads have been covered with sand to ensure the state gun carriage taking the Queen’s coffin can move easily, according to the Guardian.

It said Parliament Square had been dusted with sand to “ease the passage of the gun carriage taking the coffin".

The Queen’s coffin was draped in the Royal Standard, with the Imperial State Crown, the Sovereign's orb and sceptre, and a wreath of flowers requested by the King.

Read more: Queen's funeral - royals from around the world arrive to pay respects

Charles and his siblings walked behind the coffin as it left Westminster Abbey following the state funeral, while other royals travelled by car.

The coffin headed to Wellington Arch at the corner of Hyde Park, before being transferred into a hearse for the journey to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

A televised committal ceremony will take place in the chapel at 4pm followed by a private interment service attended by senior royals.

Watch: Queen's funeral: Elizabeth II's final journey as coffin makes way to resting place

About 2,000 people attended the Queen’s funeral at Westminster Abbey, including members of royal families from across Europe, politicians from all sides of the political spectrum and world leaders, including US president Joe Biden and French president Emmanuel Macron.

Charles and the Queen Consort walked immediately behind the coffin as it entered the church for the service, followed by the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, then the Duke of York, followed by the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

Later on Monday evening in Windsor, there will be a private interment service with senior members of the royal family, where the Queen will be reunited with her husband Prince Phillip.

The Queen’s final resting place will be the King George VI memorial chapel, an annex to the main chapel where her mother and father were buried, along with the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret.

Philip’s coffin will move from the royal vault to the memorial chapel to join the Queen’s.