Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral and the accompanying period of national mourning incurred a significant cost to the government, reaching an estimated £162 million, according to the Treasury. The state funeral, held on September 19, 2022, took place 11 days after the Queen’s passing, during which hundreds of thousands of people visited Westminster, where she lay in state.
The Home Office accounted for the largest expenditure, amounting to £74 million, followed by the Department of Culture, Media, and Sport, which spent £57 million. These costs encompassed the Queen’s funeral and related events leading up to it, including her lying-in-state at Westminster Abbey.
John Glen, the chief secretary to the Treasury, emphasized that the government’s utmost priority was ensuring that these events were conducted with dignity, while maintaining the safety and security of the public. The Treasury provided Additional funding when necessary, and the governments of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland were fully refunded for their respective costs.
The extensive expenses associated with the funeral and mourning period included various government departments, such as the Department for Transport (£2.565 million), the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (£2.096 million), and the Ministry of Defense (£2.89 million). The Scottish government incurred costs amounting to £18.756 million, while the Welsh government spent £2.202 million. In total, the expenditure reached £161.743 million.
Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral and period of national mourning cost UK government departments an estimated £162m, Treasury says https://t.co/3V2tIqZ31n
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The state funeral was unprecedented, characterized by a grand scale and significant logistical arrangements. People from all walks of life, including high-profile figures like David Beckham, patiently queued for hours to pay their respects. The funeral at Westminster Abbey, attended by world leaders, foreign royalty, and a 2,000-strong congregation, was watched by millions of people across the globe.
Downing Street clarified that the cost was necessary to ensure the smooth running of the event and to enable individuals from the UK and worldwide to safely participate in paying their respects. This occasion marked the first state funeral since Sir Winston Churchill’s in 1965 and was regarded as the largest ceremonial event since World War II.
As the nation reflected on the remarkable reign of Queen Elizabeth II, the significant financial investment underscores the importance placed on commemorating her life and allowing people to participate in the mourning process, both domestically and internationally.