Shropshire Star

Queen Mother’s ceremonial royal funeral cost more than £5.4m

The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral will also be a ceremonial royal occasion but arrangements have changed because of the pandemic.

The Queen Mother's funeral

The Queen Mother’s funeral arrangements in 2002 cost more than £5.4 million.

A fly-past and a lying-in-state in Westminster Hall were among the events honouring King George VI’s consort.

Policing costs amounted to £4.3 million and the Queen Mother’s lying-in-state came to £825,000, according to a House of Commons research briefing paper.

The Queen Mother's coffin
Pallbearers carry the coffin of the Queen Mother past massed Army pipers during her funeral procession in central London (PA)

With Buckingham Palace scaling the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral back and removing the public elements of the day due to pandemic, the cost of Philip’s farewell is likely to be substantially less.

The numbers of police needed will be fewer than originally planned without any processions taking place through the streets of London and Windsor.

A number of military personnel will gather in the grounds of Windsor Castle to take part in the proceedings before the ceremonial royal funeral on Saturday, but far fewer than had been planned in non-Covid times.

Philip is also not lying in state, in accordance with his wishes, which will also reduce the security costs.

Police surveillance
Police officers watching over the crowd during the Queen Mother’s funeral (PA)

Some 11,887 police staff and 1,306 civil staff were deployed from the day of death to the Queen’s Mother’s funeral, a Metropolitan Police report on the cost of policing public order events during 2002 revealed.

Of the £4.3 million policing costs, £2.2 million would have been incurred anyway if staff were assigned to other duties, but £2.1 million were additional costs directly attributed to the funeral arrangements.

The cost to the Home Office for mourning stationery was around £1,817, and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) budget was £301,000.

Other additional costs were likely, but the cost of the Queen Mother’s funeral was shared by the Queen and not met solely by the taxpayer.

Diana, Princess of Wales’s funeral – a form of ceremonial royal funeral – is estimated to have cost between £3 million and £5 million in 1997.

The public on The Mall
Police officers and mourners on The Mall bow their heads, during a minute’s silence in tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales (John Giles/PA)

Baroness Thatcher’s ceremonial funeral at St Paul’s Cathedral in 2013 cost the taxpayer around £3.2 million.

The figure includes £2 million in “opportunity costs” for policing by officers who would have been on other duties on the day.

A further £943,000 went on providing additional security and policing.

Baroness Thatcher's funeral
The coffin of Baroness Thatcher is carried on a gun carriage drawn by the King’s Troop Royal Artillery (Joel Ryan/PA)

Ceremonial costs, including the service at St Paul’s and the printing and circulation of invitations, came to around £261,976, including £20,445 for the London Ambulance Service and £39,057 for the MoD.

Lady Thatcher’s family made a contribution to the overall cost – including covering the costs of the undertakers and the flowers.

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