Lying in state

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State funeral processions are powerful and moving ceremonies. In their present form they began at the death of Queen Victoria in 1901. Many of these sombre occasions were recorded by artists and a small selection is included here. The first monarch to lie in state in Westminster Hall was King Edward VII. It gave the opportunity for thousands of people to pay their respects, as they filed past the catafalque and became a tradition followed by subsequent Monarchs and their consorts. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother lay in state in the Hall in 2002. The same honour was bestowed by the Monarch on two Prime Ministers: William Gladstone in 1898 and Sir Winston Churchill in 1965.