The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle on September 8. Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Few people alive remember a time before Queen Elizabeth II.

His seven-decade reign began after World War II; It endured through the last days of the British empire, through the insecurity of the Cold War and into the dawn of a new millennium, providing a counterweight to the relentless pace of change.

For each of those 70 years, the Queen was a key element in Britain’s collective psyche. His death, at the age of 96, plunged the country into mourning and into an unknown new era.

But on Monday, the nation will say its final goodbye. Britain has called off the state funeral of Elizabeth II, expected to be one of the most watched events in recent history.

Crowds will line the streets of London to watch the procession, and leaders from all over the world have descended on the British capital.

Monday’s first funeral in Britain since Winston Churchill’s death in 1965 is the culmination of a long period of mourning, with Britons turning out in droves to join Elizabeth’s celebrations. Thousands lined up for hours to see him lie in state, and memorial services were held in towns, cities and villages across the country.

King Charles III, Elizabeth’s son and heir, who took the throne amid a wave of national mourning, will join the rest of the royal family at Westminster Abbey as he later pays tribute to his mother.

After the service, the Queen will make her final journey as her coffin is taken to Windsor and the late monarch is buried privately – the end of a dark period of transition and the final act of Britain’s long and important second Elizabethan era.

The state funeral will begin at 11:00 a.m. (6:00 a.m. ET).

Stay with us as we take you through this historic moment for the British Royal Family and the nation.