Today, the officer who was fatally stabbed in the attack on Westminster will be laid to rest, with full police honours.
PC Keith Palmer, who was fatally stabbed by Khalid Masood as he attempted to prevent him from accessing the building, will be granted a ‘full service’ police funeral, a ceremony reserved for those who have died in the line of duty.
The police constable has lain in state overnight in Westminster’s Chapel of St Mary Undercroft. This honour is normally reserved for heads of state, but the Queen granted PC Palmer permission to lie in rest in the chapel.
At 1:30 PM, he will be moved from Westminster, though not by way of Westminster Bridge, where Masood began his attack.
His funeral cortege will cross the Thames by way of Lambeth Bridge, before traveling along a series of roads along the South Bank until his coffin arrives at Southwark Cathedral for the main ceremony at 2:00pm. Accordingly, a great number of roads have been closed to allow for the cortege to arrive at the cathedral unimpeded.
The coffin will be received by the Dean of Southwark, Reverend Andrew Nunn, who will also welcome the congregation. Chief Inspector Neil Sawyer, who formerly worked with him, will make a tribute to the fallen officer during the ceremony.
The Bishop of Southwark, the Right Reverend Christopher Chessun, will close the service before PC Palmer is privately cremated.
The full route has been released by the Metropolitan police, and can be seen here:
It is expected to be the largest gathering of police officers in British history, with an estimated 5,000 officers from every police force around the UK expected to line the route.
Several train companies, like East Midlands Trains, Arriva Trains Wales, and Great Northern are said to be offering free travel to police officers going down for the service. Transport for London is offering free bus travel to police force staff heading to the service.
Key names in attendance will be Cressida Dick, the new head of Scotland Yard, as well as the main chaplains to the Speaker of the House of Commons and the Metropolitan Police.
In addition, there will be roughly 50,000 members of the public, joining the funeral procession from behind barriers along the route, in addition to roughly 50 members of Palmer’s own family. Other people wishing to join the ceremony will be able to join along any point in the route.
The Metropolitan Police will heavily supervise the funeral in a large security operation. Besides the streets on the way to the cathedral being closed, the roads surrounding the venue will be closed to pedestrians and vehicles.
Exits from London Bridge tube station will also be relatively restricted for security checks. Furthermore, pictures on Facebook show there are police snipers positioned by London Bridge as an added measure.
The service itself will not be streamed live on any media channel out of respect for Palmer’s family. However, the hearse’s journey from Westminster to Southwark Cathedral might be filmed or streamed, so long as the media film only the hearse and do not film the vehicle which follows behind it, which will contain PC Palmer’s immediate family.