Queen's funeral will put 'family first', says Archbishop of Canterbury

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will deliver the sermon at the Queen's state funeral.(Photo: Reuters)

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has said that today's state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II will be "focused on the family first, because this is a family saying goodbye, at a funeral, to someone they loved".

Archbishop Welby will deliver the sermon at the funeral taking place at Westminster Abbey at 11am today. 

He told Sky's Anna Botting that he felt "very privileged" to be there. 

"Not pleased to be there, because we would all prefer that this has not happened - we're all going to miss and grieve for the Queen," he added. 

Around 2,000 guests will attend the ceremony at the abbey, including 500 presidents, prime ministers and members of foreign royal families.

The Archbishop said he hoped the funeral would be a moment for those present "where they will reflect on their own leadership" and take "a moment where they say to themselves, 'I would really like people to look on me, in the way that they look on her'".

The Archbishop said the days since the Queen's passing had seen a "deep grief" across the UK but also a sense of "immense thankfulness".

He said that people should "take hope" and comfort from the fact that the Queen is now at peace.

Asked his thoughts on King Charles III, the Archbishop said that his "sense of service and duty is the equal of her late Majesty's".

Commenting on the Queen's faith, he added, "She was deeply faithful and faith filled. A demonstrative, quiet Christian, who trusted in the faithfulness of God."