Funeral of the Duke of Wellington, Order of the Procession
The Duke died aged 83, and his funeral procession, held over two months after his death, was huge public event, watched by over a million people.
Ten thousand soldiers took part in the procession, which set off towards Constitution Hill, through the arch at Hyde Park Corner, past Apsley House along Piccadilly, St. James's Street to Pall Mall and into Trafalgar Square, along the Strand and under Temple Bar to St. Paul's Cathedral.
The event was not free from problems. On reaching Pall Mall, just opposite the Duke of York's statue, the funeral car became stuck in the mud of the gutter to a depth of some several inches, and was only released by the efforts of police, military, and the general public.
The funeral car arrived at the cathedral at ten minutes past twelve, the journey having taken just over four hours to complete.
The outpouring of grief, which accompanied the Duke's death and funeral, marked a mythologising of the Duke. The 'Ode on the death of the Duke of Wellington' by the Poet Laureate, Tennyson, which appeared two days before the funeral, commemorated Wellington as the 'greatest Englishman', 'as great on land' as Nelson was a commander at sea and the 'foremost captain of his time'. The first edition of 10,000 copies was priced at 1 shilling: it sold out very quickly.
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