During a recent conversation, a friend was talking about what would be happening to the Queen's body before her funeral. There would be a procession from A to B with the coffin.

My friend said:

The queen will be processed from A to B.

Is this an appropriate usage of the verb "to process"? My googling hasn't given me anything yet, are there better keywords to describe my query.

  • 4
    I googled process definition. Oxford gives the definition 'walk in procession' as intransitive only. Commented Sep 12, 2022 at 12:09
  • 1
    Yes, but that meaning of the verb process is stressed on the last syllable. "We will proCESS from the nave to the entrance". The usual meaning of the verb process is stressed on the first syllable and means "apply some process to", e.g, "First we PROcess the solid waste, then the liquid." Commented Sep 12, 2022 at 15:08

3 Answers 3


Unfortunately, your example is poorly constructed to the point of sounding disrespectful. It is not the Queen who is "processed" but the cortege.

To process can be transitive but it is not common and you should avoid it because of the confusion with the meaning of To subject to or treat by a special process; to operate on mechanically or chemically:

Also the pronunciation differs:

/prəˈsɛs/ to go in procession

/ˈprəʊsɛs/ to subject to a treatment


2. transitive. To lead or carry (a person, etc.) in procession; to go along or through (a street, an area) in procession.

1959 Times 10 Dec. 14/7 The Lord of Miracles is solemnly processed all round the city.

1968 D. M. Smith Hist. Sicily II. lii. 484 The flagellants then processed the streets as they had done in 1647 and 1773.

1998 N. Rogers Crowds, Culture, & Politics Georgian Brit. vi. 202
At Halifax..the local benefit societies processed the town ‘wearing blue silk sashes round their shoulders and cockades in their hats’.

  • 2
    It's a perfectly cromulent usage. As the OED indicates, images of saints and Jesus Christ are processed, so it's hardly disrespectful to use of a monarch.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Sep 12, 2022 at 12:56
  • @StuartF It is far from cromulent. I don't know if you have noticed but there is no Queen - there is "the body of the late Queen". Whereas, idols are carried, they are nothing but that - idols (or "representations of figures of veneration"). Here we are talking about a dead body. The idea of "to process", in this sense, has overtones of "for public display" - I don't think that your observation/comparison is valid.
    – Greybeard
    Commented Sep 12, 2022 at 13:07

The most common is to say

The Queen will be carried/taken/led in procession from A to B.

Used in the passive, processed will refer to food, meaning:

treated with chemicals that preserve it or give it extra taste or color (Cambridge)


"To process" cannot be used in the context of "to be put in a procession"

It can be used in the context of "to move in (a) procession"

Neither way seems to match your friend's '… will be processed…'

When Google failed to help, could you try again with something like https://www.google.com/search?q=conjugate+the+verb+process&rlz=1C5CHFA_enGB779GB779&oq=conjugate+the+verb+procces&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0i15i22i30l2j0i390l4.12126j1j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

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