EastEnders will be emotional for fans on Monday as the Mitchells gather to say a fond farewell to matriarch Peggy Mitchell, so memorably portrayed by Dame Barbara Windsor.
Sharon Mitchell (Letitia Dean) will be seen doing her best to comfort Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden), who is clearly struggling as the sad day arrives.
The residents of Albert Square will turn out in force to give Peggy a funeral befitting of her status as one of the most respected figures in the community.
For Phil, who is so often the hardman, the funeral is the biggest test he has to face as his feelings are laid bare for everyone to see. The troubled alcoholic, a pallbearer alongside his son Ben Mitchell (Harry Reid) and cousin Billy Mitchell (Perry Fenwick), has to bear the grief of burying his beloved mother without his brother Grant Mitchell (Ross Kemp). In a poignant final scene in May, Peggy hallucinated the return of her former love rival-turned-friend Pat Butcher (Pam St Clement).
Speaking to her friend, who passed away in the soap from cancer in 2012, she said: “I’m being eaten alive and it hurts and I can’t wait.”
She added: “I will go as I have lived: straight back, head high, like a queen.”
Peggy took a handful of pills alone as the camera panned over letters left to her children before a clock stopped to indicate the end of one of the soap’s most popular residents.
Phil’s newly-returned sister Sam Mitchell (Danniella Westbrook) also brought the bad news that Grant would not be flying back to England for the funeral.
Viewers will watch as Phil tries to keep his composure as he delivers his moving speech in the BBC One series.
EastEnders will broadcast these scenes on Monday July 4.