The 24 elders are the angels who administered the Old Covenant. They remove their crowns as warriors who have completed their vows (just as Nazirites offered up their hair). Observing the Covenantal/liturgical structure of the book (which recapitulates a common Old Testament process), the Lamb who is worthy is the "firstfruits" Lamb, who ascends and opens the New Covenant scroll. So, this is a vision of the ascension of Christ.
His first mission is to install a new government to replace the retiring angels, a human government (which explains the use of the term "angel" for church pastors in chapters 2 and 3). Opening the seals brings the release of the 4 Gospels (as horsemen), the cry of the Old Covenant saints for vengeance (which would include Abel, whose blood would soon be avenged, as Christ promised) and the pouring out of the Spirit at Pentecost as the seventh seal.
The saints (Jews and Gentiles) are "sealed" as little scrolls, little books or epistles, and seals are to be broken. They, as the "body" of the sacrifice, would pass through great tribulation, be martyred, and then ascend as a new government to call down the curses upon Jerusalem (Egypt/Sodom/Babylon), sitting on thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel and give the Covenant Succession to the New Israel, the Church of Christ.
What is interesting is that the old angelic government carries out its final twenty-four tasks (trumpets, bowls, etc.) and each angel seems to vacate the heavenly tent. Once the final task is completed, the Holy Place is empty, prepared for the new government of glorified humans in heaven.
"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." Jn 14:3
The reason we often haven't a clue what's going on here is because we are ignorant of the common "processes and procedures" of the Old Testament. This exact pattern is very common in the OT Scriptures. Think of Solomon dealing with David's enemies and installing a new government, for instance.