Why the Royal Vault isn’t the Queen’s final resting place

Why the Royal Vault isn’t the Queen’s final resting place

Published September 19, 2022
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Queen Elizabeth’s coffin came to its final resting place at Windsor on Monday. This completed its long journey from Balmoral Castle to Edinburgh, then from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall and Westminster Abbey, and then finally to St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.

Thousands of mourners lined the streets to pay their final respects to the Queen, after her funeral earlier in the day.

After the pomp and pageantry of the state funeral at Westminster, attended by leaders from across the globe, a more intimate committal service was held at St. George’s.

At the service’s conclusion, the Queen’s coffin was lowered into the Royal Vault – the resting place of many past monarchs. Below the chapel lie King George III, IV and V, William IV and others. Last year Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband, was also laid to rest there.

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Before that King Charles stepped forward to place the Queen’s Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on the late monarch’s coffin.

Then, the Lord Chamberlain, who is the most senior office in the Royal Household, broke his Wand of Office and placed it atop the coffin. The ceremonial breaking of the thin staff is to create symmetry with the three Instruments of State that have been removed, according to Buckingham Palace.

While the Queen’s coffin was being lowered into the vault, the Dean of Windsor said a Psalm, before the Garter King of the Arms pronounced the styles and titles of the Queen. This concluded the public ceremonies devoted to her.

However, the vault was not her final resting place. Later on Monday evening, a private burial service was due to be held for the royal family, when the Queen is to be relocated to the King George VI Memorial Chapel. Here the Queen’s coffin will join those of her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

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The coffin of Prince Philip will also be relocated, so that the Queen can be laid to rest alongside her beloved husband of 73 years.

Although it is closed for Monday’s private ceremony, ordinarily the Chapel is open to the public, meaning Britons can visit the Queen’s final resting place to pay their respects.

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