Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin will make its final journey today in a ceremonial procession from Westminster Hall, where the Queen has been for the past few days, to her final resting place at Windsor Castle. .
During the funeral procession and during the Queen’s state in the days leading up to the ceremony, the Sovereign’s crown, sphere, and scepter were placed on the coffin – objects with deep history and significance to the dynasty as well as the history of the royal family. So why are they there? And what happens to them after that?
What is the meaning of the Sovereign’s crown, sphere, and scepter?
These three items are part of the Crown Jewel collection, according to Historic Royal Palace, which protects the pieces in the Tower of London. They were used at the Queen’s coronation in 1953. They were not unique to Queen Elizabeth II’s reign; The sphere and scepter were actually made in 1661 and have been used in every English royal coronation since King Charles II’s coronation that year (yes, 1661, so here are the pieces. centuries old).
The crown on the coffin, like Town & Country shown, is the Crown of the Royal State, “made of gold and set with 2,868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, 269 pearls and 4 rubies”, History of the Royal Palace write on its website. The crown was made for King George VI, Elizabeth’s father, during his 1937 coronation. It was worn by the king after they left Westminster Abbey after their coronation; The crown of St. Edward, made in 1661, was used only for the time of the king’s accession.
The coffin scepter, originally made in 1661, is adorned with one of the world’s most valuable diamonds. Elizabeth’s grandfather modified it in 1910 so that it contained the Cullinan I diamond, discovered in South Africa in 1905. That gem was 530.2 carats, “the largest colorless cut diamond in the world.” world”, shared Historic Royal Palaces.
The golden orb on the coffin, decorated with a cross, was also used during the coronation and symbolized the king that “their power was derived from God”, according to the Royal Palace History .
What happens to the pieces after the funeral?
They will not stay with Queen Elizabeth II after her funeral or burial. Based on walkie talkie, they will be removed “in the final moments before the public finally sees the final images of the king’s coffin” during her time serving at St. George. Before the final hymn is sung at a private ceremony (the state funeral took place at Westminster Abbey before that), jeweler Mark Appleby will remove the pieces from the Queen’s coffin and hand them over to the Dean. Windsor. The dean would then place them on a high altar.
These objects will soon be used again, assuming the royal family follows the tradition and uses them at the coronation of King Charles III. The date for that has yet to be set.
The Queen will be laid to rest in the King George VI Memorial Chapel of St George’s Chapel with her parents and husband Prince Philip, who will be moved from the Royal Family’s original resting place.
Three decorations on the coffin commemorate her reign as Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. Elizabeth ruled the country for more than 70 years, from February 6, 1952 to September 8, 2022.
Alyssa Bailey is senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royalty (especially Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She has held positions at In style and Around the world. When she’s not working, she enjoys running around Central Park, getting people to take #ootd photos of her, and exploring New York City.