The Queen’s coffin was lowered into the family vault in St. George’s Chapel as part of the burial service. Millions of people across the country listened to Her Majesty’s funeral as Britain says its final farewell to its longest-reigning monarch. King Charles placed the Queen’s Company camp color on the coffin as part of the service. This was followed by the Lord Chamberlain breaking his wand of office to officially signal that Elizabeth II’s reign is over.
The vault is not the Queen’s final resting place. She will be buried at the King George VI Memorial Chapel alongside her late husband, Prince Philip. It is unclear if the Queen will be buried with items inside her coffin.
One monarch, Queen Victoria, asked to be buried with a number of different items before her death in 1901. Her doctor, Sir James Reid, received a note after Victoria’s death stating what she wanted to be buried with, adding that there were items she didn’t even want her family to know about.
He followed the instructions, then said: “I put a layer of charcoal on the floor of the coffin and then the Kaiser, King Edward, Mrs Tuck and myself lifted the Queen’s body into it.
“I helped Mrs. Tuck put a satin dressing gown on the Queen and she arranged her hair and veil, then I wrapped the sides with muslin charcoal bags.”
When alone, Sir James completed the list by placing King Albert’s dressing gown, Victoria’s wedding veil, a sprig of Balmoral heather, a cast of Albert’s hands, photographs and jewelery on the inside the coffin. Finally, he placed a bouquet of flowers in his hands.
Victoria spent her last days at Osborne – a home on the Isle of Wight which she used to get away from the pressures of royal life. She was then taken to mainland England on the Royal Yacht Alberta.
Before Alberta left for the continent, the captain said: “Many were moved to tears. The sun shone with the warmth of a spring day and as Alberta passed the lines of battleships, their guns fired a salute.
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Ms Nicholl told the BBC: “I think Balmoral was the only place where she could really leave her crown at the gates and play a different role, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother. I actually think that there’s a bit of her that knew she was I’m not going back, I think she wanted to be at Balmoral and she wanted to come through.
“And the fact that she did it peacefully is actually a blessing in all of this.”
Presenter Huw Edwards agreed, adding: “The Queen, with serious health issues, nevertheless decided that she wanted to spend a lot of time at Balmoral over the summer. That decision says a lot that she was very comfortable being at Balmoral, somewhere she was happy to be with lots of fond memories.
“But also knowing that with the health issues and challenges there it could be a difficult stay and yet she insisted on making the trip.”