Queen Elizabeth II has been laid to rest in St George’s Chapel, Windsor – bringing to an end the UK’s official period of morning, which began when she died 11 days ago.
At the Chapel, the setting for many royal weddings and funerals – including most recently the burial of Queen’s husband the Duke of Edinburgh in 2021 – the Queen was bidden farewell in a far more intimate setting than the grand funeral service which took place earlier in the morning.
THE QUEEN’S FUNERAL: ALL PICTURES HERE
For the first time ever, the symbolic breaking of the Wand of Office – the monarch’s ceremonial tool – was televised, as the Lord Chamberlain broke the staff in half, signifying the end of the monarch’s reign, in a final act of pageantry before the Queen’s casket was lowered into the Royal Vault. The wand will be buried with her.
The symbolic breaking of the wand of office is a traditional part of a sovereign’s funeral but this will be the first time that it is witnessed by the wider public. The last time this would have taken place was on 15 February 1952 at the funeral of King George VI.
Prior to the committal of the late monarch to the Royal Vault beneath the floor of the great chapel, the Imperial State Crown, Orb and Sceptre were removed from the top of the Queen’s coffin and laid on the altar.
The Queen’s committal means she is reunited with her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, who died aged 99 in 2021. The couple were married for 73 years. The Duke pledged himself her lifelong liege on the day of her Coronation in 1953. On their 50th wedding anniversary in 1997, the Queen paid tribute in return to the man she called “my strength and stay.”
The chamber beneath the Chapel, which contains the coffins of 25 royals, will not be the final resting place of the Queen and her husband.
There will be a private ceremony this evening attended by senior royals, when the couple will be laid to rest in the King George VI memorial chapel to the side of the main building.