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What did the note on top of Queen Elizabeth's coffin say?

The note carries on a tradition at royal funerals, where a loved one writes a message to the departed and leaves it atop their coffin.

LONDON, UK — Eagle-eyed viewers of the funeral service for Queen Elizabeth II may have spotted a piece of paper sitting atop the bouquet adorning the late monarch's coffin. 

The card is a handwritten note from King Charles III to his mother. It reads simply: "In loving and devoted memory. Charles R" 

The R after Charles' name stands for rex, the Latin word for king. Elizabeth was known as Elizabeth R, with her R standing for regina, or queen in Latin. 

The farewell note is part of a tradition at royal funerals. Elizabeth herself wrote a note for her late husband, Prince Phillip, when he died last year. While the full contents of that message weren't caught on camera, it did end with "In loving memory, Lilibet," referencing her childhood nickname. 

At Princess Diana's funeral in 1997, her son Harry wrote a note to his "Mummy." 

Also atop the coffin were the Imperial State Crown, the scepter and orb, and the Royal Standard — all symbols of her authority as head of the British church, government and country. 

And the coffin had an unexpected passenger as it made its way through central London. A spider was spotted briefly on top of the coffin, much to the enjoyment of some watchers on Twitter, who pointed out the accidentally famous arachnid

Credit: AP
Britain's King Charles III, left, and Camilla, the Queen Consort follow the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II as it is carried out of Westminster Abbey during her funeral in central London, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022.

It's the latest in a series of personal tributes by the queen's four children and other members of the royal family. 

Prince Andrew paid tribute to his mother Queen Elizabeth II in a statement, saying he will forever treasure “your love for a son, your compassion, your care, your confidence.”

Addressing the late monarch as “Mummy, Mother, Your Majesty," Andrew said “it has been an honor and privilege to serve you.”

On Saturday, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie issued a statement praising their “beloved grannie.”

“We, like many, thought you’d be here forever. And we all miss you terribly. You were our matriarch, our guide, our loving hand on our backs leading us through this world. You taught us so much and we will cherish those lessons and memories forever,” the sisters wrote.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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