LONDON, UK — The Queen of England was laid to rest Monday in a funeral service attended by more than a thousands dignitaries, officials and royal family members. Millions watched the hymns and choral performances given at the ceremony.
But the queen's burial is a private affair, only open to members of the royal family.
After the state funeral, the coffin will be taken to Windsor, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of London.
The queen will be laid to rest in the King George VI Memorial Chapel, within St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
The chapel is the resting place of 10 former British monarchs, including Henry VIII and the beheaded Charles I. Elizabeth II’s parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, were interred there along with the ashes of Princess Margaret, the late monarch’s younger sister.
The chapel is also the home of the Order of the Garter, an ancient order of chivalry founded by King Edward III in 1348.
Prince Philip’s coffin, which is currently in St. George's Chapel's Royal Vault, is expected to be moved to the memorial chapel to join the queen’s.
St. George’s and Windsor featured prominently throughout the queen’s life. The chapel was where she marked many a Christmas and Easter, and where she celebrated the weddings of three of her grandchildren: Prince Harry married Meghan Markle there in 2018, as did Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank. Peter Philips, the queen’s oldest grandchild, married Autumn Kelly there in 2008.
The queen spent most of her weekends in Windsor, a quiet and more private retreat away from the bustle of Buckingham Palace in central London.
The castle — believed to be the largest occupied castle in the world — was also where young Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret were sent to live during World War II while their parents were busy with the war effort.
In recent years the queen made Windsor Castle her main residence, having moved there in early 2020 at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The burial service will be conducted by the Dean of Windsor, the head of St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.
The queen’s coffin, which has been on display for members of the public for much of the week before her funeral, is constructed out of English oak, lined with lead and was made decades ago, experts say.
Sarah Hayes, manager for the Coffin Works museum in Birmingham, England, says former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the queen’s husband Prince Philip and Princess Diana had such coffins made for them, she said.
“It’s to preserve the body for as long as possible, it’s really about slowing down the process of decomposition,” she said. This is especially important for the queen because her coffin will be eventually placed in a church, not buried in the ground, she added.
The coffin is made of oak from the royal family’s Sandringham Estate according to royal tradition, Hayes said.
The queen's funeral is a closed-casket service, so it's unknown what has been selected as her final outfit. But in an interview with Metro, Natural Diamond Council head of communications Lisa Levinson said the queen will be buried with only a few jewels adording her.
While the queen owns an extensive, 300-piece jewelry collection, Levinson said she could be buried with two pieces: her Welsh gold wedding band and a pair of pearl earrings.
It's unclear where her engagement ring will go, although it could be passed on to Anne, the Princess Royal.