St George’s Chapel, Windsor: Queen Elizabeth II’s final resting place | UK News
The Queen will be buried in St George’s Chapel alongside her husband Prince Philip, at her beloved Windsor Castle.
The historic chapel is the final resting place for many of England’s greatest monarchs.
History of the chapel
The building was started by King Edward IV in 1475 – it took 50 years to finish it and the chapel was finally completed by King Henry VIII, who had a deep affection for Windsor.
It is the home of the Order of the Garter and the knights and ladies of the garter have their own seats inside the chapel, marked with their banner, hung from the ceiling above. The Royal Standard has hung over the Queen’s seat since the start of her reign. It is the same seat on which Henry VIII would worship some 500 years ago.
Edward III’s sword is kept in St George’s Chapel – he lived at Windsor Castle in the fourteenth century and it was this king of England who proclaimed St George protector of the Royal Family. His sword was among the items rescued from the chapel during the Roundhead’s occupation of the English civil war in the 1600s, when the chapel was badly damaged.
At 11 metres high and nearly 9 metres wide, the West Window is one of the largest in England. It is more than 500 years old but was reconstructed in 1842.
Henry VIII had a window built over the Quire so his first wife Catherine of Aragon could pray in the chapel.
Where exactly the Queen will be buried
Inside the chapel, on the north side, is the George VI Memorial Chapel. The Queen’s father is buried in here, along with her mother and her sister Margaret, who was cremated because there wouldn’t have been room otherwise.
Prince Philip’s coffin, currently in the Royal Vault, will be moved to the memorial chapel so that the couple can lie in rest together.
The burial ceremony
Once the Queen’s coffin arrives in Windsor, the hearse will travel in procession to St George’s Chapel via the Long Walk.
A televised committal service will then take place in St George’s Chapel.
Later in the evening, there will be a private interment service with senior members of the Royal Family.
Various ceremonial traditions will take place throughout the service that symbolise the end of the Queen’s reign, as she is parted from her crown for the final time.
Who else is buried in the chapel?
King Henry VIII is buried under the Quire, with his favourite wife Jane Seymour. He had plans for a much grander tomb – but he died before it could be built. Charles I is also buried in here – his burial was secretive following his beheading. Also in this vault is the body of a child of Queen Anne.
In the Royal Vault are the tombs of George III, as well as Queen Victoria’s father Prince Edward. George IV and William IV are also buried here, and the last King of Hanover George V.
The Queen’s grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary, are buried near the West Door.
Henry VI, the only English monarch to have been also crowned King of France, died while imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1471 and was buried at Chertsey Abbey before later being moved to the chapel.
King Edward IV, who began the building of the chapel, was buried there in 1483 after the tumultuous years of the War of the Roses.
Near the altar is the coffin of Edward VII, as well as the coffins of two unidentified young children, rumoured to be those of the Princes in the Tower.
Major events at the chapel in recent years
A number of historic events have taken place at the chapel, most recently the funeral for Prince Philip last year.
During the intimate service the Queen had to sit alone as she bid farewell to her husband due to coronavirus restrictions.
On a happier occasion in 2018, Prince Harry and Megan Markle were married in the chapel in front of a star-studded congregation.
It was also the venue for the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, with much attention paid to the bride’s dress which had a low back in order to show the scar from surgery she underwent aged 12 to correct scoliosis.
Other weddings in the chapel include that of Peter Phillips (son of Princess Anne) and Autumn Kelly, as well as that of Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones – now the Earl and Countess of Wessex.