The Queen’s crown was bolted to her coffin to prevent a repeat of a historical mishap that saw her granddad’s King George V’s bejewelled Maltese Cross end up in the gutter.
Her Majesty’s funeral was watched by millions with the nation saying goodbye for the final time as the coffin was carried through the procession.
Covered in the Royal Standard flag, it also had some of the most iconic objects of her reign placed on top.
But, following a blunder back in 1936 during King George V’s funeral that saw the Maltese Cross fall off the coffin and end up in the gutter, the Queen’s orb, sceptre and crown were this time securely fastened to the Queen’s coffin.
The cross, which contains some of the biggest jewels in the Crown, slipped and fell off his coffin 86 years ago.
The cross was apart of the Imperial State Crown and sat atop it, in set with a sapphire some have claimed to have belonged to Edward the Confessor and over a hundred smaller diamonds.
This happened as the cortege turned into New Palace Yard and was said to be a “most terrible omen”. Only a year later the greatest crisis in modern royal history took place when Edward VIII abdicated.
But during this year’s state funeral, this was avoided through the use of brass fittings on the lid which kept the royal regalia firmly in place.
These handles are specially designed for royal coffins – made by the Levertons, a company from Birmingham.
The objects held in place were incredibly symbolic during her reign and carried that into the ceremony.
To simplify the severing of the Queen from her public service at her death, the objects were removed by the Crown Jeweller in St George’s Chapel.
The Dean of Windsor, The Rt Revd David Conner, placed the Imperial State Crown, orb, and sceptre on the high altar after removing it from the coffin.
Before the final hymn was sung these were all removed by the Crown Jeweller and, along with the Bargemaster and Serjeant-at-Arms, passed to the Dean.
Placing them on the altar is poignant because in 1953 the crown was taken from the altar at Westminster Abbey and put onto the Queen’s head, starting her reign.
Now, as her end, it is returned there.
As the final hymn ends the King placed the Queen’s Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on the coffin.
As this takes place, the Lord Chamberlain ‘breaks’ his Wand of Office and places it on the coffin.
This is to create a symmetry now the three Instruments of State have been removed.
Then, Her Majesty’s coffin was slowly lowered into the royal vault as the Dean of Windsor said: “Go forth upon thy journey from this world, O Christian soul.”
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