Many people are fascinated with royalty. What they say, what they eat, and what they wear.
Most people don’t know what they do concerning funerals. Here are some interesting facts about how British State and Royal funerals work.
Pre-planning. Most royal family funerals are pre-planned. This is to make sure all the appropriate details and arrangements have been handled. This is especially important if the death is sudden. Code names have been assigned to the funeral plans – which include a very public display – for Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. They are ‘London Bridge’ and ‘Forth Bridge’ respectively.
On a smaller scale, Prince Philip has planned for a private funeral with a military funeral style service at St. George’s Chapel.
The coffin. In a State Funeral, the deceased is placed in coffin that lies for three days on a decorated wooden frame in Westminster Hall prior to the public funeral procession. During this time of lying in state, the guards of the Sovereign’s Bodyguard or the Household Division stand guard. In some instances, male members of the royal family will hold a vigil. After the three-day period, the coffin is carried along the funeral route to a funeral service at Westminster Abbey or St Paul’s Cathedral.
Military presence. Besides standing guard over the coffin, there are special drills for soldiers along the processional route. These can include moving from a ‘present arms’ stance to a ‘rest arms reversed” posture which is only used at funerals.
Burial. May British kings and queens will be laid to rest at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. Earlier royals have included King George V and Queen Mary. Plans have been made for The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to rest side by side.
Queen Mary and The Queen’s parents George VI and The Queen Mother. The Queen and the Duke would be buried side-by-side.