1. Handwritten note
Nestled among the flowers of the Queen’s funeral wreath was a handwritten card from her son King Charles III, which read, “In loving and devoted memory, Charles R.”
At the request of King Charles, the wreath atop the Queen’s casket includes flowers and foliage from the royal properties of Buckingham Palace and Clarence House in London and Highgrove House in Gloucestershire. Also at the king’s request, the wreath was durable and fixed in a nest of English moss and oak branches.
The wreath features myrtle, the ancient symbol of happy marriage, cut from a plant grown in 1947 from a sprig of myrtle in the Queen’s bridal bouquet. It also includes rosemary as a symbol of remembrance and English oak, a national symbol of strength, in a nod to the queen’s steadfastness and steadfast duty. Other foliage includes pelargoniums, garden roses, fall hydrangea, sedum, dahlias and scab.
3. The Imperial State Crown
The hallowed body of the deceased queen is represented by the crown, orb and scepter. The crown, which represents the power of the sovereign, has 2,868 diamonds, 269 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds and four rubies. It contains some of the crown jewels’ most precious gems, including the black prince’s ruby, the Stuart sapphire, and the Cullinan II diamond. The sapphire of St. Edward, placed in the center of the upper cross, is said to have been worn in a ring by St. Edward the Confessor and discovered in his tomb in 1163. The crown has been damaged before – during transportation of George V’s body, the diamond-encrusted globe that sits atop the crown, along with the cross and sapphire supporting it, broke off and rolled into a gutter.
The Queen wore the crown when she left Westminster Abbey after her coronation in 1953. The Queen wears the crown for state affairs, including the state opening of parliament.
4. The sphere
The gold jeweled ball made in 1661, like the scepter, is topped by a gem-encrusted cross. It is meant to remind the monarch that their power is derived from God.
5. The Scepter
The scepter was created for the coronation of King Charles II and has been used since 1661 to represent the power and governance of the crown at each coronation. In 1910, the Cullinan I diamond was added to the scepter. Weighing in at 532.2 carats, it is the largest colorless cut diamond in the world. Cullinan I is the largest stone cut from the beautiful Cullinan diamond. Discovered in South Africa in 1905, it is the largest uncut diamond ever found.
6. The Royal Standard Flag
The royal standard represents the sovereign and the United Kingdom. The modern incarnation of the flag has four quarters: England (three lions passing by) in the first and fourth quarters, Scotland (a lion rampant) in the second quarter, and Ireland (a harp) in the third quarter. In Scotland, a different version of the royal standard is used, with Scottish arms in the first and fourth quarters and English arms in the second. Wales is not represented, as its special position as a principality was recognized by the creation of the Prince of Wales long before the Scotland and Ireland quarters were included in the royal coat of arms.