Revealed: Queen’s crown was bolted to her coffin after her grandfather’s bejeweled Maltese cross fell into the gutter during his funeral procession
- King George V, the Queen’s grandfather, dropped his crown from the coffin
- As he lay in state, his eldest son and heir wondered aloud if it was an omen
- Edward VIII then abdicated and was replaced by the Queen’s father, George VI
- Queen Elizabeth II had the crown removed before it was placed in the crypt
- The Queen’s Funeral: All the latest news and coverage about the royal family
Her Majesty’s Imperial State Crown, the orb and scepter balancing atop the Queen’s casket, were bolted to prevent a previous historic accident, it is revealed.
In 1936, George V’s bejeweled Maltese cross — which contains some of the largest jewels in the crown — fell into the gutter as it rested on the coffin during his royal funeral procession.
It was said to bode ill, especially after his son, Edward VIII, abdicated, sparked a constitutional crisis a short time later, and was replaced by Queen Elizabeth II’s father, George VI.
So in light of this terrifying moment, the Times said, it had been fastened with all other jewel fittings to the Queen’s casket as she lay in state and during her funeral so as not to repeat the unfortunate incident.
As a sign of the Queen’s separation from her public service in death, the objects were seen to be later removed by the Crown Jeweler in St George’s Chapel when she entered the Royal Crypt as a ‘simple Christian soul’ rather than Monarch .
The imperial state crown then rested on the high altar after being removed from the queen’s coffin. It was placed there by the The Dean of Windsor, The Rt Revd David Conner.
King Charles III and members of the Royal Family follow behind Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin, draped in the royal standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign’s Orb and Scepter, as it is carried from Westminster Abbey after her State Funeral
The Imperial State Crown is removed from Queen Elizabeth II’s casket during the service at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle
Prior to the final hymn, the Imperial State Crown, Orb, and Scepter were removed from the casket by the Crown Jeweler and, along with the bargemaster and sergeants-at-arms, passed to the Dean who placed them on the altar.
The removal of the crown from the coffin to the altar is poignant, as in 1953 the crown was taken from the altar at Westminster Abbey and placed on the Queen’s head, marking the beginning of a 70-year reign.
At the end of the last hymn, the king placed The Queen’s Company Camp Color of the Grenadier Guards on the coffin.
At the same time, The Lord Chamberlain “broke” his wand and placed it on the coffin – meaning the Queen is separated from her public service in death.
This is to create symmetry with the three state instruments that have been removed.
The Dean of Windsor, The Rt Revd David Conner, places the Imperial State Crown, and Sphere and Scepter on the High Altar during the Committal Service for Queen Elizabeth
The coffin, which was placed on a catafalque draped in purple velvet, was slowly lowered into the royal vault as the Dean of Windsor said: ‘Go forth on your journey from this world, O Christian soul.’
The Sovereign’s Piper played a lament, A Salute to the Royal Fendersmith, from the doorway between the chapel and the deanery’s cloister, walking slowly towards the deanery in the cloister, so that the music in the chapel gradually fades away.
During the service, the king will sit in the chair taken by the queen when she came to the chapel, closest to the altar.