London, Sep 20 (PTI): After a majestic funeral service at Westminster Abbey, Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin was interred alongside her husband, late Prince Philip, at a private burial at St. George’s Chapel on Monday evening.
“The Queen was buried together with the Duke of Edinburgh, at The King George VI Memorial Chapel,” the Buckingham Palace stated on the official Royal Family website.
Earlier, the roughly 40-km route by road from Westminster Abbey in London, the site of a grand state funeral attended by thousands earlier in the day, to Windsor included the coffin processing by state gun carriage and then in the state hearse, a customised Jaguar, to the steps of the chapel.
Thousands lined the streets on the route of this final procession, which Buckingham Palace said had been drawn up with the public in mind, and the Order of Service for the Committal Service was discussed with the late monarch “over a number of years”.
“We have come together to commit into the hands of God the soul of his servant Queen Elizabeth,” said the Dean of Windsor, who led the service.
“In the midst of our rapidly changing and frequently troubled world, her calm and dignified presence has given us confidence to face the future, as she did, with courage and with hope. As, with grateful hearts, we reflect on these and all the many other ways in which her long life has been a blessing to us, we pray that God will give us grace to honour her memory by following her example, and that, with our sister Elizabeth, at the last, we shall know the joys of life eternal,” he said.
Much of the music at the Committal Service has been composed by Sir William Harris, who served as the Organist at St. George’s Chapel between 1933 and 1961 and much of the Queen’s childhood. The young Princess Elizabeth is said to have often visited the Organ Loft to watch him play, and it is believed he taught her to play the piano.
Prior to the final hymn, the Imperial State Crown, the orb and the sceptre – known as the Instruments of State – were removed from the coffin by the Crown Jeweller and, with the Bargemaster and Serjeants-at-Arms, passed to the Dean who placed them on the Altar. At the end of the final Hymn, King Charles III placed the Queen’s Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on the coffin.
At the same time, the Lord Chamberlain – the most senior officer of the royal household – made the ceremonial gesture to “break” his “Wand of Office” and place it on the coffin. This, the palace said, is to create a symmetry with the three Instruments of State that have been removed. The Camp Colour and the broken wand are both to be buried with the coffin.
The coffin was then lowered into the Royal Vault as the Dean of Windsor read from ‘Psalm 103’ – which includes the traditional line, ‘Go forth upon thy journey from this world, O Christian soul’. The Sovereign’s Piper played a “Lament” entitled ‘A Salute to the Royal Fendersmith’ as the final fade away music.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, pronounced the final blessing which was followed by the singing of the national anthem, ‘God Save The King’, marking the conclusion of the Committal Service and the public aspect of the funeral service.
The King and senior members of the royal family then departed for the private burial ceremony, which saw the Queen’s coffin buried with that of her late husband, Prince Philip, in the King George VI Memorial Chapel – an enclave at the historic chapel on the late monarch’s Windsor estate.
The funeral service for Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was conducted at the same chapel in April last year. Other members of Queen Elizabeth II’s family also lie buried there, including her mother – also Elizabeth, father King George VI, and sister Princess Margaret. PTI AK SMN SMN
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