Revealed: The Queen’s crown was bolted to her coffin after her grandfather’s bejewelled Maltese Cross fell into the gutter during his funeral procession
- King George V, the Queen’s grandfather, had his Crown fall off the coffin
- When he lay in state, his eldest son and heir wondered out loud 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 she was laid to rest in crypt
- The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage
Her Majesty’s Imperial State Crown, orb and sceptre which balanced atop the Queen’s coffin were screwed down to prevent a previous historical mishap, it is revealed.
Back in 1936 George V’s bejewelled Maltese Cross – which contains some of the biggest jewels in the Crown – fell off into the gutter while it rested on the coffin during his royal funeral procession.
It was said to have been a bad omen, especially after his son, Edward VIII abdicated, causing 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 was been fastened down with all the other jewel fittings to the Queen’s coffin while lying in state and during her funeral not to repeat the misfortunate incident.
Signifying the severing of the Queen from her public service in death, the objects was seen to have been later removed by the Crown Jeweller in St George’s Chapel as she entered the royal crypt as a ‘simple Christian soul’ instead of Monarch.
The Imperial State Crown then rested on the high altar after being removed from the coffin of the Queen. 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 the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign’s orb and sceptre, as it is carried out of Westminster Abbey after her State Funeral
The Imperial State Crown is removed from the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II during the Committal Service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle
Prior to the final hymn, the Imperial State Crown, the Orb and the Sceptre 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.
The removal of the crown from the coffin to the altar is poignant, because in 1953 the crown was taken from the altar in Westminster Abbey and placed on the Queen’s head, marking the start of a 70-year reign.
At the end of the final hymn, the King placed The Queen’s Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on the coffin.
At the same time, The Lord Chamberlain ‘broke’ his Wand of Office and place it on the coffin – signifying the severing of the Queen from her public service in death.
This is to create a symmetry with the three Instruments of State that have been removed.
The Dean of Windsor, The Rt Revd David Conner, places the Imperial State Crown, and orb and sceptre 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 down into the royal vault as the Dean of Windsor said: ‘Go forth upon thy 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 Dean’s Cloister during which he walked slowly towards the Deanery in the Cloister so that the music inside the Chapel gradually fades.
During the service, the King will sit in the seat which was occupied by the Queen when she came to the chapel, positioned closest to the altar.