Royal coffins, like Queen Elizabeth’s, are lined with lead.That’s why

Queen Elizabeth II’s final twisty journey from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch to Windsor Castle weighed heavily on the eight soldiers carrying her coffin on Monday – partly because it was inside Lined with lead.

The tradition dates back centuries and started with a practical consideration: helping the bodies of deceased monarchs remain pristine, especially before modern preservation techniques.

Queen Elizabeth II buried after historic state funeral

As a material in the coffin, “lead helps keep moisture out, keeping the body longer and preventing odors and toxins from the body,” said Julie Anne Tardio, a professor of historical studies at the University of Maryland. “She The coffin was displayed for many days and travelled long distances to its final resting place.”

Taddeo noted that the added weight required eight coffins instead of the usual six.

Soldiers carry the coffin of the late British monarch after an incident in 1901 when the horses carrying Queen Victoria’s coffin were frightened and her coffin nearly splashed into the street. Winston Churchill received his final state funeral in England on Monday before Elizabeth, also with a lead-lined coffin. Lincoln Perkins, one of the coffin lifters, told the BBC it was so heavy that it slipped off the shoulders of some coffin lifters when they had to stop on some steps. “Don’t worry, sir, we’ll take care of you,” Perkins said, saying loudly to the body as it fell to the two “pushers” behind to keep the coffin from falling.

Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin was transported from Westminster Hall to Wellington Arch to her final resting place, Windsor Castle, for her state funeral. 19. (Video: Alexa Juliana Ard/The Washington Post)

“You could actually feel him slip off his shoulders,” Perkins said. “If we dropped him…I don’t know what it would be, very embarrassing, but we didn’t.”

Queen Elizabeth II, who ruled Britain for 70 years, dies at 96

Elizabeth’s coffin was buried in a crypt on Monday night in the King George VI Memorial Church, which is part of St George VI’s Church. St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. She rested near her parents, sister and husband Prince Philip, who died last year.

These preservation measures, reminiscent of those used by high-ranking officials in ancient Egypt, were also housed in rooms rather than buried underground, and their bodies were preserved intact. While wealthy ancient Egyptians were often buried with a wealth of jewellery, sculptures and other items, Taddeo said the queen was reportedly buried with nothing more than her wedding ring made of Welsh gold and a pair of pearl earrings.

Such austerity meant that Elizabeth, known for her frugality and simplicity, was buried with fewer possessions than some of her predecessors. Taddeo said Queen Victoria was buried with her husband’s dressing gown and his hand model, a lock of hair and a picture of her favourite servant, with whom she was rumored to have been romantically involved. Elizabeth’s jewels, scepter and crown – made of nearly 3,000 diamonds and dozens of other jewels – were taken from the top of her coffin and placed on the altar of her funeral.

Epic queue for Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin exceeds 250,000

Mike Parker Pearson, a professor at the Institute of Archaeology at UCL, said the use of lead in coffins was “a long-standing royal tradition”. The embalmed body of King Edward I, who died in 1307, “was found in a marble sarcophagus at Westminster Abbey in 1774,” he said. Pearson added that the practice of using lead may have been adopted a century around or after Edward’s death.

Early kings were not embalmed, he said. Pearson said the body of William the Conqueror, who died in 1087, was apparently so badly decomposed that his bloated belly exploded when the priest tried to stuff his body into “a sarcophagus too small for his size” . “The mourners are said to have run to the door to escape the stench of decay.”

According to Orderic Vitalis, a Benedictine friar who chronicled Anglo-Norman England, William’s “intestines swelled, and an unbearable stench rushed towards the bystanders and the entire crowd. nostril”.

Source link