WASHINGTON – The final journey of Queen Elizabeth II from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch and Windsor Castle took place on Monday. It weighed heavily on the eight soldiers who carried his coffin at several crucial moments along the way, as it was lined with lead.
The tradition goes back centuries and begins with a practical idea: Help preserve the dead emperors’ bodiesEspecially before modern conservation techniques.
As ingredients in coffins, “Lead helps keep moisture out and protects the body longer and prevents odor and toxins from leaching out of the dead body”Told Julie Anne TuddioResearch Professor of History at the University of Maryland. “His coffin remained open for several days and made a long journey to his final resting place.”
Taddev explained that the extra weight means that Eight pallbearers instead of the usual six.
Soldiers began carrying the coffins of dead British monarchs after an incident in 1901, When the horses that pulled Queen Victoria’s catapult were frightened and her coffin nearly spread across the street.
Winston Churchill, who received the last state funeral in Britain before Elizabeth, also had a lead-lined coffin. it was so heavy slipped off the shoulders of some pallbearers When he had to stop on a few steps, he informed BBC one of the coffin holders, Lincoln Perkins, When it was the turn of the two “pushers” in the back to keep the coffin from falling, Perkins said, he called out to the body, “Don’t worry, sir, we’ll take care of it.”
“You can really feel it slipping off your shoulders,” Perkins said. “If we had dropped it… I don’t know what it would have been, very embarrassing, but we didn’t.”
Elizabeth II’s coffin was placed on Monday night in a vault at the King George VI Memorial Chapel, which is part of St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. She lives with her parents, her sister and her husband, Prince Philip, who passed away last year.
Preservation measures are reminiscent of those used by the high-ranking ancient Egyptians, who were also kept in chambers rather than buried in the ground and whose bodies were preserved immaculately. And while wealthy ancient Egyptians were often buried with caches of jewelry, carvings, and other items, Taddeo elaborated, The queen is said to have been buried with only her wedding ring, made of Welsh gold, and a pair of pearl earrings.
This austerity would mean that Elizabeth, known for her frugality and simplicity, was buried With less baggage than some of its predecessors, Taddeo said Queen Victoria was buried with her husband’s robe and a cast of his hand, a lock of hair and a picture of her favorite servant, with whom she was rumored to have had a romantic relationship. Elizabeth’s orb, scepter and crown – made up of about 3,000 diamonds and dozens of other gems – were removed from the top of her coffin and placed on an altar at her grave.
The use of lead in coffins is “a very old royal tradition,” he explained. mike parker pearsonProfessor at the Institute of Archeology at University College London. He said the mutilated corpse of King Edward I, who died in 1307, was “Found in its well-preserved marble sarcophagus in 1774” in Westminster Abbey. Pearson said that the practice of using lead was probably adopted at the time of Edward’s death or in the century after.
He said the bodies of the previous kings had not been exhumed. the corpse of William the Conquerorwho died in 1087, apparently his condition was so bad that his swollen belly burst When priests tried to pack his body “in a stone coffin that was too small for its volume,” Pearson said. “The mourners reportedly ran towards the door to escape the stench.”
Guillermo’s “swollen bowels burst, and an unbearable stench invaded the nostrils of the spectators and the whole crowd,” according to orderic vitalisA Benedictine monk who chronicled Anglo-Norman England.
Pour Brian Pitschow