Emotional worshippers have described the ‘moving’ moment they viewed the new simple black marble slab featuring the name of the late Queen today as she lays beside her beloved husband Prince Philip.
Worshippers were allowed into King George VI Memorial Chapel earlier this week for church services following Her Majesty’s moving private burial on Monday night.
The Queen’s name was inscribed on the stone alongside that of her father George VI, Elizabeth the Queen Mother and that of her late husband who died last year at the age of 99.
A woman, who was at a service in the chapel, told the MailOnline she went there for a prayer service and ‘was luckily enough to be able to view the final resting place of Her Majesty’ as images appeared on social media showing the updated black slab.
She recalled being full of emotion when she saw the names of the Queen and Philip, who were seen together in the King George VI memorial chapel on the Belgian marble for the first time.
The worshiper said: ‘It was very moving to see their names like that and think of them together for eternity. And I feel extremely fortunate to have been among the first members of the public to have been able to see this.’
Previous image released in 2002 only showed the gold lettering for George VI and the Queen Mother along with the dates of their birth and death.
In order, it reads George VI 1895-1952, Elizabeth 1900-2002, Elizabeth II 1926-2022, Philip 1921-2021. Between the two couples is a single metal Garter Star, the insignia of the Order of the Garter, the country’s oldest and most noble order of chivalry.
All four were members of the order and St George’s Chapel, where the memorial chapel is situated, is its spiritual home.
In a touching tribute the wreath – which was seen by billions across the world during last Monday’s historic funeral service – and was personally selected by King Charles lies next to the black stone in the side chapel at St George’s which is set to reopen fully to the public next week.
Her Majesty was interred alongside her husband, Prince Philip, and her parents King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Pictured: A stone in the George VI Memorial Chapel at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, where the Queen Mother was laid to rest in 2002
Her name was inscribed alongside that of her father George VI, Elizabeth the Queen Mother and that of her beloved late husband Philip who died last year
In a touching tribute the wreath (pictured, on top of the coffin on Monday) made up by King Charles lies next to the black stone in the side chapel at St George’s which is set to reopen fully to the public next week
The flowers in the wreath are, in shades of pink, deep burgundy, white and gold, to reflect the Royal Standard, and include pelargoniums, roses, autumnal hydrangea, sedum, dahlias and scabious.
There is also rosemary, for remembrance, myrtle, a symbol of happy marriage, and English oak, which symbolises the strength of love.
The woman who was at the service also continued: ‘I’m sure others will want to travel to see this in the future as it’s such a simple but beautiful motif – and so many millions of people were so moved by the Queen’s death.
‘I went in there for a prayer service and was luckily enough to be able to view the final resting place of Her Majesty. As you can imagine it was very moving to be able to pay my respects to our beloved Queen.
‘I recognised the stone from pictures I’d seen in the media over the funeral period but I soon realised that the names of the Queen and Prince Philip had since been added.’
Attendees were left stunned after being told at the start there would be ‘an opportunity to see the late Queen’s resting place’. One visitor was seen mouthing to a woman next to her: ‘Oh my gosh ! That’s amazing.’
The 30-minute service also featured prayers for King Charles and the congregation was asked to remember him and other members of the Royal Family at ‘this mournful time’.
The Royal Family released a never-before-seen image showing Queen Elizabeth II hiking in the heather at Balmoral in Scotland as her funeral was held
A private service, which was due to start at 7.30pm, took place away from the public’s gaze where King Charles buried his mother the Queen. This rarely seen picture from 1947 was released this week
Following the conclusion of evensong worshippers, were invited forward to walk through the historic chapel and past the slab on which the Queen’s coffin rested on Monday and which then lowered into the vault.
Gathered from the gardens at Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Highgrove House, the King made the wreath was made up without floral foam but a nest of English moss to ensure sustainability.
The official Royal Family Twitter account revealed that, at The King’s request, the myrtle included in the wreath is cut from a plant grown from the sprig of myrtle that was in The Queen’s wedding bouquet in 1947.
Gardener and TV presenter Alan Titchmarsh told the BBC: ‘Our history was in that wreath. There were oak leaves there. There are oak trees in Great Windsor Park that were growing when William the Conqueror invaded in 1066. Some of them are still there.’
King Charles III places the Queen’s Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on Her Majesty’s coffin at Monday’s committal service
The new monarch was tearful as he bade farewell to his mother at Monday afternoon’s committal service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor
The fresh stone now says, in list form, ‘George VI 1895-1952’ and ‘Elizabeth 1900-2002’ followed by a metal Garter Star, and then ‘Elizabeth II 1926-2022’ and ‘Philip 1921-2021’.
All four royals were members of the Order of the Garter, which has St George’s Chapel as its spiritual home.
When Philip died 17 months ago, his coffin was interred in the royal vault of St George’s, ready to be moved to the memorial chapel – a pale stone annex added on to the north side of the building behind the North Quire Aisle in 1969 – when the Queen died.
Other floral tributes seen in the chapel were also from last Monday’s funeral service and thought to have come from other members of the Royal Family as well as household staff.
The new slab was laid immediately after last Monday’s funeral service and St George’s Chapel opened again for regular church services on Wednesday.
Worshippers who were allowed in were left stunned when they were told they would be allowed to visit the Queen’s final resting place – with an audible intake of breathe at the lucky privilege.
Also in the vault are the remains of the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret, who died in 2002, was cremated, and her ashes were initially placed in the royal vault, before being moved to the George VI memorial chapel with her parents’ coffins when the Queen Mother died weeks later.
The public will be able to view the Queen’s final resting place from next week but will have to pay for the privilege, it can be revealed.
Members of the public threw flowers and bouquets which covered the royal hearse as the Queen arrived in Windsor on Monday afternoon
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
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 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 chapel, which is currently closed during the period of royal morning, will reopen to visitors on Thursday September 29 as part of a general tour of Windsor Castle, costing up to £28.50 for adults and £15.50 for children.
The castle is only open five days a week from Thursday through to Monday – but St George’s Chapel is closed to the public on Sundays as it is a living place of worship.
Castle tours are run by the Royal Collection Trust (RCT), a registered charity and a department of the Royal Household. No profits are kept by the Royal Family.
Income generated from admissions and other commercial activities is used for the upkeep of the Royal Collection, one of the largest and most important art collections in the world and one of the last great European royal collections to remain intact.
Containing thousands of artworks and antiques, the collection is not owned by The King as a private individual but is held in trust by the sovereign for his successors and the nation.
Its treasures are spread among some 15 royal residences and former residences across the UK, most of which are regularly open to the public.
There may be some surprise, however, that those wishing to see the Queen’s resting place and pay their respects will have to pay in order to do it.
Sources stressed, however, that the RCT is a charity and suffered a £30million deficit as a result of the pandemic.
There is also likely to be concern that St George’s Chapel could be overrun with mourners, particularly as the family memorial is so small and visitors can only peer into it through a small metal gate.
A sea of people, holding flags and bunting, lined the route into Windsor as Her Majesty made her final journey on Monday afternoon
The Grenadier Guards seamlessly transferred the Queen’s coffin on Monday, moving it safely to each point in the funeral and procession
King Charles, Camilla, Queen Consort, Anne, Princess Royal, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Sophie, Countess of Wessex follow behind the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II with the Imperial State Crown resting on top of it carried by pallbearers as it departs Westminster Abbey
The pallbearing team of eight Grenadier Guards inched their way up the steps of St George’s Chapel in Windsor and were followed by members of the Royal family
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II being carried by the right pallbearers leaving the State Funeral held at Westminster Abbey
More than 4,000 military personnel were involved in the Queen’s state funeral, which ended at St George’s Chapel, in Windsor, pictured above
Given that 250,000 wellwishers queued for up to 14 hours to view the Queen lying in state, Windsor staff could face long waiting lines and bottlenecks.
An RCT spokesman stressed, however, that only a limited number of castle tickets are sold each day in timed, 15-minute slots.
George VI died in February 1952 at the age of just 56 – a moment the Queen always marked privately at her Sandringham estate. Her mother passed away aged 101 in March 2002. The Queen lost her sister, Princess Margaret, the previous month at the age of 71.
King George’s coffin had been originally placed in the Royal Vault. But as it was his wish to rest in his own chapel with his beloved wife, a memorial chapel that bears his name was built by his eldest daughter in 1969.
Their resting place was marked by a black ledger with the inscriptions King George VI 1895-1952 and Elizabeth 1900-2002 in gold lettering. Margaret’s ashes were initially placed in the Royal Vault, before being moved to the memorial chapel when the Queen Mother died weeks later.
After an historic State Funeral in London and committal ceremony at Windsor on Monday, the late Queen’s coffin was taken down into the vault but later brought back up along with that of Prince Philip, who died last April at the age of 99.
Their remains were then interred in the tiny family memorial annex built on the north side of St George’s Chapel.
The coffins were gently lowered 18ft to lie one on top of the other, supported by a metal frame, inside the 10ft by 14ft chamber. An RCT spokesman said visitors would not be able to bring flowers inside the castle.