between contemplation and earnestness, royal funerals in England

between contemplation and earnestness, royal funerals in England


People are silent for George VI

On February 6, 1952, King George VI died suddenly of a heart thrombosis, aged 56. A state funeral was held on the 15th. His coffin, placed in a gun carriage and draped in a white flag with lions, was carried by soldiers 150 of the navy.

The body of the “good king”, who became king in spite of himself after the abduction of his older brother Edward VIII, was taken from Westminster to Paddington station to be transported to Windsor and St. George’s Chapel where he was laid to rest.

It takes more than three hours for the procession to complete the journey. Crowds gather in silence on London’s fog-shrouded streets. Big Ben tolls the death knell 56 times, the age of the stuttering king.

He follows in the car his eldest daughter, the new 25-year-old queen named Elizabeth II, who learned about her father’s death while traveling in Kenya.

Lord Mountbatten, the fallen hero

On August 27, 1979, Lord Mountbatten, the Queen’s cousin and the last Viceroy of India, was killed by a bomb planted by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) on his yacht. The assassination shakes the kingdom: Admiral of the British Fleet during the war, Louis Mountbatten, 79, is also Philip’s uncle and adviser to the Prince of Wales, Charles.

On September 5, in front of several hundreds of thousands of people in London, the arms of all the British forces, the American navy, the French, Canadian, Indian and Burmese troops bid farewell.

After the service at Westminster, an escort of six hearses takes the coffin to Waterloo station, to be transported to Romsey (south), where it rests towards the sea.

A famous mission for Diana

The death of the Princess of Wales on August 31, 1997 in Paris in a car accident caused a worldwide impact. The Queen is criticized for being slow to react to the disappearance of the “People’s Daughter”. More than a million flowers have been placed in front of her residence, at Kensington Palace.

Funeral arrangements are a headache. Since her divorce, Lady Di is no longer entitled to the title of royal highness and a national funeral.

On September 6, nearly a million people attend the funeral procession in heavy silence punctuated by tears. Head down, his sons William and Harry follow the coffin to Westminster, under 2.5 billion viewers.

He is buried at the Spencer family home in Althorp (centre).

101 minutes of the Queen Mother’s death

Just seven weeks after her youngest daughter Margaret, Queen Mother Elizabeth, 101, died on her turn on March 30, 2002, in her sleep.

The Queen Mum’s coffin is taken to Westminster, where more than 200,000 people pay their respects over four days. The funeral takes place on April 9. The main bell of the abbey rings for 101 minutes. More than a million people gather in a procession of 37 kilometers to Windsor, where he is buried next to George VI.

Farewell to Philip: The Queen’s Solitude

Prince Consort Philip, the Queen’s beloved husband of 73 years, died “peacefully” on the morning of April 9, 2021, two months before his 100th birthday.

The Duke of Edinburgh has made it known that he wants to “go quietly”, without a state funeral. On April 16, his coffin was transported from Windsor Castle to St. George’s Chapel in a military green Land Rover.

Due to health restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, only thirty family members attended the ceremony, which was televised.