Queen’s uniquely adapted coffin is lead-lined and so heavy it needs extra pallbearers

Eagle-eyed viewers of yesterdays procession of the late Queen's coffin as it was transported from Holyroodhouse to St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh may have noticed that it required eight pallbearers, rather than the usual six.

Now it's been revealed that the reason for that is because the late monarch's coffin is lead-lined, making it so heavy that it requires extra strength to carry it.

According to the Telegraph, Queen Elizabeth ll’s coffin was made more than 30 years ago by the same firm that made the lead-lined casket in which the Duke of Edinburgh lies, interred in the Royal Vault, before he joins the Queen in the King George VI Memorial Vault.

The reason that the 'coffin within a coffin' needs to be lead-lined is due to the fact that the Queen will be interred, rather than buried, in the King George VI Memorial Vault, where the remains of her father father, King George's VI, the Queen Mother and her sister Princess Margaret are resting.

The lead-lined casket of the Queen's was made by the specialist firm Henry Smith, which closed in 2005 and which also made the Duke of Edinburgh's coffin, as well as those of celebrities including Diana Dors, Freddie Mercury and Jimi Hendrix.

Royal coffins are traditionally made from well-seasoned oak from the Sandringham estate, but precise details about the manufacture of the late Queen’s coffin have been lost in the decades since it was ordered.

In a unique modification the Queen's coffin all features brass clasps and handles which hold the Imperial State Crown, orb and sceptre in place when they are placed atop the coffin for the lying-in-state of the monarch, when members of the public can come to pay their respects.

The Queen, who passed away in Balmoral, Scotland on 8 September, has been lying-in-state at St. Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh since Monday, however her coffin is going to be flown back to London today, accompanied by The Princess Royal, 72, and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence.

Once it arrives in London, it will rest overnight in the Bow Room at Buckingham Palace before being transferred to Westminster Hall where the Queen will lie-in-state from Wednesday 13 September to Monday 19 September.

The Queen's funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey at 11am on Monday 19 September, which has now been deemed a bank holiday.

Buckingham Palace announced the Queen's death, aged 96, on Thursday, 8 September at 6.30pm.

A statement released to the press and put up on the gates of Buckingham Palace read simply: "The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow."

Following the Queen's death, her eldest son Charles, 73, automatically became King Charles lll, and his wife Camilla became Queen Consort.

This week, OK! celebrates the life of Her Majesty the Queen with a commemorative special in honour of Britain’s longest reigning monarch. Be sure to pick up your copy.


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