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Queen will be buried in a lead-lined coffin

Jess Hardiman

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| Last updated 

Queen will be buried in a lead-lined coffin

The Queen will be buried in a lead-lined coffin when she is laid to rest next week on Monday, 19 September, with her funeral recently declared a bank holiday by King Charles III so mourners can pay their respects. 

According to The Telegraph, the lead-lined casket is ‘effectively a coffin within a coffin’ and is so heavy that it will require eight pallbearers rather than the standard six. 

The outlet reports that it has to be lined with lead as the Queen will be interred in the King George VI Memorial Vault, as opposed to being given a traditional burial. 

It was made by specialist firm Henry Smith, which was established in 1869 and closed in 2005 – during which time it also made the coffin for the Duke of Edinburgh, along with those for celebrities such as Diana Dors, Freddie Mercury and Jimi Hendrix. 

The coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh during his funeral service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo
The coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh during his funeral service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

After being carefully crafted, the casket was maintained by funeral director JH Kenyon Ltd, which also took care of funerals for King Geroge VI and Winston Churchill, until the 1990s, before family business Leverton and Sons took over in 1991. 

Director Andrew Leverton told The Times in 2018: “It is made from English oak, which is very difficult to get hold of. 

“Oak coffins are now made from American oak. I don’t think we could use English oak for a coffin now. It would be too expensive.” 

Leverton, whose firm also handled the funerals of the Queen Mother, Princess Diana, Princess Margaret, Margaret Thatcher, George Orwell and others, explained that state funerals see the added involvement of the Earl Marshal, with coffin bearers provided by the Armed Forces. 

He added: “We have to attend meetings and help with practices. There are practice coffins which are weighted appropriately. We are a relatively small cog in a very big machine. 

“For a normal funeral we have very close contact with the family. We take instructions from the Royal Household, not, obviously, directly from the Royal family.” 

Floral tributes for the late Queen. Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo
Floral tributes for the late Queen. Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

The Queen's funeral will take place at 11am on 19 September, with the service being held at Westminster Abbey.

It was also confirmed during the official proclamation of King Charles III at St James' Palace that the date will be a bank holiday in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

However, due to the official guidance, not everyone will get an extra day off work, as it will depend on what specific employers decide to do.

Featured Image Credit: Agencja Fotograficzna Caro/Abaca Press/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: UK News, The Queen

Jess Hardiman
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