As world leaders and dignitaries joined the Royal Family to bid farewell to Queen Elizabeth II, eagle-eyed royal watchers may have noticed King Charles’ final goodbye to his mother in the form of a handwritten note that sat atop her coffin.
The note sat among a wreath of colourful flowers taken from the gardens of the royal residences which included English oak, rosemary and myrtle that had previously been featured in the Queen’s wedding bouquet
The simple yet touching note read, “In loving and devoted memory. Charles R.”, the letter R stands for Rex which in Latin means King.
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Mourners from across the world gathered at Westminster Abbey on Monday, September 19 for the Queen’s state funeral as hundreds of thousands lined the streets of London to witness the historic moment and say their final goodbyes.
Before the state funeral service began, the country’s first since Winston Churchill’s, a bell rang out 96 times to symbolise each year of Her Majesty’s life.
The Queen’s flag-draped coffin sat atop a gun carriage which was drawn by rope by 142 Royal Navy sailors before being taken by pallbearers into Westminster Abbey where presidents, prime ministers and dignitaries made up the 2000 strong congregation.
To mark the opening of the funeral proceedings, the dean of the medieval abbey, David Hoyle told mourners: “Here, where Queen Elizabeth was married and crowned, we gather from across the nation, from the Commonwealth, and from the nations of the world, to mourn our loss, to remember her long life of selfless service, and in sure confidence to commit her to the mercy of God our maker and redeemer.”
Following a series of readings and hymns during the funeral service, the ceremony concluded with two minutes of silence across the country before attendees sang God Save the King.
Following a procession through the streets of London the Queen’s coffin was taken to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle for a committal service where 800 guests were in attendance.
As the service drew to a close the sovereign’s crown, orb and sceptre were removed from the coffin in a symbolic separation of Queen Elizabeth from her crown for the last time.
As King Charles placed the Queen’s company camp flag on top of the coffin, Lord Chamberlain broke his wand of office before also placing it atop the coffin, marking the end of his service to the Queen before the coffin was lowered into the Royal Vault.
During a private family service, later in the evening, the coffins of the Queen and Prince Philip were moved from the vault to be buried together.