St George’s Chapel: where the Queen will be laid to rest

The Windsor Castle chapel and its Royal Vault contain ‘half a millennium of royal burials’

The funeral of Prince Philip at St George’s Chapel
The funeral of Prince Philip at St George’s Chapel in April last year
(Image credit: Richard Pohle/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen will be buried in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, alongside King George VI and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and her sister Princess Margaret.

A committal ceremony for Her Majesty will take place in the chapel on Monday, following the Queen’s funeral at Westminster Abbey.

Where will the Queen be buried?

Operation London Bridge – the codename for the plans for Her Majesty’s passing – states that she will be buried in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

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Upon arrival in Windsor, the hearse will take the lead-lined oak coffin to the chapel for a televised committal service conducted by the Dean of Windsor at 4pm.

What is the history of St George’s Chapel?

St George’s Chapel was founded in 1475 by King Edward III and has been at the centre of many royal ceremonies, including weddings, christenings and funerals.

It officially became the chosen burial place for the Royal Family in the 19th century, and contains several separate burial places, including the Royal Vault.

In April last year, Prince Philip’s funeral was held at the chapel, where the Queen “poignantly sat alone” after “insisting she followed the rules that all Britons were bound to amid the Covid-19 pandemic”, said the Daily Mail.

Although Westminster Abbey was for centuries the burial site for kings and queens, St George’s Chapel’s “chequered floor tiles hide half a millennium of royal burials”, said The Times, including those of Henry VIII and nine other English and British kings, dating back to the interment of Edward IV in 1483.

The part of the chapel the Queen will be buried in – the King George VI Memorial Chapel – was constructed in 1969. In a small side chapel set apart from the main Royal Vault, she will rest alongside her parents, George VI and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, who died in 1952 and 2002, and the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret, who also died in 2002.

The other burial locations include the quire, the north and south quire aisles, the north nave aisle, and the Gloucester vault for dukes and duchesses of Gloucester.

What is the Royal Vault?

The Royal Vault is a burial chamber, located beneath St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle, which was constructed between 1804 and 1810 on the instruction of King George III.

The first Royal placed in the vault was Princess Amelia, the youngest daughter of King George III. Deceased Royals are traditionally lowered into the vault through an opening in the floor of St George’s Chapel.

Who else is buried in the vault?

In total, 24 Royals are currently buried in the vault, noted The Independent, including:

Princess Amelia, daughter of George III (d.1810)

King George III (d.1820)

King George IV (d.1830)

King William IV (d.1837)

King George V (d.1878)

Princess Augusta, Duchess of Cambridge, grandmother of Queen Mary (d.1889)

What will happen with Prince Philip?

After his funeral on 17 April 2021, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was temporarily interred in the Royal Vault. He will be reinterred in the King George VI Memorial Chapel alongside his wife following her burial.

Can we visit the chapel after the funeral?

Usually, St George’s Chapel is open to the public, said Time Out, and is included in tickets to Windsor Castle. All the royal properties are currently closed due to the Queen’s passing and the committal service will be a private event.

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Chas Newkey-Burden has been part of The Week Digital team for more than a decade and a journalist for 25 years, starting out on the irreverent football weekly 90 Minutes, before moving to lifestyle magazines Loaded and Attitude. He was a columnist for The Big Issue and landed a world exclusive with David Beckham that became the weekly magazine’s bestselling issue. He now writes regularly for The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent, Metro, FourFourTwo and the i new site. He is also the author of a number of non-fiction books.