How can I visit Queen Elizabeth II's grave? Windsor Castle set to reopen

Public will be able to see the ledger stone marking the tomb where she was interred at St George’s Chapel

The Royal State Hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Windsor Castle on Monday. AP
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The public will be able to see the final resting place of Queen Elizabeth II from next week.

A new ledger stone within the George VI Memorial Chapel, which sits within St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle, has been installed and bears the queen’s name.

The inscription on the ledger stone in the George VI Memorial Chapel also has the names of her parents and husband, Prince Philip, along with their years of birth and death.

The George VI Memorial Chapel in St George's Chapel, Windsor. Getty Images

The late monarch was laid to rest together with the Duke of Edinburgh on Monday evening in a private service attended by her son, King Charles III, and the royal family. This followed her state funeral at Westminster Abbey and committal service in Windsor.

The fresh stone now contains, in list form, “George VI 1895-1952” and “Elizabeth 1900-2002” followed by a metal Garter Star, and then “Elizabeth II 1926-2022” and “Philip 1921-2021”.

All four royals were members of the Order of the Garter, which has St George’s Chapel as its spiritual home.

When Prince Philip died 17 months ago, his coffin was interred in the Royal Vault of St George’s, ready to be moved to the memorial chapel when the queen died. The chapel is a pale stone annexe added on to the north side of the building behind the North Quire Aisle in 1969.

The queen's sister Princess Margaret, who died in February 2002, was cremated and her ashes were initially placed in the Royal Vault. These were moved to the George VI memorial chapel with her parents’ coffins when the Queen Mother died weeks later.

Windsor Castle is currently closed to the public and will reopen on September 29, giving the first opportunity to see the stone in person.

Before his premature death, George VI enjoyed a happy family life with his wife and two daughters, referring to the tight-knit foursome as "us four".

The death of the queen means that all four have finally been laid to rest together.

The Queen Mother, also called Elizabeth, was buried in the chapel on April 9, 2002, after her death aged 101.

A host of other royals are interred in the Royal Vault beneath the chapel.

Construction of the chapel, designed by George Pace, was completed in 1969.

It was commissioned by the queen as a permanent resting place for her father.

The king died aged 56 in February 1952 but his death had been unexpected and, as a result, no specific resting place had been allocated.

Members of the royal family watch as the bearer party place the coffin of Queen Elizabeth upon the catafalque at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. Getty Images

At the time, the king's remains were interred in the Royal Vault.

The Royal Vault is the final resting place of a long list of mostly 18th and 19th-century royals, including George III, who died in 1820.

With no more space to accommodate a second vault at St George's, it was decided that another chantry chapel would be built — the first addition to St George's since it was consecrated in the 15th century.

The queen rejected the idea of the traditional marble chest tomb with life-size effigies favoured by earlier royals for her father.

Instead, the king's grave was marked with a simple stone of black Belgian marble inlaid into the floor with the inscription "George VI".

The dedication took place on March 31, 1969, in a ceremony attended by George's widow Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, the queen, Prince Philip, Elizabeth's sister Princess Margaret and all four of the monarch's children.

The queen was finally laid to rest on Monday during a private evening burial service attended by close family only.

The family’s website said it was conducted by the Dean of Windsor. The website added: "The Queen was buried together with The Duke of Edinburgh, at The King George VI Memorial Chapel.”

It followed a simple committal service, which contrasted with the earlier state funeral. The queen's close staff were represented, including her senior dresser and personal adviser Angela Kelly, alongside people such as Earl Spencer, the brother of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

It was heavy with symbolism with the Camp Colour from the military unit personally commanded by the Queen ― Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards ― placed on her coffin by the King.

Baron Parker — the Lord Chamberlain and a former MI5 chief, and the most senior official in her royal household — “broke” his wand of office by dismantling it into two halves and placing them on her coffin.

Earlier in the day, the state funeral at Westminster Abbey was attended by dignitaries including hundreds of heads of state. London was full with mourners for the event, which involved the largest policing operation undertaken by the Metropolitan Police.

Updated: September 21, 2022, 9:00 AM
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