Members of the public will soon be able to view the headstone of Queen Elizabeth II as Britain’s royal residences prepare to reopen after a period of national mourning, according to reports.
Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse were closed to the public on September 8 when news broke of the Queen’s death while staying at her Scottish home of Balmoral Castle.
The venues, formerly known as “Her Majesty The Queen’s Official Residences”, are set to reopen in stages from September 22 under the banner of “His Majesty The King’s Official Residences”.
The Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Queen’s Gallery in Edinburgh will reopen to visitors on Thursday 22 September. Windsor Castle is expected to welcome visitors from Thursday, September 29.
Queen Elizabeth II is buried at St George’s Chapel Windsor, located within the grounds of the old Windsor Castle.
The castle was the late Queen’s main residence in the last years of her life, having moved there from Buckingham Palace to self-quarantine with her husband Prince Philip during the 2020 COVID pandemic.
Windsor is where the Queen spent most weekends throughout her 70-year reign and it has been described as the Royal Family’s ‘family home’, while Buckingham Palace has been more considered the “office”.
The Queen’s body was interred in St George’s Chapel after the state funeral at Westminster Abbey on September 19. While a large number of world leaders attended the funeral, a smaller and more intimate number of extended family members and staff attended a burial service in Windsor that evening.
St George’s Chapel dates back to the 14th century, having been built by King Edward III, and has been extended and renovated at intermittent times since then.
The chapel is a “royal private”, which means that it falls under the direct jurisdiction of the monarch, who appoints the deans of the chapel and has the final say on matters within the chapel itself.
As of September 2022, there are at least 46 known royal burials in St George’s Chapel, including King Henry VIII and Jane Seymour as well as King George III and Queen Charlotte.
Queen Elizabeth II is buried in a small chapel built on the side of St. George’s known as the George VI Memorial Chapel.
This structure was commissioned by the late Queen for the tomb of her father, King George VI, in the 1960s and is where her mother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and her sister, the Princess’ remains Margaret, are also buried.
The Queen’s coffin rests in a closed vault below the chapel alongside her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip.
The Queen’s headstone is black marble and is set into the floor of the King George VI Memorial Chapel.
According to the BBC, engraved in the black marble are the names of King George VI, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, along with their birth and death dates.
The names of the two couples are separated by a metal Garter Star, the emblem of the Order of the Garter, Britain’s highest order of chivalry.
Members of the public who pay admission to Windsor Castle can also visit St George’s Chapel within the castle grounds.
Although visitors are not permitted to enter the small George VI Memorial Chapel, they will be permitted to look inside where the Queen’s headstone is visible.
According to Britain The telegraph of the dayvisitors will not be allowed to bring flowers into the chapel and no physical condolence book will be set up, those who wish will be invited to contribute their memories to the online condolence book instead.