Imperial state crown and Balmoral and Windsor flowers placed on Queen’s coffin

·2-min read
The Imperial State Crown (Alastair Grant/PA) (PA Wire)
The Imperial State Crown (Alastair Grant/PA) (PA Wire)

The Queen’s coffin was draped with the Royal Standard and adorned with the glittering, priceless Imperial State Crown on a purple velvet cushion and a wreath of white flowers for the procession to the lying in state.

The flowers were white roses, spray white roses, white dahlias and foliage, including pine from the gardens at Balmoral and pittosporum, lavender and rosemary from the gardens at Windsor.

The coffin was borne on a Gun Carriage of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery – poignantly used for the coffins of the late Queen’s mother and father.

Known as the George Gun Carriage, it carried King George VI from Sandringham Church to Wolferton Station after his death in 1952 and was used in the funeral of the Queen Mother in 2002.

The Gun Carriage has six 13-pounder quickfire guns, built between 1913 and 1918, all of which have seen active service in the First and Second World Wars.

They are used regularly for royal salutes in Hyde Park, Green Park or Windsor Great Park for State Occasions and to mark royal anniversaries and royal birthdays.

Each gun and limber weighs 1.5 tons and, with the team, is approximately 54 feet long.

Minute Guns – one for every 38 minutes of the procession – were fired from Hyde Park by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery throughout the slow journey from Buckingham Palace.

Big Ben also tolled at one-minute intervals as the Queen left her London home for the last time.

The Imperial State Crown was the crown the Queen wore when she left Westminster Abbey after her coronation.

It was also used on other State occasions, including the State Opening of Parliament.

Made of gold, it is set with 2,868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, 269 pearls, and four rubies.

It contains some of the Crown Jewels’ most famous pieces including the Black Prince’s Ruby, the Stuart Sapphire, and the Cullinan II diamond.

In a BBC documentary in 2018 about her coronation, the Queen amused viewers by manhandling the heavy crown, pulling it towards her, turning it round and declaring: “This is what I do when I wear it.”

“I like the Black Prince’s Ruby,” she added.