Jewellery

Why the Crown Jewels were removed from the Queen’s coffin after her state funeral

Before the Queen's coffin was lowered into the royal vault in St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, a crown, orb and sceptre were removed. Here's why they were taken off and what they mean

By Joshua Hendren

During yesterday’s historic committal service, which saw Queen Elizabeth II laid to rest, the Crown Jewels – the Imperial State Crown adorned with over 3,000 gemstones, the Sovereign’s Orb and Sceptre – were lifted from the late monarch’s coffin by the Crown Jeweller.

The Sovereign’s Orb, Sceptre and The Imperial State Crown sit on top of Queen Elizabeth II’s Royal Standard draped coffin at her Committal Service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on September 19, 2022 (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

With the help of the Bargemaster and Serjeants-at-Arms, the Crown Jewels were then passed to the Dean who placed them on the High Altar.

These objects represent the responsibilities and governance of the monarch, so their removal separated the Queen from her crown for the final time.

Members of the Royal Family watch as the Imperial State Crown is removed from the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II during the Committal Service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on September 19, 2022 (Photo by Jonathan Brady – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Crafted in gold and set with 2,868 diamonds, 269 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, and four rubies, the Imperial State Crown was the crown worn by the Queen when she left Westminster Abbey after her coronation

The Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross has been used at every coronation since Charles II’s in 1661. While, the Sovereign’s Orb – a golden cross mounted on a globe – also dates back to 1661 and is intended to remind the monarch that their power comes from God.

King Charles III places the Queen’s Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on the coffin during the Committal Service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on September 19, 2022 (Photo by Victoria Jones – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

At the conclusion of the service, Lord Chamberlain, the most senior official in the royal household, then broke his wand of office which was then placed on the casket, symbolising the end of the Queen’s reign.

King Charles III watches as the Lord Chamberlain breaks his Wand of Office at the Committal Service for Queen Elizabeth II held at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on September 19, 2022 (Photo by Joe Giddens – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Alongside the symbolic objects, her coffin was topped with flowers picked from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Highgrove and Clarence House.

Like this? Here’s all you need to know about the Imperial State Crown

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