Royal Vault: Prince Philip to be laid to rest with Queen
When Prince Philip died in 2021, it was announced that he would eventually be moved to rest next to Queen Elizabeth II when she passed — but many have been confused as to what that means.
Since it has been more than a year since Philip died, several Twitter users have posited a serious question: is the Royal Vault where Prince Philip currently lies just a really big, elegant freezer?
In short, no.
Prince Philip may not have been considered officially buried while he awaited his final resting place at the Queen’s side, but the Royal Vault is actually a common burial place for royals, containing numerous kings and queens.
While it’s not refrigerated, it is underground — the Royal Vault is a burial chamber underneath St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, carved out between 1804 and 1810.
But like all members of the Royal Family, Philip’s coffin was lined with lead, which prevents moisture from getting in and slows decomposition. It can even preserve the body for up to a year.
The first royal to be laid to rest in the Royal Vault was Princess Amelia, daughter of King George III, in 1810.
According to Windsor Castle, the Royal Vault contains around 15 princes and princesses, as well as three kings and several queens, among other royals. Within St. George’s Chapel as a whole, they are numerous other tombs and dedicated burial areas that house other Royals as well.
King Henry VIII and Charles I are in another area of the chapel known as the Quire, while Edward IV, Henry VII and Queen Alexandra are buried in the Quire aisles.
It’s not uncommon for royals to be transferred after burial, with King George V and King George VI both having been transferred from the Royal Vault to separate tombs in the chapel itself.
Philip, similarly, will not have to move far to join the Queen.
A new annex in the chapel was created for King George VI’s body in 1969 called the King George VI Memorial Chapel, and this is where Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip will both be officially laid to rest.
Apart from St. George’s Chapel, many Royals are also buried in the Royal Burial Ground at Frogmore House.
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