Saturday, October 1, 2022

Are royals embalmed? The Queen’s coffin is lined with lead, not empty

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Are royals embalmed? Is Queen Elizabeth’s coffin empty? These questions have sparked conspiracy theories as the British monarch has been in state for days.

The former question was trending on Google after the death of Queen Elizabeth II. According to the Daily Star, a British publication, the Queen “is not buried or cremated in the same way as the majority of her subjects”.

According to Newsweek, conspiracy theories claim Queen Elizabeth II’s body “isn’t actually in the coffin” lying in state. Some people think it’s empty. However, there’s no evidence that this conspiracy theory is true, and there’s another reason the Queen’s coffin can sit in state for so long: lead.

In fact, the lead lining the coffin preserves the body longer, meaning the coffin isn’t empty or there would be no need for it. The US reported today that Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin “was made decades ago with a lead lining that makes it particularly heavy”.

Here’s what you need to know:

As the Daily Star notes, the Queen’s body is in her coffin and will be until September 19. According to Data Lounge, the coffin sits in the state for 10 days.

How is that possible? According to the Daily Star, some former queens have been embalmed, including Queen Elizabeth I.

However, Queen Victoria refused to be embalmed after it was reported that Queen Elizabeth’s “body and head” had exploded “due to a buildup of gases,” the Daily Star reported.

According to History Extra, Queen Victoria left specific instructions for her funeral:

According to the Daily Star, it’s not clear if Queen Elizabeth II was embalmed, but royal monarchs are buried in lead-lined coffins to slow the body’s decomposition.

Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin is closed, according to CBC. The coffin is “draped with the royal banner and adorned with her crown,” NBC News reported.

CBC also noted:

According to, “The casket was made 30 years ago from English oak and lined with lead and is estimated to weigh at least 550 pounds or a quarter ton and anywhere up to 700 pounds.”

According to Town and Country, the Queen’s final resting place will be in the “King George VI Memorial Chapel of Windsor Castle” alongside her parents, husband and Princess Margaret.

Margaret was cremated so her remains could fit next to her parents, the magazine reported.

“Princess Margaret was cremated, one of the earliest members of the royal family, because she wanted to be buried between her parents and there was really only room for ashes,” Lady Glenconner, one of Princess Margaret’s maids-in-waiting, explained in a documentary, according to Town and Country Country.

CONTINUE READING: The Death of Queen Elizabeth II

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