Charles, 73, placed a scarlet banner — known as the queen’s company colour of the grenadier guards — on the coffin during the Monday, September 19, funeral. The regal cloth, which was embroidered with gold thread, was laid at the top of her casket, above the floral arrangement that included a handwritten note from the king. (“In loving and devoted memory. Charles R,” he wrote.)
As Charles bowed his head and stepped back, Lord Chamberlain Andrew Parker held a staff over the queen and “broke” it in half. This tradition is known as “breaking the wand,” and this is the first time the ritual was televised. It symbolizes the Wand of Office, and the break indicates the end of a monarch’s reign.
The Lord Chamberlain, who holds the most senior position in the royal household, breaks the wand as their final duty to the crown. Parker placed the wand on the queen’s coffin to signify the end of service for both himself and the queen, who died at age 96 on September 8. Charles will pick a new Lord Chamberlain.
The wand was placed after the Imperial State Crown, the orb and the sceptre were removed from the coffin by the Dean of Windsor and placed on the High Altar.
Charles appeared emotional as Pipe Major Paul Burns of the Royal Regiment of Scotland performed as the service came to an end. The bagpiper played his final lament, “A Salute to the Royal Fendersmith,” while the coffin was lowered into the vault beneath St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
The piper played from the doorway and started to walk slowly toward the Deanery so that the music gradually faded as the coffin was lowered.
Elizabeth “died peacefully” on September 8 at her Balmoral estate in Scotland. She was brought to Edinburgh for a ceremony in her honor and then London. Her four days of lying in state at Westminster Hall came to an end on Monday morning as a procession brought her to Westminster Abbey for a state funeral attended the royal family and by hundreds of world leaders, including President Joe Biden.
Charles appeared emotional as the service came to an end with a performance of “God Save the King.”
After the service in London, a procession brought her coffin to Wellington Arch. Then, the late sovereign’s remains were driven to Windsor, where she will be buried. She was lowered into the royal vault under St George’s Chapel. The family will privately say goodbye when she is buried alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, who died in April 2021.