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LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 22:  Queen Elizabeth II awaits the arrival of  Turkey's President Abdullah Gul and his wife Hayrunnisa Gul at an offical welcoming ceremony on November 22, 2011 in London, England. The President of Turkey is on a five day State visit to the UK.  (Photo by Paul Hackett - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Storied History Of Queen Elizabeth II’s 30-Year-Old Coffin
History - Science
Operation London Bridge — the protocol for handling the queen's death — was set into motion as soon as Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8, 2022, at the age of 96. Unknown to many, the meticulous planning for the protocol following the queen’s demise began shortly after she ascended the throne, and her coffin was ordered and made more than 30 years before she actually passed away.
Queen Elizabeth II's coffin was manufactured by a company called Henry Smith — which closed in 2005 — that had also manufactured coffins for other well-known personalities, including Prince Philip. The detailing on the coffin — especially the fitments that were created to securely hold the orb, scepter, and crown on top of the coffin — was reportedly provided by the now-defunct company Newman Brothers.
The queen's coffin is essentially a coffin within a coffin; where the inner coffin is made of wood and then protected with lead, which is then placed inside an outer coffin. After the queen's coffin was manufactured, it was kept and maintained by JH Kenyon Ltd. and then was transferred to Leverton & Sons in 1991 when the firm was first used by the royal family.
Queen Elizabeth II's coffin was first revealed to the public three days after her death, and the queen’s remains will be transported to Windsor Castle's St. George's Chapel after 10 days of mourning. Within the chapel is the King George VI Memorial Chapel, where Queen Elizabeth II's parents, King George VI and the Queen Mother, are also interred along with Princess Margaret, the queen's sister who died in 2002.