Julie Ann Tadeo, a history research professor at the University of Maryland, said that as a coffin material, “lead helps keep moisture out, preserve the body longer, and prevent odors and toxins from escaping from the corpse.” “Her coffin was on display for days and made the long journey to its final resting place.”
Taddeo noted that the added weight required eight pallbearers instead of the usual six.
In 1901, soldiers carry the coffin of a deceased British monarch after the horse pulling Queen Victoria’s catafalque was terrorized and nearly spilled her coffin into the street. Winston Churchill, who received his last state funeral in Britain before Elizabeth on Monday, also had a lead-lined coffin. Pasketbearer Lincoln Perkins told the BBC that it was so heavy that some pallbearers had to pause on a few steps. As the coffin fell onto the two “pusher” behind it to keep it from falling, Perkins said aloud to the corpse, “Don’t worry, sir, we I will take care of you.”
“I could practically feel him slipping off my shoulder,” Perkins said. “If we had dropped him… I don’t know what would have happened. It’s very embarrassing, but we didn’t.”
Elizabeth’s coffin was buried Monday night in the vault of King George VI Memorial Chapel, part of St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. She sleeps next to her parents, her sister, and her late husband Prince Philip, who died last year.
The conservation measures are reminiscent of those used by the ancient high-ranking Egyptians. Egyptians were also placed in chambers rather than buried in the ground, and their bodies were perfectly preserved.And the wealthy Egyptians of antiquity often buried According to Taddeo, the Queen was reportedly buried with only a wedding ring made of Welsh gold and a pair of pearl earrings.
Such austerity meant that Elizabeth, known for her frugality and acceptance of mediocrity, was buried with fewer belongings than some of her predecessors. Queen Victoria was buried with photographs of her husband’s gown and handprints, a lock of hair, and one of her favorite servants with whom she was rumored to have been romantically involved. , made up of about 3,000 diamonds and dozens of other gemstones, was removed from the top of the coffin and placed on the burial altar.
The use of lead in coffins is a “long-standing royal tradition,” said Professor Mike Parker Pearson of the Institute of Archeology at University College London. He said that the embalmed corpse of Edward I, who died in 1307, was “found well preserved in a marble sarcophagus in Westminster Abbey in 1774.” He added that the practice of using was probably adopted around the time of Edward’s death, or in the centuries that followed.
The previous king had not been embalmed, he said. The corpse of William the Conqueror, who died in 1087, appears to have decayed so badly that it bloated when the monks tried to stuff his body into “a stone coffin that proved too small for his bulk.” “The mourners supposedly ran for the door to escape the putrid stench.”
William’s “swollen intestines ruptured and an unbearable stench hit the nostrils of bystanders and the entire crowd”. According to the Benedictine monk Odalic Vitalis, Who recorded Anglo-Norman England.