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Prince Philip’s final resting place

Laura Elston
·2 min read

Following his funeral, the Duke of Edinburgh will be privately interred in the Royal Vault of St George’s Chapel – but this will not be his final resting place.

When the Queen dies, Philip will be transferred to the gothic church’s King George VI memorial chapel to lie alongside his devoted wife of 73 years.

The tiny chapel houses the remains of the Queen’s father George VI, her mother the Queen Mother and sister Princess Margaret.

The chapel
The George VI Memorial Chapel where the Queen Mother was interred in 2002 (Tim Ockeneden/PA)

The central feature of the pale stone annexe, which was added on to the north side of St George’s behind the North Quire Aisle in 1969, is a black stone slab set into the floor.

It is inscribed with “George VI” and “Elizabeth” in gold lettering and accompanied by their years of birth and death.

Watch: The wonderful life of Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh

On Saturday, the Queen and close members of her family will gather privately after the funeral as the duke’s coffin is interred in the Royal Vault – a burial place set beneath St George’s Chapel – for the time being.

It will be placed on a marble slab in the Quire and lowered into the Vault by electric motor.

The Quire of St George's Chapel - beneath which is the Royal Vault
The Quire of St George’s Chapel – beneath which is the Royal Vault (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Royal Vault at Windsor was created between 1804 and 1810 for George III, who died in 1820 and is one of three kings buried there.

Also interred in the vault are George IV and William IV.

Others buried there include George III’s wife Queen Charlotte and their daughter Princess Amelia, George IV’s daughter Princess Charlotte and Queen Victoria’s father the Duke of Kent.

Princess Margaret, who died in 2002, was cremated and her ashes were initially placed in the Royal Vault, before being moved to the George VI memorial chapel with her parents’ coffins when the Queen Mother died just weeks later.

The princess wanted to be cremated because she found the alternative royal burial ground at Frogmore in Windsor Great Park too “gloomy”.

The George VI Memorial Chapel in St George's Chapel
The George VI Memorial Chapel in St George’s Chapel (Tim Ockenden/PA)

Lady Glenconner – a lifelong friend of the princess – said in 2002 that the princess preferred the memorial chapel instead.

“She told me that she found Frogmore very gloomy,” Lady Glenconner said. “I think she’d like to be with the late King, which she will now be. There’s room I think for her to be with him now.”

George VI died in 1952, but was first interred in the Royal Vault and moved to the memorial chapel when it was built 17 years later.

Watch: Prince Edward - 'It’s still a dreadful shock'