St George’s Chapel: 15th century funeral venue steeped in royal history

Prince Philip’s funeral will take place on Saturday at 3 p.m. at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.

Ceremonial elements begin an hour earlier, including a procession that begins at 2:45 p.m., followed by the arrival of a Land Rover with the coffin and a minute’s silence.

Royal Marines buglers will conduct the War Alert, a tradition sometimes associated with burials at sea, in honor of Philip’s active service in the Royal Navy during World War II.

The last post is played to indicate that “a soldier has taken his last rest”.

A senior palace official said Philip wanted the call to echo in the huge 15th-century chapel when his family gathered for his ceremonial farewell.

The entire funeral will be televised.

The chapel is the resting place of 10 monarchs.

The historic 15th-century Gothic church, located in the lower district of the Queen’s favorite residence, held many royal funerals and weddings.

It was the venue for the wedding of the Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex, in May 2018.

The Duke of Edinburgh, just recovering from hip surgery, was among the 600 guests who gathered to see Harry the Queen and Philip’s grandson married the former American actress in a star-studded ceremony.

It was also the location for Princess Eugenie’s wedding to Jack Brooksbank in October 2018.

As well as being the site of royal celebrations, it was also a place of sadness for the Windsors.

The funeral of Princess Margaret, the Queen’s sister, took place at St. George’s in 2002, as did the private festive service for the Queen Mother that year.

Both are now buried in the tiny George VI Memorial Chapel in the main chapel with the Queen’s father, King George VI, whose funeral took place in St. George’s in 1952.

St George’s Chapel: 15th century funeral venue steeped in royal history 1

The Berkshire Chapel was also the site of the funerals of Princess Alexandra’s husband Sir Angus Ogilvy in 2005 and Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester in 2004.

In the chapel are the graves of 10 rulers – as well as George VI, the remains of Edward IV, Henry VI, Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour, the beheaded Charles I, George III, George IV. , William IV, Edward VII and George V also rest there.

The marriage of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall was blessed in the Gothic setting in 2005, while the Earl and Countess of Wessex were married there in 1999.

The construction of the chapel was started in 1475 by Edward IV and completed in 1528 under Henry VIII.

The chapel is a place of worship for the sovereign and royal family and is often the focus of royal events.

The Windsors gather there every year for Easter services and in the past for occasions such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s 90th birthday service.

Like Westminster Abbey, it is known as the Royal Peculiar, with the Dean of Windsor responsible only to the sovereign.

It is the Chapel of the Order of the Garter, the first order of knights in England.

Each June, royals, who are Knights and Ladies of the Garter, ride in carriages from the state residences of Windsor Castle down the hill to the chapel to attend the traditional ceremony of the Order of the Garter.

They wear their garter robes – heavy blue velvet cloaks and black velvet hats with ornate white ostrich feathers.

On either side of the Quire are the beautifully carved stalls of the Knights and Ladies of the Garter, built between 1478 and 1495.

Last year’s Order of the Garter ceremony was canceled due to the Covid-19 crisis.


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