Queen Elizabeth II's lying-in-state: The solemn tradition explained

Published on Sep 14, 2022 03:09 PM IST

Queen Elizabeth II Funeral: Lying-in-state is an honour which is accorded to sovereigns, current or past queen consorts.

Queen Elizabeth II Funeral: The Koh-i-noor, or "mountain of light," diamond, set in the Maltese Cross at the front of the crown made for Britain's late Queen Mother Elizabeth, is seen on her coffin.(AP)
Queen Elizabeth II Funeral: The Koh-i-noor, or "mountain of light," diamond, set in the Maltese Cross at the front of the crown made for Britain's late Queen Mother Elizabeth, is seen on her coffin.(AP)

Queen Elizabeth II will lie-in-state from Wednesday ahead of the monarch's funeral on Monday. Britons are expected to file past her coffin to pay their respects. Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully last Thursday. She was 96.

What is the tradition of ‘lying-in-state’?

Lying-in-state is an honour which is accorded to sovereigns, current or past queen consorts. Since 1910, when King Edward VII lay-in-state in British parliament's Westminster Hall, all sovereigns have lain in state at the historical 900-year old hall. The closed casket will lie at the centre of the hall on a raised platform- or catafalque- draped in purple. The Imperial State Crown will be atop as a representation of spiritual and temporal power, AFP reported.

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Who was the last person to lie-in-state in the UK?

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, who died on 30 March, 2002, lay-in-state in Westminster Hall for 10 days before her funeral. Previous monarchs to lie-in-state in Westminster Hall include: Edward VII (1910); George V, the grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II (1936); and her father, George VI (1952).

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Where did earlier sovereigns lie-in-state?

During the 19th century monarchs lay in state in Windsor Castle. In instructions before her death, Queen Victoria specifically requested that there should be no public lying-in-state.

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