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First picture of Queen’s gravestone revealed as Windsor chapel opens to public

The first picture of the new ledger stone installed at the Queen’s final resting place in Windsor has been released.

Queen Elizabeth II’s name has been inscribed alongside her mother’s, father’s and husband’s on the stone in the King George VI memorial chapel in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, where the monarch was buried.

The black stone slab has been set into the floor after replacing the old stone that had the names George VI and Elizabeth inscribed in gold lettering.

The fresh stone now contains, in list form, “George VI 1895-1952” and “Elizabeth 1900-2002” followed by a metal Garter Star, and then “Elizabeth II 1926-2022” and “Philip 1921-2021”.

All four royals were members of the Order of the Garter, which has St George’s Chapel as its spiritual home. The Order of the Garter is the most senior knighthood in the British honours system, outranked in precedence only by the Victoria Cross and the George Cross. It was founded by Edward III in 1348.

The stone is made from hand-carved Belgian black marble with brass letter inlays, to match the previous ledger stone. The picture, released by Buckingham Palace, shows the stone surrounded by floral tributes and wreaths.

The Queen’s burial site is opening to visitors next week as Windsor Castle reopens to the public following her funeral. People can pay their respects at St George’s Chapel from 29 September.

The Queen was laid to rest with the Duke of Edinburgh on Monday evening in a private service attended by the King and the royal family, which followed her state funeral at Westminster Abbey and committal service in Windsor.

When Philip died 17 months ago at the age of 99, his coffin was interred in the royal vault of St George’s, ready to be moved to the memorial chapel – a pale stone annexe added to the north side of the building behind the North Quire Aisle in 1969 – when the Queen died.

The Queen was laid to rest with her late husband, Prince Philip (PA)
The Queen was laid to rest with her late husband, Prince Philip (PA)

The Queen’s sister 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 weeks later.

The King George VI memorial chapel, which sits within the walls of St George’s Chapel, was commissioned by the Queen in 1962 as a burial place for her father King George VI, and designed by George Pace and finished in 1969.

The chapel will reopen to visitors next week on all days the castle is open to the public, excluding Sundays when it is only open for worshippers.

The royal family is continuing its period of mourning for the Queen, to be observed until seven days after the funeral.

King Charles was pictured with his red box for the first time in photos released this week. The image shows the King carrying out official government duties in the Eighteenth Century Room at Buckingham Palace last week.

Red boxes contain papers from government ministers in the UK and the realms, as well as Commonwealth representatives.

The King with his red box in Buckingham Palace (PA)
The King with his red box in Buckingham Palace (PA)

Documents are sent from the private secretary’s office to the King, wherever he is around the world, in a locked red despatch box. These include papers that require a signature, briefing documents and information about forthcoming meetings.