The Kings and Queens buried at Westminster Abbey across 700 years

Westminster Abbey is playing host to one of the biggest services the UK has ever seen.

Detail from the tomb of King Henry V below Henry V's chantry chapel at the east end of Westminster Abbey. Photo: Nick Ansell/PA Wire
Detail from the tomb of King Henry V below Henry V's chantry chapel at the east end of Westminster Abbey. Photo: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

The Queen's state funeral will be an historic one, as it will be the first time in more than two centuries that a monarch has had their funeral at Westminster Abbey.

After lying in state since Wednesday, the Queen's coffin will be taken in procession from the Palace of Westminster to the nearby Abbey. From there the coffin will travel in procession to Wellington Arch before being taken to Windsor Castle for a committal service in St George's Chapel.

Who was the last monarch to have a funeral at Westminster Abbey?

Surprisingly, it's been a very long time since a monarch had their funeral service at Westminster Abbey. 262 years in fact.

King George II was the recipient in 1760, and his body lies in the Hanoverian burial vault under the central aisle of the Lady Chapel in Westminster Abbey beside his queen Caroline.

The Hanoverian King, who died aged 76, was also the last monarch to be buried at the Abbey. Due of lack of space later monarchs were buried at St George’s chapel, Windsor Castle or in the Frogmore mausoleum in the grounds.

It was 165 years until Queen Alexandra - in 1925 - became the first consort to have their funeral at the Abbey since George II's.

Where have Kings and Queens had their funerals?

King George VI's funeral was held at Windsor Castle

Between the funeral of King George II in 1760 and Queen Elizabeth II's funeral today, every monarch has had their funeral at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

This includes King George III (1820), King George IV (1830), King William IV (1837), Queen Victoria (1901), King Edward VII (1910), King George V (1936), King Edward VIII (1972) and King George VI (1952).

A number of Queen and Prince consorts have also had their funerals at Windsor Castle. These include:

  • Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III (1818)

  • Queen Adelaide, wife of King William IV (1849)

  • Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria (1861)

Queen Alexandra - wife of King Edward VII - had her funeral at Westminster Abbey in 1925. Since then, Queen Mary - widow of King George V - had her funeral at St George's Chapel in 1953, while Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, who died in 2002, widow of King George VI, requested that her funeral be held at Westminster Abbey.

Prince Philip's funeral was held at St George's Chapel in 2021.

Diana, Princess of Wales had her funeral at Westminster Abbey in 1997. Afterwards, by her own wish she was buried at her family home at Althorp, Northamptonshire.

Who is buried at Westminster Abbey?

Edward the Confessor, centre, was the first King to be buried at Westminster Abbey

A total of 30 Kings and Queens have their tombs at Westminster Abbey ,starting with Edward the Confessor whose shrine stands just behind the High Altar.

Henry III, who built the Abbey we see today, is buried near him. Other Kings and Queens buried at the Abbey are:

King Edward I and Eleanor of Castile

King Edward III and Philippa of Hainault

King Richard II and Anne of Bohemia

King Henry V and Catherine of Valois

King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York

King James I and Anne of Denmark

Queen Elizabeth I

Queen Mary I

King Charles II

Queen Anne

Queen Mary II and King William III

Mary Queen of Scots

King Edward VI

George II and Queen Caroline

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