Queen's final resting place is in lead-lined coffin made from English oak entombed in King George VI Memorial Vault

Oak is often chosen because of its distinctive grain pattern, but in terms of royal coffins, they are often made from oak on the Sandringham Estate

Queen's final resting place is in lead-lined coffin made from English oak entombed in King George VI Memorial Vault
The Crown of Scotland sits atop the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II during a Service of Prayer and Reflection for her life at St Giles' Cathedral on September 12, 2022 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: The Queen of England will be put to rest on September 19 after she breathed her last on Thursday, September 8, at Balmoral castle. Reports say that Her Majesty has been laid inside a coffin constructed from English oak, lined with lead, before she will be entombed in the King George VI Memorial Vault.

It has been said that a lead-lined box is basically “a coffin within a coffin,” which is very massive and will need eight instead of six pallbearers to carry it. However, the coffin is apparently not newly-constructed. It was built “for the Queen more than 30 years ago,” The Times reported, which also stated that “not even Leverton & Sons, the independent family firm of undertakers from Camden, north London, who have worked closely with the royal household on the funeral arrangements, know who made it.”

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Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8 (Photo by Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8 (Photo by Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

In 2018, Director Andrew Leverton reportedly said, “It is made from English oak, which is very difficult to get hold of. Oak coffins are now made from American oak. I don’t think we could use English oak for a coffin now. It would be too expensive.” He also noted, “We have to attend meetings and help with practices. There are practice coffins which are weighted appropriately. We are a relatively small cog in a very big machine. For a normal funeral we have very close contact with the family. We take instructions from the Royal Household, not, obviously, directly from the Royal family.”

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Britain's King Charles III, Britain's Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Britain's Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence walk behind the hearse carrying Queen Elizabeth II's coffin as it moves along the Royal Mile during the procession from Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles' Cathedral on September 12, 2022 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Lesley Martin - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Britain's King Charles III, Britain's Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Britain's Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence walk behind the hearse carrying Queen Elizabeth II's coffin as it moves along the Royal Mile during the procession from Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles' Cathedral on September 12, 2022 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Lesley Martin - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

According to an i article, the reason behind the lead-lined coffin is that it blocks the development of air and moisture. Also, since the Queen will be laid to rest not under the ground, tightly sealed coffins make more sense. Matthew Lymn Rose, managing director of A W Lymn, The Family Funeral Service, told i: “My understanding is that the Queen and all members of the Royal Family have coffins made while alive… so there is no delay, the coffin is there.” He added, “Most people are buried under ground. If you have a coffin vault or a family chamber in a church then that coffin remains above ground and open to the elements. A sealed coffin is very important."

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Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Princess Anne, Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence look during a Service of Prayer and Reflection for the Life of Queen Elizabeth II during a Service of Prayer and Reflection for the Life of Queen Elizabeth II at St Giles' Cathedral on September 12, 2022 in Edinburgh, Scotland.  (Photo by Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Princess Anne, Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence look during a Service of Prayer and Reflection for the Life of Queen Elizabeth II during a Service of Prayer and Reflection for the Life of Queen Elizabeth II at St Giles' Cathedral on September 12, 2022 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

However, Sarah Hayes, Birmingham's Coffin Works museum’s manager, revealed that it is just not members of the royal family who have been buried inside lead-lined coffins. She said, “Winston Churchill also had a lead-lined coffin, so it’s not only the Royal Family, but it does tend to be associated with a person’s social standing or status and the funeral director they choose. JH Kenyon, the royal undertakers until 1991 would have specialised in lead-lined coffins for this reason. They did many high-status funerals, including Churchill’s.”

Hayes added, “Oak and elm seem to have been the chosen woods when it came to making coffins, but in terms of royal coffins, they are often made from oak on the Sandringham Estate. That’s the distinction here, and oak in general is often chosen because of its distinctive grain pattern, but oak isn’t exclusive to royal coffins.”

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