Queen's Tombstone Can Be Seen by Public as Royal Residences Set to Reopen

Members of the public will soon be able to view the tombstone of Queen Elizabeth II as Britain's royal residences prepare to reopen following a period of national mourning, according to reports.

Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, closed to the public on September 8 when news that the queen had died while staying at her Scottish home of Balmoral Castle was announced.

The locations, which were formerly referred to as the "official residences of Her Majesty The Queen," are set to reopen in stages from September 22 under the banner of "official residences of His Majesty The King."

The Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Queen's Gallery, Edinburgh will reopen to visitors on Thursday, September 22. Windsor Castle is set to welcome visitors starting Thursday, September 29.

Queen Elizabeth II Tombstone St George's Chapel
Queen Elizabeth II's coffin entering St. George's Chapel, Windsor, September 19, 2022. The queen (inset), November 12, 2017. Elizabeth has been buried in the King George VI Memorial Chapel inside St. George's. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images/Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Where is The Queen Buried?

Queen Elizabeth II is buried at St. George's Chapel, Windsor which sits in the precincts of the ancient Windsor Castle.

The castle was the late queen's main residence in the last years of her life, having moved there from Buckingham Palace to quarantine with her husband Prince Philip, during the COVID pandemic in 2020.

Windsor is where the queen spent most weekends throughout her 70-year reign and it has been described as the "family home" of the royals, whereas Buckingham Palace has been considered more the "office."

The queen's body was laid to rest at St. George's Chapel following the state funeral at Westminster Abbey on September 19. Whereas a large number of world leaders attended the funeral, a smaller, more intimate number of extended family and staff attended a committal service at Windsor in the evening.

St George's Chapel, Windsor
St George's Chapel, Windsor during the committal service for Queen Elizabeth II on September 19, 2022. There have been Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

St. George's Chapel dates back to the 14th century, having been built by King Edward III, and has been enlarged and refurbished at intermittent periods since then.

The chapel is a "royal peculiar," meaning that it falls under the direct jurisdiction of the monarch, who appoints the chapel's deans and has the final say over matters within the chapel itself.

As of September 2022, there are at least 46 known royal burials within St. George's Chapel, including King Henry VIII and Jane Seymour as well as King George III and Queen Charlotte.

Queen Elizabeth II is buried in a small chapel built onto the side of St. George's known as the George VI Memorial Chapel.

This structure was commissioned by the late queen for the grave of her father King George VI in the 1960s and is where her mother Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and her sister, Princess Margaret's remains are also interred.

The queen's coffin rests in a closed vault below the chapel alongside her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip.

What Does The Queen's Tombstone Say?

The queen's tombstone is made of black marble and is set into the floor of the King George VI Memorial Chapel.

According to the BBC, etched into the black marble are the names of King George VI, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, with the dates they were born and died.

The names of the two couples are separated by a metal garter star, the emblem of the Order of the Garter, Britain's highest order of chivalry.

Occupants of The George VI Memorial Chapel
From left, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, King George VI and Princess Margaret, photographed at Buckingham Palace, November 20, 1947. The five family members rest in the George VI Memorial Chapel at St. George's Chapel, Windsor. Bettmann/Getty Images

Who Can See the Queen's Tombstone?

Members of the public who pay admission to Windsor Castle can also visit St. George's Chapel in the castle precinct.

While visitors will not be allowed to enter the small George VI Memorial Chapel they will be allowed to look in at the interior where the queen's tombstone is visible.

According to Britain's Daily Telegraph, visitors will not be permitted to take flowers into the chapel and no physical book of condolence will be set up with those wishing to do so asked to contribute their memories to the online condolence book instead.