1. Handwritten note
Nestled among the flowers of the Queen’s funeral wreath was a handwritten card by her son King Charles III, which read: “In loving and devoted memory, Charles R.”
At King Charles’s request, the wreath on top of the Queen’s coffin contains flowers and foliage from the royal properties of Buckingham Palace and Clarence House, in London, and Highgrove House in Gloucestershire. Also at the King’s request, the wreath was sustainable, and affixed in a nest of English moss and oak branches.
The wreath contains myrtle, the ancient symbol of a happy marriage, cut from a plant that was grown from a sprig of myrtle in the Queen’s wedding bouquet in 1947. It also contains rosemary as a symbol of remembrance and English oak, a national symbol of strength, in a nod to the Queen’s constancy and steadfast duty. Other foliage includes pelargoniums, garden roses, autumnal hydrangea, sedum, dahlias, and scabious.
3. The imperial state crown
The late Queen’s sanctified body is represented by the crown, orb and sceptre. The crown, representing the sovereign’s power, has 2,868 diamonds, 269 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds and four rubies. It contains some of the crown jewels’ most precious gems, including the black prince’s ruby, the Stuart sapphire, and the Cullinan II diamond. The St Edward’s sapphire, set in the centre of the topmost cross, is said to have been worn in a ring by St Edward the Confessor and discovered in his tomb in 1163. The crown has been damaged previously – during the transportation of the body of George V, the diamond-encrusted globe which tops the crown, along with the cross and sapphire it supports – snapped off and rolled into a gutter.
The Queen wore the crown when she left Westminster Abbey after her coronation in 1953. The monarch wears the crown for state occasions, including the state opening of parliament.
4. The orb
The golden jewelled ball created, like the sceptre, in 1661, is topped by a gem-encrusted cross. It is meant to remind the monarch that their power is derived from God.
5. The sceptre
The sceptre was created for the coronation of King Charles II, and has been used to represent the crown’s power and governance in every coronation since 1661. In 1910, the Cullinan I diamond was added to the sceptre. Weighing 532.2 carats, it is the largest colourless cut diamond in the world. Cullinan I is the biggest stone cut from the magnificent Cullinan diamond. Discovered in South Africa in 1905, it is the largest uncut diamond ever found.
6. The royal standard flag
The royal standard represents the sovereign and the United Kingdom. The modern incarnation of the flag has four quarters: England (three lions passant) in the first and fourth quarters, Scotland (a lion rampant) in the second quarter and Ireland (a harp) in the third quarter. In Scotland, a different version of the royal standard is used, with Scottish arms in the first and fourth quarters and English arms in the second. Wales is not represented, as its special position as a principality was recognised by the creation of the Prince of Wales long before the incorporation of the quarterings for Scotland and Ireland in the royal arms.