The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is made of English oak and is lined with lead. It was built decades ago, according to British media reports on Monday. She is the United Kingdom’s longest-reigning monarch. Sky News reported that the coffin is made of oak from the Royal Family’s Sandringham Estate. Reportedly, it is a royal tradition.
Over three decades ago, it was originally built by the specialist firm Henry Smith, said some other media reports. In 2005, Henry Smith was taken over by another firm. And hence the records of the exact date that the casket was made were lost.
Since its manufacture, it has been in storage under the care of two different companies. These firms have been responsible for royal funerals.
The coffin has two parts. The internal portion of lead poured over a simple inner coffin of wood. That is then placed inside the outer casket constructed of English oak. Because of this combination, Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin is much heavier than a normal coffin. It requires eight pallbearers to carry it instead of the normal six. They will be from the Armed Forces.
The practice of encasing Royal Family members in lead coffins dates back hundreds of years. Using lead allows the casket to be sealed. In other words, it keeps out moisture and slows the decomposition process for up to a year longer than would normally occur.
Since lead doesn’t decay, the airtightness of the casket is not compromised. It also keeps any smells and gases from escaping. Both these qualities are important when interring a body above ground as will be the case with Queen Elizabeth II. Her final resting place will be in the royal vault called King George VI Memorial Chapel.
Ex-Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Prince Philip and Princess Diana all had such coffins made for them.