Stunning picture of the cortege as it approaches St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. The soldiers lined the streets right until the steps of St. George’s and the Marines mechanically pulled the gun carriage with the King’s coffin. The vivid colours of the Royal Standard sharply contrasted with the dark colours of the uniforms and made the attention focus on it during the day. Behind the gun carriage comes a Windsor landau which carried HM Queen Elizabeth II, HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, HRH Princess Margaret and HRH the Princess Royal and, behind, the long cortege of royalty and statesmen.
Dramatic picture as the coffin, followed closely by the two Queens and the two Princesses, goes up the staircase of St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. The staircase was lined with flowers left by dignitaries and the public. On the Government’s wreath it was possible to read Sir Winston Churchill’s handwritten tribute: “In loyal and affectionate memory of their august Sovereign King George VI, the royal founder of the George Cross, with humble duty from Her Majesty's Government”. The flowers, as does George’s Cross, designed the words “For Gallantry”.
The cortege enters St. George’s Chapel. It is clearly possible to see the Crown Jewels above the King’s coffin, as well as Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s wreath, of white orchids, lilies and carnations, which read “For darling Bertie, from his always loving Elizabeth”. Behind the two Queens and Princesses, the four royal dukes and the foreign kings are easily recognizable.
Amidst the historic walls of St. George’s and the regal banners of the Knights of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the King’s coffin was placed in the catafalque, which stood over an elevator conducting directly to the Royal Crypt. The members of the Royal Family stood during the short service, in the Quire. In the picture, the Royal Standard and the Crown Jewels had already been taken from the coffin, in preparation of the burial.
The final pictures of a historic day. In the splendour of the royal chapel, the King’s coffin dramatically disappeared from everyone’s sight and the new Queen came forward for some seconds. Simultaneously, the Garter King of Arms, in his magnificent tunic, cried loudly: “God Save the Queen!” It was the beginning of a new Elizabethan Era.