Queen Elizabeth's Coffin Topped with Note from King Charles

·3 min read

King Charles III is saying goodbye to his mother.

The new King, 73, wrote the handwritten note nestled within the flowers that topped Queen Elizabeth's coffin at her state funeral at Westminster Abbey in London on Monday.

As seen within the colorful wreath, which featured flowers chosen by Charles from three royal residences, the white card on royal letterhead read "In loving and devoted memory, Charles R."

The State Funeral Of Queen Elizabeth II
The State Funeral Of Queen Elizabeth II

Phil Noble/Getty

The King's new signature comes with his new place as sovereign. The "R" after his name stands for "Rex," which means "King" in Latin, the traditional signature for the monarch dating back to the 12th century. When used by Queens, the "R" stands for "Regina," or "Queen" in Latin. During her historic reign, Queen Elizabeth would sign official communications as "Elizabeth R."

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The loving gesture follows tradition within the royal family. At Prince Philip's funeral in April 2021, the Queen similarly tucked a handwritten note within the white flowers that crowned her husband's coffin. In a sentimental gesture, the monarch signed the card "Lilibet" — her childhood nickname.

A note from the queen placed on Prince Philip’s coffin at the funeral service of Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
A note from the queen placed on Prince Philip’s coffin at the funeral service of Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

NBC Queen Elizabeth's handwritten letter to Prince Philip

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Philip is thought to be the last person who called her by her childhood moniker.

At the time, the palace would not comment on the personal detail as it was "private."

As seen inside Westminster Abbey Monday, the Queen's coffin was draped in the Royal Standard, on which was laid the Imperial State Crown, orb and sceptre, plus the wreath and note.

In a poignant touch, the bright arrangement included foliage cut from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Charles' country home of Highgrove House.

Charles, Camila, Harry Meghan
Charles, Camila, Harry Meghan

BBC America

Rosemary was included for remembrance as well as myrtle, the 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. Almost 75 years ago, the Queen walked the same aisle in Westminster to marry Prince Philip.

Also in the arrangement was English oak, which symbolizes the strength of love, and scented pelargoniums: garden roses, autumnal hydrangea, sedum, dahlias and scabious in shades of gold, pink and deep burgundy with touches of white to match the Royal Standard.

Reflecting Charles' commitment to the environment, the wreath was made in a sustainable way, in a nest of English moss and oak branches and without the use of floral foam.

RELATED: When Will King Charles' Coronation Take Place?

The State Funeral Of Queen Elizabeth II
The State Funeral Of Queen Elizabeth II


Queen Elizabeth's funeral service concluded at about noon local time. Then her coffin moved from Westminster Abbey to the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy, for transport to the Wellington Arch in Hyde Park. Her family will follow behind for the 1 ½ mile journey, escorted by detachments of the Armed Forces of the Commonwealth.

During the somber march, the King's Troop fired guns in Hyde Park and Big Ben will toll.

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At Wellington Arch (the original entrance to Buckingham Palace), the coffin will move into the State Hearse. The car will drive an hour west to Windsor Castle, where the Queen will be buried at St. George's Chapel.

When the hearse takes off, bound for Her Majesty's final resting place, the parade will give a royal salute, and "God Save the King" will play.

King Charles and his family will then depart in cars for Windsor, where the Queen will be privately interred at St. George's Chapel this evening.