The Washington PostThe Washington Post

An exploding king: Why Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin was lined with lead

By Bryan Pietsch

22 Sep 2022 · 3 min read

Editor's Note

This article delves into the preservation methods surrounding the royal family across the ages.

Queen Elizabeth II's winding final trip from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch to Windsor Castle on Monday weighed heavily on the eight soldiers who bore her coffin at several key moments in the journey - in part because it was lined with lead.

The tradition goes back centuries and began with a practical consideration: to help the bodies of deceased monarchs remain pristine, especially before modern preservation techniques.

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