Where Is Queen Elizabeth Buried—and Can You Visit Her Grave?
The world mourned with the royal family after Elizabeth’s II death, but where is the queen buried? Here’s what you need to know about her final resting place.
Believe it or not, it’s been almost a full year since Queen Elizabeth’s death on Sept. 8, 2022. And given the late monarch’s popularity, millions of people will likely think of her on the anniversary of that day and on their next visit to England, and they may even want to pay their respects in person. But where is Queen Elizabeth buried—and can you actually visit her gravesite?
While 29 million Brits and 11.4 million Americans watched Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, there was more to it than was televised. The official ceremonies for Britain’s longest-reigning monarch took place at Westminster Abbey, followed by a private service at a chapel on the grounds of Windsor Palace … but is that her final resting place? Whether you’re a royal fan planning a trip across the pond or you’re simply curious, read on to learn the answer, as well as what the choice of her burial site means for King Charles II and other members of the royal family.
Get Reader’s Digest’s Read Up newsletter for more royals, humor, cleaning, travel, tech and fun facts all week long.
Where is Queen Elizabeth buried?
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II is buried at Windsor Castle—specifically, in the King George VI Memorial Chapel, located inside St. George’s Chapel. She was laid to rest during a private ceremony, attended by King Charles and the closest members of the royal family, after the televised events that took place at London’s Westminster Abbey.
The oldest and largest occupied castle in the world, Windsor Castle was built by William the Conqueror, starting around 1070, originally to guard the western approach to London. It has since served as the home of 40 monarchs and is now one of the best-known estates of the British monarchy. St George’s Chapel itself was constructed from 1475 to 1528, and it is the final resting place of 10 former British monarchs, to date.
While Queen Elizabeth II’s burial in Windsor was a private matter, you might recognize the chapel from her late husband Prince Philip‘s funeral in 2021. St George’s Chapel is also regularly used for happier occasions, like royal weddings. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot here in 2018, as did Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank a year later.
Who is buried alongside Queen Elizabeth?
Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest alongside her husband, Prince Philip; her parents, George VI and the Queen Mother; and her sister, Princess Margaret. It was, as royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams says, “a family reunion.” When the late monarch died, Prince Philip was removed from the Royal Vault at Windsor Castle and laid next to her. “The procedure had been planned long beforehand,” explains Fitzwilliams. “It was always clear that they would be back together.”
After Elizabeth II’s passing, of course, Charles became king and Camilla Parker Bowles became queen. While there is no official information available on whether they will join the rest of the family in St George’s Chapel after they pass, Fitzwilliams thinks it’s “likely that present and future monarchs will be buried at Windsor too.”
Can you visit the queen’s grave?
Yes. Queen Elizabeth’s final resting place is open to the public all year round. But knowing the right answer to “Where is Queen Elizabeth buried?” is only the first step to accessing her memorial site. You’ll need to plan ahead if you want to pay your respects to the late monarch by booking a timed ticket for Windsor Castle. Access to the royal estate (including St George’s Chapel) is possible on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday for $35, and your ticket also includes all the royal state apartments, ceremonial rooms and historic rooms.
Once inside the castle, you can spend as much time as you’d like at Queen Elizabeth’s grave, marked by a modest ledger stone where her name has been inscribed alongside her parents’ and husband’s names. Alternatively, visitors are invited to attend one of the three daily services at St George’s Chapel. While you obviously can’t wander around during the mass, you will still get a peek at Queen Elizabeth’s grave—for free.
What is the significance of her burial site?
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II was very fond of Windsor Castle during her lifetime. “She spent a significant amount of time in her childhood and teen years at Windsor and was very happy there. Buckingham Palace is a bit large; Windsor has more of an intimacy,” says Fitzwilliams. “As a monarch, she was there during the war and later in life for the majority of her weekends. And she was based in Windsor full-time during her final years. It was a very special place for her.”
The late queen was regularly pictured attending Sunday church services in Windsor, riding her horse and walking her corgis. Given the large amount of time she spent there over the decades and the fact that her parents and husband were already buried here, it’s not surprising that she chose Windsor as her final resting place.
What does the queen wear in her coffin?
While the queen’s burial site is not a secret, her final outfit is. However, prior to her funeral, royal experts speculated that the beloved British monarch, who was known for her large collection of colorful hats and purses, would be buried in a modest outfit chosen by herself. “She always paid close attention to her clothing, so this is a detail which … she’ll have chosen,” royal fashion expert Bethan Holt, author of The Queen: 70 years of Majestic Style, told Yahoo! Life in 2022.
And Lisa Levinson, head of communications at the Natural Diamond Council, speculated that Elizabeth II was likely buried with very little jewelry: “Her Majesty is an incredibly humble woman at heart who is unlikely to be dressed in anything but her simple Welsh gold wedding band to rest and a pair of pearl earrings.” She was not buried with the British crown jewels, in case you were wondering; they are part of the Royal Collection and were passed on to King Charles after his mother’s death.
Where are other prominent royal family members buried?
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
While “Where is Queen Elizabeth buried?” is most royal fans’ No. 1 question, you might also be wondering where the graves of other well-known members of the family can be found. King Charles’s former wife, Princess Diana, might have been the star of the British royal family before her tragic death in 1997, but her final resting place is the most private. She is buried on an island in an ornamental lake in her childhood home in Northamptonshire, north of London. Known as The Oval at Althorp House, it is surrounded by trees the late Princess of Wales herself and her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, planted.
Most other royals rest in places accessible to the public. A total of 11 monarchs—including Elizabeth II’s grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary—have their graves in Windsor. Westminster Abbey, on the other hand, is the final resting place of 30 kings and queens, including Henry III, who built the cathedral.
About the expert
- Richard Fitzwilliams is one of Britain’s most prominent royal experts. He has followed the lives of the royal family for decades and regularly shares his expertise in media outlets around the world.
- Royal.uk: “St George’s Chapel”
- Westminster Abbey: “Royal Tombs”
- Reuters: “Queen Elizabeth’s funeral watched by 11.4 million people in U.S.”
- The Guardian: “More than 29m people in UK watched Queen’s funeral, TV data shows”
- Metro: “What jewels will the Queen be buried in?”
- iNews: “Where is Princess Diana buried?”
- Yahoo! Life: “What will the Queen wear to be buried—and what jewels will she be buried with?”