Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Question from Colleen - Was Elizabeth at Mary's funeral

I've checked a couple of sources but for some reason I can seem to find an answer to what I think is a pretty simple question...was Elizabeth present at Mary's funeral?

Thanks in advance!


Anonymous Roland H. said...

No, she wasn't. It was customary for the succeeding monarch not to attend the funeral of the former.

For example, Edward VI wasn't at Henry VIII's burial at Windsor (neither were his 2 sisters). Katharine Parr was there, but she watched the service in private from a viewing box.

April 22, 2009 10:17 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth M. said...

It was usually the custom for the deceased royal person to have a Chief Mourner in place of the monarch. For example, when Queen Jane Seymour died, the chief mourner was her step-daughter Mary Tudor. When Catherine Parr died, the chief mourner was Lady Jane Grey. In this case, the chief mourner for Queen Mary was her cousin, Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox.

April 22, 2009 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Colleen said...

Perfect! Thanks so much Roland and Elizabeth :)

April 22, 2009 10:43 AM  
Anonymous Steph said...

Monarchs never went to the funeral of anyone. Good question though

April 22, 2009 3:17 PM  
Anonymous Roland H. said...

To follow up on this question - does anyone know if the custom has been changed? For example, did the present Queen (Elizabeth II) attend her father's funeral?

I think at George V's funeral, his various sons (including Edward VIII) kept a vigil around their father's casket. Can anyone verify this?

April 24, 2009 9:57 AM  
Blogger Lara said...

There is that famous image of Three Queens in Mourning (George VI's mother, widow and daughter), which I think was taken during the funeral ceremonies, although I'm not sure at what point.

April 24, 2009 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Marilyn R said...

Yes, nowadays the new monarch does attend the late monarch's funeral. As Roland says, the princes of the immediate family keep vigil over the coffin in Westminster Hall at the lying-in-state and walk behind the cortege. The nearest we have seen to such a funeral in the last 50 years was that of the Queen Mother, when Prince Charles and his brothers kept vigil for a few hours.

There is a video on You Tube of the coffin of George V leaving Westminster Abbey on the gun carriage; the new king and his brothers walk behind and we see Queen Mary getting into a coach for the journey to the royal vault at Windsor. (No doubt the funeral of George VI will be on there as well.)

The remarkable photograph Lara mentions of the three queens at the funeral of George VI was taken by Ronald Case who was working for a newspaper and did not make a penny from it; he died last September aged 82. 'Three Queens in Mourning' is regarded as one of the 100 greatest photographs of the twentieth century.

April 24, 2009 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

It was customary for tudor monarchs (royal family) not being allowed to see death..perhaps a belief that seeing death would cause it upon themselves? For example, when Prince Arthur died in 1502 - neither his wife- Catherine of Aragon or his parents - Elizabeth of York and Henry V11 were allowed at the ceremony . Hope this helps.

April 26, 2009 10:31 AM  

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