Yesterday, the Queen was lowered into the Royal Vault at St George’s Chapel in Windsor. The committal was streamed for the world to see the Queen placed into the vault along with her other family members. But how many people are in the Royal Vault?

Millions watched yesterday as the Queen’s coffin was lowered in the Royal Vault in St George’s Chapel. A more intimate 800 guests attended the ceremony, compared to the 2000 people that were invited to the funeral earlier in the day. The vault, which is over 200 years old, has seen many Royals laid to rest there.

Who is buried in the Royal Vault?

Excluding Prince Philip and the Queen, who have been inferred into the King George Memorial Chapel, 24 members of the Royal Family are buried in the Royal Vault.

Just last year, the Queen’s husband, Prince Phillip, was lowered into the vault during his funeral. However, like the sovereign, this was not his final resting place. The Royal Vault has been the temporary place for many members of the Royal Family, including Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Alice. In fact, the most recent burial in the vault was permanent was Princess Augusta, who was laid to rest in the vault in 1930. The Princess was the great-granddaughter of George III, who commissioned the building of the vault 122 years earlier.

The first to be placed in the vault was Princess Amelia, the daughter of George III, who died in 1810. Since then, the list is as follows:

Princess Augusta (d.1813), stillborn son of Princess Charlotte (d.1817), Princess Charlotte (d.1817), Queen Charlotte (d.1818), Prince Edward (d.1820), King George III (d.1820), Prince Alfred (placed in vault 1820), Prince Octavius (placed in vault 1820), Princess Elizabeth (d.1821), Prince Frederik (d.1827), King George IV (d.1830), still-born daughter of Prince Ernest August (d.1818), King William IV (d.1837), Princess Sophia (d.1840), Queen Adelaide (d.1849), Prince Frederik (d.1876), King George V of Hanover (d.1878), Victoria von Pawel Rammingen (d.1881), Princess Mary Adelaide (d.1897), Prince Francis (d. 1900), Princess Friederika (d.1926), Prince Adolphus (placed in vault 1930), Princess Augusta (placed in vault 1930).

Photo by JONATHAN BRADY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

How big is the Royal Vault?

The Express reports that the vault is 70 feet long and 28 metres wide. Stone-lined, the chamber can hold up to 44 people within it. 32 coffins are held in the walls and 12 are held in the centre of the vault.

As with the Queen yesterday, part of the flooring in the chapel is removed to provide access to the vault. An electric lift then lowers the coffin underground and moved down a corridor before being placed in the vault.

The vault is 16 metres below St George’s Chapel and is beneath the chapel’s altar.

The vault was intended to hold both senior and junior royals. With the Queen’s reign being over 70 years, she is undeniably a senior royal. Yet, as per her wishes, she has been moved to the Memorial Chapel with her family.

Who looks after the Royal Vault?

The Royal Family has specially employed caretakers who look after the Royal Vault. They, along with members of the family, are the only ones permitted into the vault. Therefore, not much else is publicly known about it. St George’s Chapel is open for the public to attend services and visit, but the Royal Vault cannot be accessed

The chamber is a private place of remembrance for the Royal Family, however, memorial markers are in place in the chapel for the public to pay their respects.

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