Why Conspiracy Theorists Are Convinced The Queen's Body Is Not In The Official Royal Coffin

When Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96 on September 8, 2022, it set into motion a series of carefully orchestrated protocols that had last been exercised when her father, King George VI, died in 1952. This time around, the British government dubbed the intricate system of handling the queen's death "Operation London Bridge." From secretive communiques to inform the royal family of the queen's death to Prince Charles' ascension to the throne, every step needed to go off without a hitch.

However, the most public part of Operation London Bridge was the transport of Queen Elizabeth's coffin. First, it had to make a six-hour journey from her Balmoral estate where she died to Edinburgh, per the BBC. The queen's coffin entered the Palace of Holyroodhouse in the Scottish capital, where it was greeted by a ceremonial guard procession with members of the royal family close behind. From there, it was flown to London where the coffin will lie in state at the Palace of Westminster for four days until her state funeral on September 19, 2022 at Westminster Abbey. 

Every step of the way, mourners flooded the roadside in silence — and sometimes cheers — to pay their respects to the queen, per The Washington Post. When the doors at Westminster Hall opened for members of the public to observe the queen's coffin, thousands of visitors along the River Thames stretched three miles long, according to NBC News.

Some people have a more basic question

The queen's coffin was constructed more than 30 years ago, Leverton & Sons, which serves as the funeral directors to the royal family, told The Times (via USA Today). The coffin, which is made from English oak and lined with lead to slow decomposition, has traveled through the Scottish countryside, into Glasgow, on multiple flights, into Buckingham Palace, and over to Westminster Hall before burial. And for all the eyes that have fallen upon that coffin, now draped in the Royal Standard, there's a more basic question, at least among some conspiracy theorists: Is Queen Elizabeth even in her coffin?

According to Newsweek, this question has been hotly debated in forums and on social media ever since images of the coffin's travels began surfacing. "Who would want to subject their deceased mum through all that back and forth?" one Twitter user wrote, claiming the queen's body was "in mortuary somewhere"... "It's just formality for the public ... Sorry guys to disappoint." 

Some worried about accidents. Others suggested having her body in the coffin made her a target for terrorism. And with 1,749 votes on a Twitter poll asking the question by one user, more than 78% of respondents believe the queen is not in the coffin. Newsweek reached out to Buckingham Palace for comment but never heard back. Perhaps that's because the allegations are so ridiculous the palace doesn't think the question is worth an answer. But conspiracy theorists might say there's no comment because the palace has been found out.