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Why Queen Elizabeth II’s Catafalque Holds Great Significance
By LIV BRINKLEY
History - Science
Queen Elizabeth II’s death on September 8, at the age of 96, has precipitated a celebration of her life and legacy, full of pomp and circumstance truly fit for the longest-reigning monarch in British history. Part of that celebration involves something called a catafalque — a raised platform on which the coffin of a noteworthy person is placed so that the public can better view it.
In the case of the queen, the catafalque is playing a role in enabling the public to view her coffin during the lying-in-state period, which began on September 14 and will continue until her funeral on September 19. The queen's coffin — now on the catafalque — rests in the exact same spot as her father's, grandfather's, and great-grandfather's coffins.
In fact, before being placed on the catafalque by eight pallbearers, the late monarch’s coffin was borne by the same horse-drawn carriage that carried her father's remains. The catafalque was seen draped in purple, with four yellow candles, one at each corner, as the first vigil — carried out by four Household Cavalry officers — took place.