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A History of the Burials at Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle needs no introduction This castle is probably the most famous royal residence in the entire world, and for good reason. It's been around for centuries and is packed with history. Tourists flock to see this amazing castle, and there's a ton to see inside, including St. George's Chapel, the resting place of many monarchs such as Queen Elizabeth II.

History of Windsor Castle burials

windsor castle

Early burials at Windsor Castle

King Henry VI was the first to be buried at Windsor Castle in 1484. He was followed by King Edward IV in 1483 and Queen Elizabeth Woodville in 1492. Following his execution in 1649, Charles I was buried in a small vault in the center of the choir, which also contained the coffins of Henry VIII and Queen Jane in 1547.

Windsor Castle

Notable figures buried at Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle safely houses the remains of countless British monarchs, including Edward VII (1910), George V (1936), and George VI (1952), and royal family members, including the stillborn son (1698) of Queen Anne and Prince George. Queen Elizabeth II (2022) was also buried here.

Who is buried at St George's Chapel?

A portrait of Edward IV

Monarchs

There are over 10 monarchs who are interred at various parts of St George's Chapel. Some monarchs buried at Windsor Castle include:

  • King Edward IV (1483)
  • King Henry VI (1484)
  • King Henry VIII (1547)
  • King Edward VII (1910)
  • Queen Elizabeth II (2022)
George III

Royal family members

All royal family members are buried in Windsor Castle’s St George’s Chapel or Frogmore Royal Burial Grounds. Family members buried at St George's Chapel include:

  • Mary of York (1482)
  • Prince Edward (1820)
  • Prince Leopold (1884)
  • Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (2002)
  • Prince Philip (2022)

Who is buried at Frogmore Royal Burial Grounds?

windsor castle burials

When the Royal Vault under St George's Chapel was becoming full, King George V allowed the Frogmore Royal Burial Grounds to serve as the final resting place for future royal burials. Since then, only British sovereigns and those in the direct line of succession were buried in the Royal Vault.

Many royal family members who were previously buried at St George's Chapel were moved to the grounds following this. These include Queen Victoria's children (Princess Helena, Prince Arthur, and Princess Louise). Other royal family members include:

  • Prince Edward (1972)
  • Prince Henry (1974)
  • Princess Marina (1968)
  • Princess Alice (2004)



Windsor Castle tickets & tours

Access to Windsor Castle burial sites

Tour guide talking to a group of tourists

Guided tours and visitor experience

Guided tours to Windsor Castle provide access to St George’s Castle where you can see the burial sites of royal family members. Guided tours to the Frogmore Burial Grounds are open to the public only during August and on three Charity Open Days, usually around Easter and the August Bank Holiday.

No smoking sign
Restrictions and guidelines

Smoking, vaping, and the use of electronic cigarettes are restricted on Windsor Castle grounds. Other items include pen knives, knives, scissors, Kirpans (the Sikh article of faith), alcoholic drinks, and paints/aerosols.

Frequently Asked Questions about Windsor Castle burials

Are there any unique customs associated with royal burials at Windsor Castle?

There are many unique customs associated with royal burials at Windsor Castle. The most interesting one is when royal members were buried in the Royal Vault, the coffin was lowered through a special opening on the floor of St George’s Chapel. In 1873, a mechanical platform was installed to help lower coffins through this opening. There is also a bench in the middle of the Royal Vault, used as a temporary place for coffins to be buried elsewhere. 

How are restoration and preservation efforts managed for the burial sites at Windsor Castle?

The air-tight coffins in the vaults are lined with lead to prevent moisture from entering, slowing the decomposition process. Regular cleaning, repairs, and furnishing are done at both burial sites to preserve their beauty and integrity.

What interesting facts or anecdotes are associated with Windsor Castle burials?

St George’s Chapel, the burial site within Windsor Castle, isn’t just home to the tombs of countless kings and queens. With a seating capacity of 800 people, it is also the largest space in Windsor Castle.

Can I visit Queen Elizabeth II's grave?

Yes, you can visit Queen Elizabeth II's grave at St George's Chapel all year round from Thursday to Monday. However, be respectful of the site as this is the final resting place of several other sovereigns and royal family members including the Queen's husband, Prince Philip, her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, and her sister, Princess Margaret.

Why was Princess Diana not buried at Windsor Castle?

Princess Diana was given a royal funeral. However, her body was not placed in the Royal Vault at St George's Chapel since she was not a princess by birth and was divorced from King Charles at the time of her death. Instead, she was buried at Althorp House, the Spencer family home in Northamptonshire.