THE Imperial State Crown, Orb and Sceptre, have been removed from the Queen’s coffin and placed onto the altar of St George’s Chapel by the Dean of Windsor.

The final hymn was sung as the King prepared to drape the Queen’s Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on the coffin.

What is the Orb?

The Orb, like the Sceptre, dates back to the 17th-century and is a major part of the coronation ceremony of each monarch.

The Orb is seen as a symbol that the monarch’s power comes from God. Both items were last used at the Queen’s coronation in 1953.

The jewelled bands of the piece are meant to represent the three known continents at the time of its creation.

The National: The coffin of Queen Elizabeth, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign's Orb and SceptreThe coffin of Queen Elizabeth, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign's Orb and Sceptre (Image: PA)

Both the Orb and Sceptre will appear again at King Charles’s coronation.

“The Orb that the monarch carries stands for Christian sovereignty and, since the Reformation, his or her headship of the Church of England,” explained Tracy Borman, author of Crown & Sceptre: A New History of the British Monarchy.

What was the stick which was broken in two?

The National: The Orb is removed from the coffinThe Orb is removed from the coffin (Image: PA)

Once in place, the colour of the Grenadier Guards was accompanied by the Lord Chamberlain’s Wand of Office, which he symbolically broke.

The purpose of breaking the wand is to create a symmetry with the three Instruments of State that had been removed from the coffin.

What happened after that?

The Queen’s coffin was lowered into the Royal Vault of St George’s Chapel.

As the coffin was lowered, the Dean of Windsor recited Psalm 103, which
includes the traditional line: “Go forth upon thy journey from this world, O Christian soul”.

He also offered the commendation – a prayer in which the deceased is entrusted to God’s mercy.

The Garter King of Arms then pronounced the styles and titles of the Queen.

The Sovereign Piper

The service ended with the Sovereign Piper playing the lament A Salute to the Royal Fendersmith from the doorway between the chapel and the dean’s cloister, with the music gradually fading away as he walked towards the deanery.

The Archbishop of Canterbury then concluded the service with a blessing before the congregation sang God Save the King.