Please forgive my morbid curiousity, but in the 500 years since the death of Queen Elizabeth I has her tomb ever been opened or the body examined ? I’d like to know how she was dressed , and if any jewells were burried with her ? Thank-you

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Elizabeth I was buried at Westminster Abbey on the 28th April 1603 in the vault of her grandfather, King Henry VII. In 1606, King James I had her remains moved to a tomb in the Lady Chapel which she shares with her half-sister, Mary I. As far as I know, her tomb has not been opened since then and I do not know what her body was dressed in, I'm afraid.

2 Responses to “Please forgive my morbid curiousity, but in the 500 years since the death of Queen Elizabeth I has her tomb ever been opened or the body examined ? I’d like to know how she was dressed , and if any jewells were burried with her ? Thank-you”

  1. PETER says:

    In the late 1970’s I was a guest at an evening cocktail party given by The Dean of Westminister- The Rev Edward Carpenter ( http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/obituary-the-rev-edward-carpenter-1174495.html ) in his lodgings at Westminister Abbey.
    I discussed with him the possibility of staging a production of Murder in the Cathedral at the Abbey; and to my surprise he was most supportive and even offered the use of the rostra which had lain in the Abbey, unused, since The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth 11.
    I asked if I could walk through The Abbey to view the area for production and he amazingly allowed me to roam freely with total access to everywhere. This was LATE evening with the Abbey completely closed to the public and dimly lit with only emergency lighting. It was an awesome experience. Unfettered by any restrictions I wandered through this vast complex in absolute awe. I stood silently at the tombs of each of the monarchs of England. There was absolute silence and stillness. It was so surreal. I realised that I was literally in the presence of Elizabeth l, just a few feet from her actual mortal remains, and this was perhaps the most private audience one could get under the circumstances. I have visited there many times during the day but it is always so busy with bustling tourists, but this was SO different. Awesome.
    Having arrived by train from Blackheath, London, where I was living, I realised by the time I had returned to the party that I had missed my last train home. I mentioned this and was asked if I would like to stay until the morning in one of the vacant bedrooms. I immediately accepted.
    Prior to my leaving the party I had a discussion with one of the clergy who was present at the soiree and he said that a few years previously there had been a gas leak somewhere in the Abbey and permission had to be obtained from The Queen to enter some of the Royal tombs. A small group, including himself, had been inside the tomb of Charles II, and he stated that one of the Kings’ leg bones was protruding from his decaying coffin and that he had actually touched it; but what intrigued me the most was that they had entered the tomb of Elizabeth I, via steps leading down into the vault which was accessed by the raising of a stone slab which covered the entrance a few feet from the actual tomb. Her coffin was covered with a tattered velvet pall and resting on the top of this was the coffin of her half sister, Queen Mary.
    James 1 of England was, I believe , baptised a Catholic, and it was he who arranged for the burial of Elizabeth, so perhaps he was making some kind of statement.
    Unfortunately the production never materialised as I had the opportunity of relocating to Los Angeles, and now having returned to the UK decided to share this tremendous experience with those interested.

  2. PETER ROBERTS says:

    In the late 1970’s I was a guest at an evening cocktail party given by The Dean of Westminister- The Rev Edward Carpenter ( http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/obituary-the-rev-edward-carpenter-1174495.html ) in his lodgings at Westminister Abbey.
    I discussed with him the possibility of staging a production of Murder in the Cathedral at the Abbey; and to my surprise he was most supportive and even offered the use of the rostra which had lain in the Abbey, unused, since The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth 11.
    I asked if I could walk through The Abbey to view the area for production and he amazingly allowed me to roam freely with total access to everywhere. This was LATE evening with the Abbey completely closed to the public and dimly lit with only emergency lighting. It was an awesome experience. Unfettered by any restrictions I wandered through this vast complex in absolute awe. I stood silently at the tombs of each of the monarchs of England. There was absolute silence and stillness. It was so surreal. I realised that I was literally in the presence of Elizabeth l, just a few feet from her actual mortal remains, and this was perhaps the most private audience one could get under the circumstances. I have visited there many times during the day but it is always so busy with bustling tourists, but this was SO different. Awesome.
    Having arrived by train from Blackheath, London, where I was living, I realised by the time I had returned to the party that I had missed my last train home. I mentioned this and was asked if I would like to stay until the morning in one of the vacant bedrooms. I immediately accepted.
    Prior to my leaving the party I had a discussion with one of the clergy who was present at the soiree and he said that a few years previously there had been a gas leak somewhere in the Abbey and permission had to be obtained from The Queen to enter some of the Royal tombs. A small group, including himself, had been inside the tomb of Charles II, and he stated that one of the Kings’ leg bones was protruding from his decaying coffin and that he had actually touched it; but what intrigued me the most was that they had entered the tomb of Elizabeth I, via steps leading down into the vault which was accessed by the raising of a stone slab which covered the entrance a few feet from the actual tomb. Her coffin was covered with a tattered velvet pall and resting on the top of this was the coffin of her half sister, Queen Mary.
    James 1 of England was, I believe , baptised a Catholic, and it was he who arranged for the burial of Elizabeth, so perhaps he was making some kind of statement.
    Unfortunately the production never materialised as I had the opportunity of relocating to Los Angeles, and now having returned to the UK decided to share this tremendous experience with those interested.

    PETER ROBERTS

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