When Prince Philip passed away in 2021, it was announced he would eventually be moved to rest next to Queen Elizabeth II upon her passing – but many were left confused as to what that meant.
As it has been over a year since Philip’s death, several Twitter users have asked a serious question: Is the Royal Vault where Prince Philip is currently located just a very large and elegant freezer?
In short, no.
Prince Philip may not have been considered officially buried as he awaited his final resting place alongside the Queen, but the Royal Vault is actually a common burial ground for the Royal Family, containing many kings and queens.
Although not refrigerated, it is underground – the Royal Vault is a burial chamber beneath St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, dug between 1804 and 1810.
But like all royals, Philip’s coffin was lined with lead, which keeps moisture out and slows decay. He can even keep the body for up to a year.
The first royal to be laid to rest in the Royal Vault was Princess Amelia, daughter of King George III, in 1810.
According to Windsor Castle, the Royal Vault contains around 15 princes and princesses, as well as three kings and several queens, among other royals. Within St. George’s Chapel as a whole there are numerous other tombs and dedicated burial areas which also house other members of the Royal Family.
King Henry VIII and Charles I lie in another area of the chapel known as the Quire, while Edward IV, Henry VII and Queen Alexandra are buried in the aisles of the Quire.
It is not uncommon for members of the royal family to be moved after burial, with both King George V and King George VI having been moved from the royal vault to separate graves in the chapel itself.
Philip, likewise, will not have to travel far to join the Queen.
A new annex in the chapel was created for the body of King George VI in 1969, called the King George VI Memorial Chapel, and it is here that Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip will both be officially laid to rest.
Besides St George’s Chapel, many members of the Royal Family are also buried in the Royal Cemetery at Frogmore House.