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Westminster Abbey in London, England is a site for many royal events that date back nearly 1,000 years. All reigning monarchs since 1066 have had their coronations at Westminster Abbey. Even though it is the venue for many royal events, it is still used as a place of worship.
Westminster Abbey is also a popular tourist attraction and brings in over one million visitors each year.
The longest reigning British monarch in history, Queen Elizabeth II, spent many monumental moments throughout her life in the church. On November 20, 1947, she married Prince Philip in the Abbey. On June 2, 1953, she had her coronation at Westminster Abbey after watching her father be crowned in the same church when she was eleven years old. After her death on September 8, 2022, her funeral was held on September 19, 2022, at Westminster Abbey.
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Who is buried in Westminster Abbey?
According to the Westminster Abbey website, there are 30 kings and queens who are buried at Westminster Abbey. The first to be buried there was Edward the Confessor.
The others who have been buried there include Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, Queen Anne, Edward V & Richard Duke of York, Mary I, Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, Mary II, William III, Edward VI, Anne Neville, Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, James I and Anne of Denmark, Edward III and Philippa of Hainault, Princess Amelia, Marie of Savoy, Queen of France, Henry (son of Henry VIII), George II and Caroline, Edward I and Eleanor of Castile , Henry III, Anne of Cleves, Charles II, Henry V and Catherine de Valois, Richard II and Anne of Bohemia, Matilda (wife of Henry I), Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, Princess Mary of Orange, Prince Rupert of the Rhine , John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall, Prince Eugene of Savoy, Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales, Henry Frederick, Duke of Cumberland, William, Duke of Cumberland, Edmund, Earl of Lancaster and Aveline de Fortz.
In total, there are over 3,000 people who are buried at Westminster Abbey. Some other famous people who have been buried there are Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Stephan Hawking.
How old is it?
Westminster Abbey dates back nearly 1,000 years, but it has undergone changes over that time.
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It was first built by King Edward, who later became St Edward the Confessor in the 1040s. King Henry rebuilt the Abbey and the church was consecrated on October 13, 1269.
Another addition to the Abbey was the Lady Chapel that was built by King Henry VII., which was started in 1503 and completed in 1516.
What ceremonies are held there?
Westminster Abbey is the site of many royal events including weddings, coronations and funerals. In fact, every coronation that has occurred since 1066 has taken place at Westminster Abbey.
In total, there have been 16 royal weddings that have taken place at Westminster Abbey, including when Prince William and Kate, the Prince and Princess of Wales got married there in 2011. The late Queen Elizabeth II also got married to her husband Philip Mountbatten in the famous church. Other weddings that have occurred at Westminster Abbey include King George VI, Princess Margaret and Princess Alexandra.
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Royal weddings at Westminster Abbey are nothing new and date all the way back to Henry I who married Princess Matilda in the Abbey in 1100.
Funerals are another service that are held at Westminster Abbey, including the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on September 19, 2022. It was also where Princess Diana and the Queen Mother’s funerals took place.