The note, it turns out, was a handwritten message from King Charles III. Sitting atop a wreath that contained flowers cut from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Highgrove House, the note was a final farewell from a son to his mother.
“In loving and devoted memory. Charles R,” it read. The “R” refers to Rex, the Latin word for King.
Elizabeth, during her reign, would often sign official communications as “Elizabeth R” (Regina is Latin for Queen).
There’s a history of the notes atop royal caskets. Elizabeth left one atop the flowers when Prince Philip was buried, signing it Lilibet.
Also sitting on top of Elizabeth’s casket were the Imperial State Crown, which contains a 317.4 carat diamond, along with four rubies, 11 emeralds, 17 sapphires, 269 pearls and more than 2,500 smaller diamonds, as well as an orb and sceptre.
As of 10:00 a.m. ET, the Queen’s coffin was on the way to Windsor Castle and St. George’s Chapel. Once it arrives, a committal service will be held with 800 in attendance, mostly the Queen’s personal staff and people who worked on her estates. The Queen’s coffin will be lowered into the royal vault at this time. This evening, there will be a private burial service, when Elizabeth is interred next to her husband, Prince Phillip; sister, Princess Margaret; and parents.