Flowers, music and jewellery: The personal touches to the Queen's state funeral

The historic day included personal tributes by the Queen's grieving family members. Credit: AP

Thousands of hours of meticulous planning have been devoted to the Queen's royal state funeral and burial to ensure they reflect the legacy of the United Kingdom's longest-reigning monarch.

Plans have been in place for years to bid a final farewell to Her Majesty, and the Queen herself made sure to add her own personal touches to the day as the Second Elizabethan age came to an end.

The once-in-a-lifetime occasion, watched by millions across the world, has been filled with historic symbolism - including touching nods to the Queen's husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Here are some of the most personal touches to the day, included at the request of the Queen and her grieving family members.

The flowers chosen for the wreath places on the Queen's coffin had great significance. Credit: AP

The wreath, a note, and the Imperial state crown

The wreath which adorned the Queen’s coffin included flowers requested by King Charles and a personal note to his mother.

The flowers and foliage were cut from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Highgrove House.

They were chosen for their symbolism in a poignant tribute to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh's 70-year marriage.

The remarkable life of the Queen remembered in our latest episode of What You Need To Know.

The wreath includes rosemary, for remembrance, and myrtle cut from a plant which was grown from a sprig of myrtle from the Queen’s wedding bouquet in 1947.

Myrtle is an ancient symbol of a happy marriage, while English oak - also included in the wreath - symbolises the strength of love.

Pelargoniums, garden roses, autumnal hydrangea, sedum, dahlias and scabious were included in shades of gold, pink and deep burgundy, with touches of white, to reflect the Royal Standard.

At the King's request, the wreath was made in a sustainable way without using floral foam. Instead, it used English moss and oak branches.

Embedded in the wreath was a handwritten note from the King reading: "In loving and devoted memory. Charles R".

Beside the note, were the Crown Jewels – the Imperial state crown, the orb and the sceptre – the historic symbols of the monarchy.

Westminster Abbey's music and bell

Much of the music at the Queen's funeral was chosen for its "special significance" to Her Majesty, Westminster Abbey said. Many of the choices also have a long association with the Abbey.

Among the hymns are The Lord’s My Shepherd, which was sung at the wedding of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at the historic venue in 1947.

Another hymn, Love Divine, All Loves Excelling, is sung in an arrangement first heard at the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales in 2011.

And the anthem, O Taste and See, was composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams for the Queen's Coronation in the Abbey in 1953. Mr Vaughan Williams' ashes are buried in the north choir aisle of the church.

Reveille, the national anthem and a lament, played by the Queen’s Piper, brought the state funeral service to a sorrowful end with a rendition of Sleep, Dearie, Sleep.

The Queen had requested that her lone personal piper, Warrant Officer Paul Burns, play at the service - a nod to the Scottish Highlands where she loved to live, and where she died.

The Queen's piper brought the funeral to a close with a sorrowful lament. Credit: AP

Maj Burns - whose time playing the bagpipes outside her window each morning to wake her has now come to an end - is of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

He was the 17th holder of the role, which was established in 1843 during the reign of Queen Victoria.

During the service, the Abbey’s one-and-a-half tonne tenor bell could just be heard in the distance every minute for 96 minutes - reflecting each year of the Queen’s long life.

Jewellery worn by royals

Princess Charlotte, the Princess of Wales, the Queen Consort and the Duchess of Sussex wore symbolic jewellery to pay tribute to Her Majesty.

In a touching tribute to her great-grandmother, Princess Charlotte was wearing a small diamond brooch of a horseshoe gifted to her by the Queen.

Princess Charlotte wears a horseshoe brooch. Credit: AP

The silver badge, pinned to the seven-year-old's long coat, represents one of the Queen's greatest loves, horses.

Queen Elizabeth II's father, King George VI, passed his lifelong love for horses on to his daughter.

Her Majesty also went on to have an enduring passion for riding and racing, with her racehorse, Estimate, winning the coveted Gold Cup at the Royal Ascot in 2013.

She too passed on her love of horses to her daughter, the Princess Royal, who became the first British royal to compete in the Olympic Games. She rode the Queen's horse, Goodwill, at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

And her daughter, Zara Tindall, followed in her mother's footsteps by competing in the same equestrian three-day event at the 2012 London Olympics.

The Princess of Wales, Kate, chose a necklace and earring combination famously worn by her husband's late mother, Princess Diana - who was also formerly titled the Princess of Wales.

The necklace, thought to have been loaned to the duchess for the first time by the Queen in 2017, is said to have been commissioned by Her Majesty using pearls which were a gift from the Japanese government after her first state visit to the nation in 1975.

The earrings were made from a collection of pearls given to the Queen as a wedding gift from the Hakim in Bahrain in 1947.

The Duchess of Sussex, the Queen Consort and the Princess of Wales paid touching tributes with their jewellery choices. Credit: AP

Her Majesty was pictured wearing the set during an engagement in Bangladesh in 1983, having loaned the set a year earlier to Princess Diana to wear during a state visit from Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.

Kate wore the necklace to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s 70th wedding anniversary dinner in 2017, and again just over a year ago for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.

The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, wore a pair of pearl and diamond stud earrings which were given to her by the Queen as a gift when she joined the Royal Family.

Meghan wore the earrings on her first joint engagement alongside the Queen in June 2018, when they marked the opening of a new bridge in Cheshire.

Pearls are often referred to as mourning jewellery - a tradition said to date back to Queen Victoria’s era.

The Queen Consort, Camilla, wore Queen Victoria’s Hesse Diamond Jubilee Brooch, which includes diamonds in the shape of an open heart, with the number 60 inside, along with two sapphire pendants.

The Queen's beloved animals

Muick and Sandy waited for their devoted owner's coffin at Windsor Castle. Credit: Getty

The Queen’s beloved corgis and one of her favourite-ever ponies played a poignant role in the final farewell to their devoted owner.

Corgis Muick and Sandy – one on a red lead and one on a blue one – were brought into the Windsor Castle quadrangle for the arrival of the Queen’s coffin, ahead of her committal service in St George’s Chapel. One of the dogs laid with its head on the ground.

Emma the Fell Pony, owned by the Queen for 26 years, stood on the grass at the side of the Long Walk, on the approach to the castle.

In a moving sight, the solitary horse stood in a gap between the hundreds of thousands of floral tributes, in the care of the Queen’s trusted stud groom and manager at Windsor Castle, Terry Pendry.

The black pony’s ears twitched and she swished her tail, stomping on the ground twice with one of her front hooves as her owner’s coffin moved past in the state hearse with a military parade.

Mr Pendry once described Emma as “a wonderful servant to Her Majesty” and one of her favourite ever horses.

State Gun Carriage

The Queen's coffin, placed on the State Gun Carriage, was led in procession towards Westminster Abbey. Credit: AP

The Queen's coffin was carried from New Palace Yard towards Westminster Abbey on the State Gun Carriage in a tradition dating back to the funeral of Queen Victoria.

The 123-year-old gun carriage on which the Queen’s coffin was placed was towed by 98 Royal Navy sailors.

It has also been previously used for the funerals of King Edward VII, King George V, King George VI, Winston Churchill, Lord Mountbatten and Princess Diana.