Queen Victoria ruled the British Empire for nearly sixty four years, the second longest reign in British history. She reigned over 450 million people, a quarter of the world’s population at the time, during a period of great industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change, and she was instrumental in reshaping the role of the British monarchy. She escaped death many times, surviving at least six assassination attempts, before passing away in 1901, at eighty one years of age. As you’d expect from someone who’d been accustomed to being in charge for so long, she had her funeral planned out in great detail. Here are some interesting facts you may not know about that funeral:
- Queen Victoria died at Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight, and her body was transported to the mainland aboard the royal yacht Alberta.
- She requested a military funeral, appropriate for a soldier’s daughter, and was the first monarch to have her coffin transported via gun carriage.
- Inspired by Lord Tennyson to have a “white funeral”, she requested eight white horses to pull her funeral carriage, and a white pall over the coffin. This was extremely innovative, as funerals had previously been traditionally outfitted in black.
- As her funeral procession traveled through London, crowds thronged the street, silently paying their respects to their beloved queen.
- At Windsor, the horses broke harness, and as a result, sailors from the Royal Navy pulled her coffin the rest of the way to the chapel. This was, of course, unintended, but became a very moving part of the procession.
- The queen was interred beside her beloved husband, Prince Albert, and at her request, she was buried with his dressing gown and a plaster cast of his hand. She also asked for a lock of hair from her servant and companion John Brown, and for his photograph to be placed in her hand.
Not every passing is an international event, but at Horan and McConaty, we believe every life deserves to be honored. We came to Denver back in 1890, and set out to start a funeral home that would meet the needs and expectations of families coping with end of life decisions. While Queen Victoria was being honored with an elaborate and historical funeral procession, we were giving the families of Denver the support and care they needed to honor their loved ones in a manner befitting the lives they’d lived.
Today, we continue that tradition of honor and care, and we believe that the best way to make sure your funeral meets your expectations is to plan ahead of time. You may not want eight white horses, but that doesn’t make pre-planning any less important, as a way to ensure that your final services honor your life without burdening your loved ones with difficult decisions. Visit HoranCares.com today, to learn more about what we have to offer, and to request your free pre-planning kit.