750 years ago, the enshrinement of the remains of Edward the Confessor signalled Henry III's intention to build a great Gothic abbey which would become the Westminster Abbey which we know today
The Queen and The Duchess of Cornwall attended the service which celebrated the early history of the Abbey and its life today as a thriving London church which welcomes visitors from around the world.
The service was lead by the Dean of Westminster who spoke about the importance of the Abbey as a a place of national focus:
Today we celebrate the history of this Abbey and its Church and mark it’s continuing significance as a place of worship and of memorial, standing firmly for faith at the heart of our nation and Commonwealth and of the wider world.
Westminster Abbey has hosted many great Royal events over the centuries, including every Coronation since 1066, and The Queen's wedding to Prince Philip in 1947.
Her Majesty had also attended her father, King George VI’s Coronation at the Abbey in 1937, and wrote about it for her parents in an essay entitled ‘To Mummy and Papa, In Memory of Their Coronation. From Lilibet, by Herself.’
“I thought it all very, very wonderful and I expect the Abbey did, too,” she wrote. “The arches and beams at the top were covered with a sort of haze of wonder as Papa was crowned, at least I thought so.”
During the service, a bouquet of roses was laid at the Shrine of St. Edward the Confessor on behalf of The Queen by the Captain of The Queen’s Scholars. The Queen's Scholars are pupils taking up 48 scholarship places at Westminster School, founded in 1560 by Queen Elizabeth I.
Abbey treasures, including a fragment of the shroud from the Shrine of St Edward the Confessor were laid on the High Altar.