LYING in the state is a centuries-old tradition.
So what exactly does it mean? Here’s everything you need to know.
What does staying down mean?
Laying in state is a formal tradition reserved for persons of public importance such as monarchs, their spouses, and sometimes government ministers.
The body of the deceased is buried in a government building for the public to pay their respects.
What happens when there’s a dead body in the state?
In the UK, the deceased is kept in Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament.
The coffin is typically placed on a raised platform called a catafalque for a few days before the funeral service takes place.
During this time, the coffin is guarded 24 hours a day by a military officer.
What’s the story behind lying in state?
Laying in the state is a ritual originally observed by people of all classes and status.
The bodies of the dead were prepared and dressed and then displayed in a room in their family home for two to three days.
During this time, the family would make arrangements for the funeral, and the visitors would pay their respects.
It is believed that the delay between death and burial came from the idea that a corpse could be brought back to life, so they wanted to make sure that death actually occurred.
Historically, members of the nobility had more elaborate rituals of staging, often taking place in a more public place with more conspicuous furnishings.
King Edward VII was the first British monarch to settle in Westminster in 1910. He was inspired by former Prime Minister William Gladstone, who left office in 1898.
Is the coffin open when lying down?
Each country has its own traditions and practice varies around the world.
But in the UK, lying in state generally refers to a closed coffin, usually draped in a flag – coffins belonging to members of the royal family are draped in the Royal Standard flag, while those of state officials usually be wrapped in the Union Jack.
Queen Elizabeth II’s father, George VI, was held in state custody for four days after his death in 1952 – over 300,000 people lined up in inclement weather to bid the king a final farewell.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6211192/what-does-lying-state-mean/ What does staying down mean?