Here’s Why Princess Diana Was Buried In A Coffin Lined With Lead

From the moment she married Prince Charles in 1981, Princess Diana became “the people’s princess” and was beloved all over the world for her grace, style, and philanthropic efforts, per CNN. Her popularity with the people could be seen not only when she was alive, but after news of her tragic death broke on Aug. 31, 1997, when mourners congregated at Kensington and Buckingham Palace to pay tribute with flowers and cards (via The Guardian). Diana died after sustaining injuries in a car crash in Paris alongside her partner, Dodi Fayed, and their driver, Henri Paul, according to CNN.

Diana’s funeral, like her wedding, was televised around the world. Billions of people watched as Diana was laid to rest in a funeral procession that lasted for more than three hours, per PopSugar. They also watched the heartbreaking scene of young Prince William and Prince Harry walking behind their mother’s coffin in the procession with their dad, Prince Charles, and grandfather Prince Philip.

Another heart-wrenching moment that viewers remember is the sight of Diana’s coffin adorned with flowers and the royal standard flag draped over it. Per Express UK, eight Welsh guards carried Diana’s coffin, but they reportedly had trouble doing it because of how heavy it was — and it had to do with how it was lined. Keep scrolling to find out the reason Diana’s coffin was so heavy.

It's customary for British royals to be buried in lead-lined coffins

Per Metro, Princess Diana’s coffin weighed “a quarter-tonne” because it was lined with lead. The outlet notes that it is tradition for British royals to be buried in lead-lined coffins because of its preservation abilities. Lead coffins “can be sealed airtight and slow the decomposition of the body,” while keeping “out moisture” and preserving “the body for longer.”

Although Diana was no longer married to Prince Charles at the time of her death — she only had the title of Lady Diana Spencer — she was buried as a British royal because of how loved she was by the public. This was confirmed by a Buckingham Palace spokesperson who told BBC that the funeral contained particular elements that reflected “the affection with which the princess was held,” on Sept. 6, 1997.

At the request of Diana’s brother Charles Spencer, the princess was laid to rest on an island in the center of the Oval lake within the Althorp Estate, where she grew up, per Royal UK.

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