BR 1834 Royal Naval Handbook of CEREMONIAL and DRILL

In May 1972 a new version of this BR was published which superseded the 1949 version. That version had been used for the State Funerals [Class I] of King George VI [1952] and of Sir Winston Churchill [Class II] in 1965. The new version was used for the Ceremonial Royal Funeral of Admiral of the Fleet Lord Louis Mountbatten [1979].  The navy has had no other central ceremonial role in other state or royal funerals since,  and these were, ages in brackets,  [a] HM Queen Mary 1953 [85],  [b] HRH Princess Margaret 2002 [71], [c] HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother 2002 [101], [d] Princess Diana 1997 [36], [e] HRH Princess Alice of Gloucester 2004 [102], [f] HRH Princess Marina 1968 [61], [g] HRH Prince William of Gloucester 1972 [30].   In a moment you can read the Funeral Section of the BR.  It is very interesting, and the treatment of some aspects,  like an urn with cremated ashes, will surprise you.

At the time of Lord Mountbatten's funeral the BR was much criticised by those who were tasked to put together a funeral procession.  The whole of the BR  must have been written by Whale Island, and yet they criticised it more than most. You see, back in 1970 the concept of the Fleet Chief Petty Officer had been accepted by the Admiralty which was to give back a warrant officer to the royal navy for the first time since 1949 when the title warrant officer was replaced with branch Officer, later, in 1956, to become a special duties list officer and now it too abolished. Unlike the 1949 abolished warrant officer, the 1970 fleet chief petty officer, whilst not called so, was a first class warrant officer equivalent to the WO1's in the army and the air force.  It is that equivalence which caused trouble for the royal navy.  The army and the air force had a long established warrant officer system, and in September 1979 their "pecking order" was well established and understood by all.  They were treated separately from both the commissioned officers and the other ranks, but in dress and ceremonial, their "style" was closer to that of an officer than to that of a SNCO.

In 1972 the first of the fleet chief petty officers were promoted.  Their role was to undertake the work traditionally done by a junior officer, and not to be a more senior chief petty officer, their pre promotion grade. They were to be employed on divisional work as divisional officers, act as departmental junior officers on big ship staffs and also on flag-staffs when sea-riding flag-ships. In training establishments ashore, they were to be employed as junior officers with dedicated training titles and responsibilities.  Whilst their employment was to change, their accommodation would be the same, changing the name of the chief petty officers mess [or senior rates mess] to reflect their elevation, to WO's and SR's mess.  Their uniforms did not change except for the badges worn on it, and for the first couple of years, the system was a complete and utter farce suggesting that the whole concept was ill thought out. However, after five years, in approximately 1977, the system intra-RN had settled down, and job satisfaction grew with every passing month. Then came September 1979, and it was soon realised that the Admiralty had totally overlooked the need to put in order the status of the fleet chief petty officer [still many years away from being called a warrant officer] vis--vis the inter-Service aspect.  From my own experiences, the army just did not know what I was, this despite my royal cipher cuff badges, and it was not uncommon for army and air force personnel to drop the 'fleet' bit, after which I was a chief petty officer, equivalent to a staff sergeant and not to a WO1 two ranks above. But the worst error of all, was that BR 1834, written in 1972 [seven long years previously] had not been re-written to include the role of a fleet chief petty officer in naval, inter-service and national ceremonial.

The only mention of the rate was on page 7-5 of the BR,  in paragraph 705 which simply compared relative ranks and ratings between the RN, the WRNS and the QARNNS, and this page was marked ORIGINAL meaning that it had been put there in 1972.

Thus, come the funeral preparations, when the BR called for a chief petty officer to be in attendance, they simply supplanted the chief with a fleet chief, and, you might be saying, what an easy transition:  normally I would agree with you. However, chief petty officers wear boots and white anklets and belts in such circumstances and they don't wear black mourning arm bands [See pictures below]. Since no one had ever thought through the procedures, and any change broke precedents,  it was mooted that fleet chiefs [being ratings and not officers] should be dressed in the same manner instead of wearing armbands and shoes just like our equivalents in the army and air force did.  Even the pressure brought to bear by the many gunnery fleet chief petty officers in attendance, didn't force the answer from the powers that be,  as to how we naval men would be treated in this, the very first major ceremonial occasions since the introduction of the fleet chief.  It took many senior officers to make the decision to break with naval tradition of having ratings in white webbing marching behind the officers appointed to the gun carriage.  As for my own circumstances, no naval party had ever acted at a State occasion carrying the coffin, and in every other case at lesser funerals, my job was done by a senior rate [chief or petty officer]  wearing ratings dress.  I got to keep my shoes but I wasn't eligible to have an arm band, least ways, not a naval arm band, and mine came for a kind [and understanding] RSM of the 2nd Battalion of the Scots Guards, my host, at the Chelsea Barracks where the Bearers were billeted.

Now to the Funeral section of the Ceremonial BR dated May 1972 - FUNERALS.pdf - however, note that the picture shown for Fig 7-5 "Order of March" [page 7-16] is wrongly drawn.  It should show 98 men on the front drag ropes and forty men on the rear drag ropes. If you look at the gun limber [the front two wheels and the smallest part of the gun carriage] you will see a pulling/steering bar [which is made of wood] connected to the centre of the limber with three handles fixed athwartships allowing six men to pull and or steer. Immediately in front of this group of six men should be two black dots indicating two further men.  The total group comprising of the men, the officers and now the warrant officers [not CPO's] is 108, remembering that some of the men will be senior rates dressed in square rig.

The funerals not shown in the table below are covered elsewhere on my site which are those of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, King George V, and King George VI. The funerals of other royals, notably our Queen Consorts [actual or to be, had not their fate been changed by history!] were formal but unceremonious involving for the most part Royal Horseguards Artillery gun carriages or motorised vehicles.  Two high profile funerals in this category were those of HM The Queen Mother Queen Elizabeth and Diana Princess of Wales.

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CHURCHILL'S FUNERAL 30.1.1965 in City of London.  Click on this thumbnail to the left.  Picture is of the gun carriages' crew outside St Paul's Cathedral awaiting the foot guards to form up into their marching position alongside the coffin, after they had placed the coffin on the carriage after the State Funeral Service in St Paul's.  They are collecting their bearskins [often referred to wrongly as their busby's] which are not worn when handling the coffin but are when marching. Note the four men at the head outside [two either side] of the front ropes, and again the four men at the head outside  [two either side] of the rear ropes, and that the back man in each case is a CPO wearing a while belt, white gaiters and no arm band. Note also that there are no pall bearers who would traditionally march alongside the coffin with the foot guards outside of them.  Pall bearers, when used, would be men of the highest rank or calling, in this case, the senior admirals of the fleet, field marshals and marshals of the royal air force. The street ahead on which waits a mass band of the household division and beyond them, other marching troops in the long procession heading towards the City, is St Paul's Churchyard, leading onto  Cannon Street then to Mansion House and eventually to Tower Pier.  If you have a mind for detail try finding the follow items. Over on the left at the foot of the steps are two officers one in naval uniform and one in army uniform. Behind each one is a bare-headed civilian. The naval man is Lord Mountbatten the Chief of the Defence Staff and the army man the GOC [general officer commanding] the household division and the man responsible for the whole parade and London ceremony in general. Observe the honour paid to the WRNS by having them as street liners immediately outside the Cathedral. There are one or two spare bearskins laying on the street just behind the GOC staff officers standing on the kerb to the right of The GOC. For some inexplicable reason [unless it is some form of parallax playing tricks] the front pull rope numbers are clearly stood to the attention whereas the rear drag rope numbers are stood at ease, or at least, they appear to be!  At the rear of the front pull rope crew are two sailors facing the coffin.  Their job was to attach a brass weight onto the corners of the union flag at the foot end to stop the wind flapping it.  Identical brass weights were also applied to the flag at the head end and this by two men taken from the front rank [outboard] of the rear drag rope numbers.  They are shown facing front and it is not known at this stage so shortly after the placing of the coffin, whether they have carried out their tasks. The gun carriage escort is not shown in this picture but it is formed of foot guards [in addition to the bearers] and members of the RAF - they will march forward to take up their positions when the foot guards have donned their headgear.  This formation can clearly be seen in the next photograph and acts like a sandwich with the navy the filling and the other services the slices of bread. Note the almost premature salute of some of the army officers on the steps of the Cathedral.  I noticed this occurrence at Mountbatten's funeral and I believe it to be the customs of the cavalry even though in this case, these officers are dismounted. All other officers saluted when the command was given to advance. Many wonder why such an internationally known great man was elevated no higher than to become a Knight, this despite his high birth and his services to Britain and the free world. Winston Churchill was offered the highest of all awards, namely that of Dukedom, specifically to become the Duke of London, but he declined it.  He did so because he wanted to remain in the House of Commons and so that his grandson, also Winston,  could have a political career.  He did, as a Tory MP.  The young Winston sadly died as a relatively young man in 2010 when aged 70.
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CHURCHILL'S FUNERAL 30.1.1965 in City of Westminster.  This picture shows the gun carriage enroute from the Palace of Westminster to St Paul's Cathedral in Whitehall just before it enters Trafalgar Square. Here, you can clearly see the gun carriage escort stretching the whole length of the gun carriages' crew and made up of foot guards and members of the RAF Regiment and devoid of pall bearers.  The men of the Churchill family walk behind the gun carriage and the ladies ride in their coaches behind them. At this point, over to the right, you can see members of the WRAF acting as street liners with members of the St John's Ambulance Brigade positioned between them. The officer in charge of the gun carriage was {as always} the Captain of the Gunnery School, HMS Excellent at Whale Island, Portsmouth, namely Captain Arthur POWER RN, who went on to become Vice Admiral Sir Arthur Mackenzie Power KCB MBE [died 1984] and not to be confused with his more illustrious father Admiral of the Fleet Sir Arthur John Power GCB GBE CVO [died 1960]. He decided, in due deference to the greatness of Sir Winston Churchill and it, by Command of HM The Queen to be a State Funeral, to put aside the the 'rules' in the book he himself was responsible for, ensuring its correctness and its rigid application for all matters ceremonial [namely the book mentioned above in my sub title] and to do away with the sailors blue sea jersey [normally worn in the winter months] in favour of wearing the summer rig of white fronts.  Moreover, despite the bitter cold weather of that early January period, the more so on the funeral day proper although the Captain wasn't to know that in the planning stages] greatcoats would not be worn, the two decisions together personifying the strength, resolve and grittiness that Churchill himself often showed in challenging conditions, especially when he was in charge at the Admiralty.  However, early on the morning of the funeral, he allowed his crew {of 156 men} to add articles of clothing to ward off the cold as long as the additions were not obvious or detracted from the macho imagine he was creating, and it was said that the army, in the London accommodating barracks at Chelsea pre-funeral, searched the whole barracks for safety pins to surreptitiously add these extra garments. The photographs clearly show that the army and the air force were snuggly dressed in their overcoats. The service inside the Cathedral was long and ceremonial, and all the while, the gun carriages' crew stood outside, stood at ease, in what were near freezing conditions for which they were ill prepared and ill equipped! They saw it as a God-send when the service was completed and they could once more step-off taking the coffin down deep into the City ready for the River Thames ceremony.
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MOUNTBATTEN'S FUNERAL 05.09.1979 in City of Westminster This picture shows the gun carriage proceeding onto Horse Guards Parade in Horse Guards Road having turned right off the Mall, enroute to Westminster Abbey from The Queens Chapel at St James's Palace on Marlborough Road. The presence of the senior officers acting as pall bearers can clearly be seen closest to the coffin with the bearers marching outboard of them. On the right hand side of the carriage [as you look at it] the composition is correct, but on my side [I am the man at the back of the outside line of bearers] you will see that an army parade marshal has somehow placed himself in between the pall bearers and the coffin bearers. On my side [the left hand as you view] the rear pall bearer was the senior admiral of the fleet Sir Edward Ashmore, himself, like Lord Louis, a communicator. The four CPO's have been replaced by four FCPO's and I made the firth one directly associated with the gun carriage.  The gun carriage does not have an escort. In 1946, Louis Mountbatten was offered a Barony but he turned it down because he thought the honour was too small. Later he accepted a Viscountcy [as Viscount Mountbatten] and then later an elevation to an  Earldom to become Earl Mountbatten of Burma.
Medals

Before I mention funeral medals, let me take this opportunity to mention honours as referred to above - some of the names you will not be familiar with but there are no mis-spellings. The order of importance is DUKEDOM, MARQUESSATE, EARLDOM, VISCOUNTCY, BARONY, LIFE BARONY, KNIGHTHOOD, discounting honours which do not create a Title or Style, like for instance, ORDER OF MERIT [OM], COMPANION OF HONOUR [CH] etc, which are letters added after one's name and not before one's name. Many famous people, too many to mention, have refused honours and these include such great men as Rudyard Kipling,  Michael Faraday, Stephen Hawkin, and L.S. Lowry who holds the record for the number of honours offered but refused. Many ex Prime Ministers accept honours which elevated them to the House of Lords, but Sir John Major refused such an honour because he wanted to retire fully from politics. Mrs Thatcher was honoured and elevated to the Barony becoming Baroness Thatcher.  However, her true reward, was that at the same time her husband Dennis was honoured and given a Baronetcy, thereafter styled as Baron Thatcher.  This meant that their son Mark would inherit a Title which couldn't come from his mother!   Many wonder and ask why Churchill, great man as he was, was honoured with a simple knighthood and nothing higher.  The truth of the matter was that H.M. King George VI wanted more than anything to reward his loyal and competent War Prime Minister and he was enthusiastically supported in this endeavour by all courtiers and politicians. Churchill was offered the second highest Peerage, namely that of a non-Royal Dukedom, and the Dukedom chosen was that of the "DUKE OF LONDON" Churchill turned it down after a great deal of soul searching.

For State Funerals [Class 1]  - the last one being in 1952 for King George VI - each rating member of the gun carriages' crew received a RVM [Royal Victorian Medal] Bronze {there is a Silver and a Gold medal also}, the medal to the Royal Victorian Order, the officer members receiving various levels of the MVO from MVO Fifth Class upwards. This also applied to the bearer party.  The medal ribbon is shown on the left. For the navy, the list of recipients for these medals can be found at the National Archives, Kew, under ADM [Admiralty] files 171/61.  Medals were issued to all those who formed the gun carriages' crew for Queen Victoria {1901}, Edward VII {1910}, George V {1936} and George VI. 

No medals were issued for Churchill's or Mountbatten's funeral nor will they be if Baroness Thatcher is honoured with a State Funeral Class III. Churchill was granted a Class II State Funeral.

Future Events Written 23rd April 2010.  Nationally, it would be a prerequisite for Her Majesty to have a State Funeral Class 1, the funeral of a deceased monarch whose death is always signalled by the ringing of the MOSCOW BELL in the round tower of Windsor Castle. It would also follow that she would be entombed in a prominent position in St George's Chapel at Windsor.  It goes without saying that her husband and soul mate would be entombed with her. All of that leads one to believe that Prince Philip would also have a State Funeral, perhaps a Class II affair, and if not that, a major Royal Ceremonial funeral akin to that of his Uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1979. But seemingly not.  This story from a UK national newspaper of 2008 vintage, reveals this story.
Philip refuses a state funeral at Westminster Abbey despite the Queen.htm
1821? The streets of London and the route from the East End down to Essex and the harbour of Harwich, witnessed the saddest, biggest [in size of crowd terms but not in ceremonial terms] and longest [in time taken to complete overall but not size in terms of sheer pomp and circumstances]   funeral Britain  has ever experienced bar none which of course includes that of Wellington and Nelson. The story of the legitimate women in the life of the much hated King George IV, and specifically that of his wife the Queen Caroline's funeral,  is well documented in part only and concentrates of the London ceremonies, recording only scant details about the many hours which followed the hearses' departure from the City of London: the City of Westminster was not involved in the funeral I will talk about here.

George IV and Queen Caroline were the parents of a girl [their only child] called Charlotte. As such, Charlotte was destined to become the Queen on her fathers death, but sadly died in 1817 during child birth. The whole country mourned and was distraught, and if you ever care to visit St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle {the burial place of our more modern King's and Queen's with just a few old and very famous monarchs} [Victoria and Albert are also entombed at Windsor but not in the Chapel] you will see in the northwest corner a monument to Princess Charlotte, acclaimed to be one of the finest sculptures ever, but certainly of the 19th century. Had she not died, Queen Victoria would never have been, and we would be referring to Charlottens  and not to Victorians!

Four years later in 1821, her mother Queen Caroline died. King George's expressed wish to his Lord Chamberlain was to get rid of her corpse as soon as humanly possible and by the quickest possible route back to Germany [her home country] avoiding London City streets at all costs: the City of Westminster was not as important or as  fashionable for the Royal Court or courtiers as it is today when it serves as the hub of royal ceremony, with King William IV dying before Buckingham Palace was completed and Queen Victoria being its first resident in 1837: King William incidentally refused to live in Buckingham Palace completed or not, wanting to give it to the army as a central barracks, or better still to the Government to replace the burned-down Houses of Parliament in 1834.  It was to be hurried, low key and with many armed cavalry soldiers in the funeral procession. However, unlike the King, the people of England loved the Queen with a passion and would not tolerate such a treatment to their heroine. The crowds turned out in their hundreds of thousands, and hundreds of horse-men many riding heavy shires joined the procession, all with the intention of shutting off roads and spaces, forcing the hearse and the procession on streets heading for London town which Queen Caroline had asked for as part of her farewell to England. The hundreds of horse-men would also serve to clip-the -wings of the cavalry soldiers purposely placed in the procession to make sure that the King's wishes were obeyed and the not the want of the so called  rabble: delicate but energetic and agile horses didn't like the idea of being kicked or trampled upon by a giant shire, placid though shires are known to be!  There were times during the long drawn out procession when the signs of an oncoming  'Peterloo Massacre'  were possible [the killing of a mob in Manchester by the King's army two years previously in 1819] and the army did strike members of the crown with the flats of their swords in a most threatening manner, finally leading to gun fire from rifles and pistols injuring many and killing two people. There were two regiments of soldiers used, all cavalrymen, which today we know as the Blues and Royals vis the Life Guards attached to the Royal Household. Back in 1821 the Royals [red tunics] were known as the Royal Dragoons and the Blues [blue tunics] as the Royal Horse Guards or more commonly as the Oxford Blues.  The Royal Dragoons were much maligned by the crowd for their aggression and pro-Government stance,  whereas the Royal Horse Guards were cheered when and wherever they appeared for their handling of the crowd in a firm but overtly friendly manner.  The Royal Dragoons were now at the mercy of the crowd should they so want, and soldiers in red tunics with 'their-tails-between- their- legs' were a clear sign that one more shot could lead to many cavalry deaths. The procession was forced through the streets of the City of London, rendering the procession conductor [a high official from the Lord Chamberlain's office] and the hearse operators rudderless,  never knowing which reins to tug on to guide the horses on their way.
 
This first picture gives one an idea of what was originally intended by the establishment :-



  Note London has two well defined cities side by side namely the City of Westminster and the City of London. In this story Westminster was unimportant and for the masses a sad place and one to be avoided. Westminster Abbey is of course in this city [as St Paul's Cathedral is in the other city]  and it was here that George IV was crowned at his coronation after the death of George III in 1820. He expressly banned his Queen from attending his coronation and she was known to have banged on the great west door, now firmly closed, begging admittance which was denied. She died the next year in 1821 and he died in 1830. As a rule of thumb crossing between the two cities is easily recognisable  because the City of London has magnificent red painted iron dragons [or griffins, which are mythical monsters with the head of an eagle and the body of a lion] siting on stone or iron plinths, and if one can see the ornate decoration of these beasts in full view one is entering the City of London, but if only the undecorated backs of these icons, one is entering the City of Westminster or leaving the City of London.

This  second map picture below shows what actually happened,  steered that way by the enormous crowds. For those of you who know London and wish for more detail, this was the actual route.


On leaving Hammersmith, the crowds were denied a knowledge as to what route the coffin would take to its North Sea port enroute to Germany. At his coronation, George IV was declared King of Hanover along with his many British  domestic titles, and after crossing  the North Sea Queen Caroline's coffin  would remain  under Hanovarian custody and control, a place unreachable by her millions of admirers on British soil. Members of the assembled crowd were tasked to wander the streets in all directions to seek first hand information as to the whereabouts of the procession. After much searching it was found on its way heading for Knightsbridge Church. It went on into Kensington and then crossed Hyde Park exiting the park at Speakers Corner at a gate called Cumberland Gate. It was here that the Royal Dragoons attacked the crowd killing two and injuring many. The crowds, soldiers and the procession spewed out of the Park some ahead onto the Edgeware Road [A5] and some left onto Bayswater  Road whilst others right into Oxford Street, hence the east-west line across the lay of the route heading north. This temporarily split the procession now in chaos. After regrouping, it travelled  north up Edgeware Road  hoping for  a clear run north and then east, but the crowd forced it into Paddington having passed Tyburn Turnpike and then onto the southern areas of Regents Park determined to force it back south. At the top of Tottenham Court Road  it joined City Road A501. From that point it dropped into St Giles, then top of Drury Lane and on into the Strand. It passed Temple Bar [see plate on left] and then proceeded down Fleet Street into Ludgate Hill. On approaching the magnificent facade of St Paul's Cathedral it skirted to the left entering Cheapside then Poultry into Bank. . At Bank it crossed over into Cornhill and then Ledenhall Street to the Aldgate. It passed down the High Street into Whitechapel Road now the A11 main road out to the east. Continuing down the long Mile End road, it passed  through the Broadway at Stratford and onto the Romford Road, then into Ilford and Romford etc as per first map picture above.

In 1823 the spiteful King George IV had Brandenburgh House [in which the Queen died]  at Hammersmith [Fulham] torn down so as deny the masses a focal point for the adulation of the Queen of England.  In 1909 {?} a new Brandenburgh House was built in the Hammersmith/Fulham area [London W6] which today boasts many fashionable apartments.



This next map shows the completion of the journey across the North Sea often referred to by the Germans as the German Sea which remained the case until after WW1 and their defeat.



I mentioned a post-captain above. Many small [or relatively small] vessels were commanded by commanders or senior lieutenants or even chief warrant officers. Larger vessels, 40 to 60 gun frigates for example and larger still, were sometimes commanded by captains. When the commanding officer was a captain proper, on his first commission as such, he became a post-captain, and he joined the post-list from which all commodores and admiral were promoted from and subsequently  appointed to the most important commands from. It was impossible for a non-post officer to become a flag officer. In the days of three fleets, in order of importance RED, BLUE and WHITE with a total of many ships, there were many appointments and promotions to fill, and the navy were looking for a good balance of sea time in post after post commissions mixed with Admiralty experiences to fill. It wasn't a foregone conclusion that once on the post-list you had made it; one had to keep one's name in the forefront, and many admirals were in their 60's so commissions were often dead man's shoes, especially in times of peace when there was no opportunity to prove oneself. See http://www.godfreydykes.info/AS%20TO%20RED,%20WHITE%20AND%20BLUE%20ENSIGNS.htm


Overall, the funeral procession took eleven days to complete from 0700 on Tuesday 14th August to 2300 Friday 24th August, and many a person and a horse was stressed to the very limits of their endurance. The procession stopped over night at every major town enroute to Brunswick with the coffin kept in a central church guarded by soldiers. Each morning before proceeding, the coffin was returned to the hearse and the soldiers were replaced by fresh troops. On arrival at Harwich and the transfer of the coffin into HMS Glasgow, the local forts [Harwich and Felixstowe] fired gun salutes in honour of her late Majesty and the colours were flown at half mast. When all was ready in the Glasgow, she too, with others in the Royal Duty Squadron fired their guns as a mark of respect and each wore their colours appropriately. The vessels piped-down for the night  and the next morning sail was set, and  with a satisfactory offshore wind the Squadron sailed  out of the harbour and into the North Sea. On Monday 20th August the remains of her late Majesty rested in Stade church overnight taken there by the officers who had travelled from Hamburg. Next morning the German procession began its journey south, and just as was in England, the processions stopped overnight for a rest of weary travellers and horses. On the following three nights, 21st, 22nd and 23rd,  the procession stopped at Buxtehude, Soltau and Celle with the coffin resting in local churches each night under guard. On arrival in Brunswick the coffin was placed in the Cathedral Church of St Blaise where her late Majesty's remains were placed with customary solemnity in the vault of the Ducal family of Brunswick as per her late Majesty's written request.   The next day,  many other services were conducted and her remains were blessed and sanctified.   Meanwhile the King had paid a visit to Hanover {totally ignoring his wife's corpse} and before that, as the Queens body was due to start her long journey from Hammersmith's Brandenburgh House, he had been on a jolly to Ireland, provided by the Royal Navy, but this time the Royal Yacht believed to be the Prince Regent? So ends  the sad story of a Queen of England, worshipped and loved by the people of England, but hated and despised by the King, her husband, his Court and by the officers of the  Government as per the King's wishes!  It was clearly a case of an uprising by the masses against the rulers, and the masses won hands down on this issue at least. Whilst this long trip was going on, a Coroners Court had been assembled in London to find out why and how two people mourning her Majesty, were killed by Life Guards at Cumberland Gate in Hyde Park Corner. The hearing for one of the men Richard HONEY lasted over thirteen days. Reading the transcript, one can't help believing that the colonel of the Life Guards, conscious of his orders, took pity on the masses wanting only the dignity of saying goodbye to THEIR Queen, and so ordered a route which I have explained above, which was directly opposed to what the King wished; seemingly the troopers acted without the authority or wishes of their officers when they attacked the masses with their weapons.

This pictures shows the final resting place of Queen Caroline in the Royal Vault in Brunswick Germany. For my money, if you take a wife [or a husband for that matter] who you subsequently don't like or even despise, your best bet is to accept the error of your judgment, bite the bullet and part on speaking terms at the very least. Whilst having been married for 55 years come August 2017, I will say without a supporting voice, a  MR LUCKY!, I find King George IV' attitude  to his German wife upsetting and almost barbarian!  That she gave him  an heir, a daughter who would die in child birth God forbid, was enough indeed,  but to then orchestrate his courtiers to believe and thereafter spread  that his wife was a dirty and unclean encumbrance to the royal family was outlandish, but fortunately seen-through by the British public, who unequivocally sent the King and his Court to Coventry.  This surely was the measure of this vile and debauched monarch.

 

 

See also HMS Collingwood - keeper of a working burial gun carriage and The Ceremonial Funeral of Lord Louis Mountbatten of Burma