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King Charles leaves note on Queen Elizabeth’s casket among flowers he chose.

Click to play video: 'Royal Family escort Queen Elizabeth’s coffin in funeral procession to Westminster Abbey'

Members of the Royal Family, including King Charles III, Princes William and Harry, and Princess Anne, marched behind the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday in London as a procession took it from Westminster Hall where it had laid in state to Westminster Abbey.

King Charles III made some personal touches to Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral, paying tribute to his late mother and predecessor. On Queen Elizabeth’s casket, Charles left a handwritten note nestled among a verdant bouquet of flowers that he personally selected.

The note had a simple but touching message: “In loving and devoted memory.”

Charles signed the note as Charles R., with ‘R’ standing for Rex, the Latin word for king.

This gesture of leaving a note on a royal casket is a tradition that is at least decades-old; most recently, Queen Elizabeth herself left a handwritten note on the casket of Prince Philip when he died in 2021. The message, in part, read “I love you.”

Elizabeth and Philip had been married for more than seven decades and letters played an important role in their courtship.

Those who remember the funeral of Princess Diana might recall the heart-breaking moment when Prince William, who was 15 at the time, left a note in an envelope that simply read “Mummy” on Diana’s funeral wreath.

The origin of this tradition may date back to 1952 during the funeral of King George VI, Elizabeth’s father. As king, George led the U.K. through World War II alongside then-Prime Minister Winston Churchill. When George died, Churchill sent a funeral wreath with a note displayed prominently. The message read “For valour,” a phrase that adorns the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest military honour.

When Churchill died in 1965, Queen Elizabeth paid him back for the kind words to her father by leaving a note atop his grave that read “From the nation and the Commonwealth in grateful remembrance, Elizabeth R.” (In this instance, ‘R’ stands for Regina, the Latin word for queen.)

When Charles left the note on his late mother’s casket, he placed it amongst a bouquet of highly symbolic flowers that he requested specifically.

The wreath of flowers were picked from royal residences and included clippings from a myrtle bush that was grown from a sprig of the plant that was in Queen Elizabeth’s wedding bouquet.

“At His Majesty The King’s request, the wreath contains flowers and foliage cut from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Highgrove House,” the Royal Family said in a statement prior to the funeral.

“This includes foliage chosen for its symbolism: Rosemary for remembrance; Myrtle, the ancient symbol of a happy marriage, and cut from a plant that was grown from a sprig of myrtle in Her Late Majesty’s wedding bouquet in 1947; And English oak, which symbolizes the strength of love.”

The wreath also included scented pelargoniums, garden roses, autumnal hydrangea, sedum, dahlias and scabious, “all in shades of gold, pink and deep burgundy, with touches of white, to reflect the Royal Standard, on which it sits,” the palace added.

“Again at His Majesty’s request, the wreath is made in a totally sustainable way, in a nest of English moss and oak branches, and without the use of floral foam.”

It seems that the note and wreath, along with the Royal Imperial Crown, the Sovereign’s Sceptre and Orb, were not the only things adorning the queen’s casket during her funeral; one perceptive Twitter user discovered that a little spider was riding on Charles’ handwritten note as the queen’s casket was carried through Westminster Abbey.

“The Royal Spider keeping (flies) off till the very end,” the Twitter user wrote.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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