Buckingham Palace Tried to Downgrade Winston Churchill's State Funeral
|Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip lead the royals as they pay their last respect to Winston Churchill.|
Fifty years after the burial of Winston Churchill, arguably the greatest statesman in history, Parliamentary Archives reveal that Buckingham Palace officials actually attempted to oppose a state funeral given to Churchill citing that he was just a mere "commoner," MailOnlinereports.
"It was clear that Garter and the Palace representatives did not appreciate the vast scale on which this occasion is likely to develop - at any rate as regards the lying in state. In this they were considerably influenced by the theory that the funeral of a commoner must in all respects be on a smaller scale than that of a Royal person," record of a Garter Meeting can tell.
According to historian Andrew Roberts, Buckingham Palace officials were opposed to giving Churchill a funeral that would "overshadow royal funerals."
"On one level you can see their point a bit. But this isn't necessarily the Queen herself - it sounds like courtiers, who are often more conservative than the Monarch."
The very fact that the Queen went to the funeral of a commoner was a complete break with precedent.
The funeral plans for the prime minister were revised seven times prior to his death. The last revision was done only a month before he passed away on January 24, 1965. Leaders from more than 112 countries attended what was considered the largest ever state funeral to this day. More than 300,000 people paid their respects to Churchill, whose body was laid in state at Westminster Hall.