Westminster Abbey is one of the oldest buildings still standing in London. It is over one thousand years old, having been built around 970 AD. The coronation of English monarchy have been held in the Abbey since King Harold’s in 1066. King Edward’s throne has been used since 1366 to seat sovereigns at the moment of coronation, including King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I. Seventeen royal monarchs, including Elizabeth I, Mary I, and Anne of Cleves, are buried here. Henry VIII granted the abbey cathedral status so that it would be spared the destruction he wrought upon most abbeys during his reformation.
The Tudors at Westminster Abbey
King Henry VIII’s Coronation
Henry VIII and his first wife Katherine of Aragon were coronated on Sunday June 24th, 1509. On the day prior to the coronation, Henry and Katherine processed from the Tower of London to Whitehall. On the morning of the coronation, they arrived at the Palace of Westminster and walked from there to the Abbey. Queen Katherine sat on a lower chair than King Henry. Source: Westminster Abbey History
Henry would later retracted his coronation oath when seeking a divorce from Katherine to marry Anne Boleyn. Anne was the only other one of his queens to be coronated; her’s took place on June 1st, 1533.
Tudor Coronations at Westminster Abbey:
Tudor coronations at Westminster Abbey include:
Tudor Burials at Westminster Abbey:
King Henry VII and Queen Elizabeth of York: Henry VII and his wife Elizabeth are entombed in the Chapel of King Henry VII on the East side of Westminster Abbey.
Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Mary I: These half-sisters are buried in the same tomb, which appears in the image of Elizabeth. The inscription on the tomb is in Latin, and translates to: “Partners both in throne and grave, here rest we two sisters, Elizabeth and Mary, in the hope of one resurrection.” You can find their tomb nestled just to the left of the Chapel of King Henry VII on the East side of Westminster Abbey.
King Edward VI: Just a young teenager when he died, Edward was buried in his grandfather King Henry VII’s chapel on the East side of the Abbey.
How to get to Westminster Abbey
- Take the Circle Line or District Line to the Westminster tube stop