Westminster Abbey - London
Westminster Abbey dates back to the 11th century. Every English Monarch since William the Conqueror (on Christmas Day 1066) had their Coronations here, including Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Following her long 70-year reign and subsequent death in September 2022, King Charles III was crowned at Westminster Abbey on May 6, 2023.
Westminster Abbey has been the site of 19 Royal Weddings. The Royal Wedding of the Century of Prince William to Catherine (Kate) Middleton took place on Friday, April 29, 2011. The Archbishop of Canterbury conducted the service. Other Royal Weddings at the Abbey have included: The Queen Mum, Queen Elizabeth II, and Princess Anne. Prince Andrew and Fergie were married here in 1986.
In 1997, Westminster Abbey was the site of Princess Diana’s funeral. It was watched live on television by millions of people around the world – as was Britain’s Queen Mum’s funeral in the Spring of 2002. And on September 19, 2022, over 4 billion people worldwide watched Queen Elizabeth II’s historic State Funeral. It was attended by Kings, Queens, Presidents and Prime Ministers. This was the first state funeral for a monarch in more than 200 years. The last sovereign to be granted a full state funeral at the Abbey had been George II in 1760. Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest reigning monarch, died at Balmoral aged 96, after reigning for 70 years. She is buried alongside her beloved husband Prince Philip in the Royal Vault in St. George’s Chapel in Windsor.
The Coronation Chair
History buffs won’t want to miss seeing the Abbey’s Coronation Chair in St. George’s Chapel, located near the Tomb of Henry V. It’s one of the world’s most famous pieces of furniture.
Tombs & Memorials of Monarchs
Many other Tombs and Memorials of the Kings and Queens of England can also be viewed. Some of the most famous Monarchs buried at the Abbey include: Elizabeth I, James I, Charles II, and Mary, Queen of Scots.
Grave of the Unknown Warrior
The Grave of the Unknown Warrior is located at the west end of the Nave of Westminster Abbey. It contains the remains of an unidentified British soldier killed during World War I. The soldier was buried there on Armistice Day (November 11, 1920). Today, after Royal Wedding photos are taken, the tradition for the bride is to return her bouquet to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Famous People Buried or Commemorated at the Abbey
Over the centuries, famous people from all walks of life – poets, composers, actors, writers, and politicians have been buried or commemorated at Westminster Abbey. Literature lovers won’t want to miss visiting Poets’ Corner, featuring over 100 poets and writers who are buried or have memorials at the Abbey. Famous people buried or commemorated at Westminster Abbey include:
- Sir Isaac Newton
- Charles Darwin
- Rudyard Kipling
- Geoffrey Chaucer
- Robert Burns
- Oliver Cromwell
- William Shakespeare
- Jane Austen
- Henry Purcell
- Samuel Johnson
- George Fridirick Handel
- Earl of Chatham
- David Livingstone
- Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte
- Robert Browning
- Alfred Tennyson
- Noel Coward
- C.S. Lewis
- Neville Chamberlain
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Sir Laurence Olivier
Westminster Abbey is situated in the heart of London, next to Parliament Square, opposite the Houses of Parliament. The Abbey is open daily.
Nearest Underground Station
St. Jame’s Park (District and Circle lines) and Westminster (Jubilee, District and Circle lines)
Visit the Abbey’s website for more info on ticket prices, hours, services and guided tours.
Book London Sightseeing Tours, Day Trips and Fun Things To Do
Get Skip-the-Line Tickets into Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. This fully-guided tour includes priority access to two of London’s most popular attractions. Choose from a variety of fun Westminster Abbey Combo Tours.