The Queen has just returned to London from her extended holiday at Balmoral and is set to resume official royal duties. She spent nearly four months in the Scottish Highlands, where she vacationed and was often seen heading to church with other Royal Family members, including Camilla and Prince Charles this past weekend.
The monarch’s second engagement back at work will see her step out to the Abbey with Camilla to celebrate the hallowed building’s 750 th anniversary in a service that will take place Oct. 15.
We haven’t seen Camilla and Her Majesty together at an engagement since June 2018, when they stepped out to Medical Detection Dogs, one of the duchess’s patronages. Camilla attended her first ever joint royal engagement with the Queen in 2007, when they attended the Women in Business Reception at Buckingham Palace with Princess Anne, the Countess of Wessex and the Duchess of Gloucester.
Camilla and Charles spent quite a lot of time with the Queen in Balmoral this summer, and just this past weekend they were spotted going to church with Her Majesty. Camilla’s younger sister Annabel and her husband, Simon Elliot, were spotted with them in the car, which was driven by Charles.
Westminster Abbey is one of the most important buildings in English and British history and is one of the centres of the British monarchy. It has been the site of the coronation of every English and British monarch – with the exception of Edward V and Edward VIII, who were not crowned – since 1066, when William I (known as “the Conqueror”) invaded England from France. It has also hosted 16 royal weddings, including those of the Queen and Prince Philip, Prince William and Duchess Kate and Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, since 1100.
The Abbey’s origins reportedly date to the 960s, when a community of Benedictine monks were first said to have built a church named St. Peter’s Abbey on the site. When Edward the Confessor, one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England, ascended the throne in 1042, he began rebuilding the Abbey, which was completed in 1060 and consecrated in 1065. A year later, Edward became the first English monarch to be buried there when he died. William I became the first recorded English king crowned there, although it is thought to have been the place of the coronation of Harold II, who he overthrew.
The present church, however, started in 1245 under Henry III, who had it built in its current Gothic style. It was consecrated in 1269, the same year Henry died, and was finally finished under Richard II in the 14th century. It was rebuilt in 1517, and its Western towers were not completed until the 18 th century.
More than 3,300 people are buried in the Abbey, including 16 kings and queens, eight British prime ministers, poets, actors, scientists and other leaders.