At Queen Elizabeth II's Funeral, a Surprise Spider Steals the Spotlight

The "most famous spider in the world right now" scurried over a note from King Charles III on the queen's coffin, right by the Imperial State Crown.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper
2 min read

The small spider can be seen on the upper right corner of the card from King Charles III.


Royals from around the world attended Queen Elizabeth II's state funeral on Monday, as did actress Sandra Oh and TV host Bear Grylls. But one surprise attendee was neither invited nor famous: A small spider was spotted crawling across the queen's coffin, and naturally, social media took it to heart.

The spider picked a prominent spot to show up. It was seen crawling across a note from the queen's eldest son, King Charles III, that reads "in loving and devoted memory. Charles R." ("R" is Latin for Rex, meaning "king.") The Imperial State Crown is just inches from the spider's path. And since the arachnid quickly scurried away, who knows where it is now? It could have taken up residence in the crown itself.

One person dubbed it, "the most famous spider in the world right now."

Another theorized how confused the little spider must have been, writing, "Imagine you're a spider in the garden and you fall asleep in a pink rose. When you wake up, you stretch all your little legs and realize that you're suddenly naked in Westminster Abbey, on top of the queen's coffin in front of world leaders and billions of people."

Though the funeral was, of course, a serious, solemn event, the spider inspired some to spin jokes. Said one person, "it's all part of the endless web coverage."

Others used the spider to make a point about the lengthy funeral coverage versus the time spent on major news events.

One person wrote, "Puerto Rico: **has no power or potable water** Every cable news network: 'Was that?....yes, I believe a spider just crawled across the queen's coffin.'"

Naturally, the spider now has at least one Twitter account, with more than 160 followers as of this writing. 

"For anyone wondering, I am just a little garden spider / an orb weaver of sorts," the person behind TheRoyalSpider account wrote. "Hope this helps! Having a bit of an identity crisis with all the fame..."

Queen Elizabeth II died on Sept. 8 at age 96 after reigning for 70 years. She will be buried in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, next to her late husband, Prince Philip, who died last year at age 99.