Reflecting the emotion that has gripped the United Kingdom since the death of the longest reigning monarch in her history, a compact crowd welcomed the body in the Scottish capital, which passed through the gates of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Scottish royal residence, shortly before 4.30 p.m. after traveling 300 kilometers slowly, in six hours.
The coffin must spend the night in the throne room before a religious ceremony on Monday, which will be attended by King Charles III, in Saint-Gilles Cathedral, one kilometer from Holyroodhouse, where the remains will be transferred.
On Tuesday, she will join London in anticipation of the state funeral which will take place on September 19.
The oak coffin, which left the Balmoral estate shortly after 10 a.m. to applause, was covered with the Scottish royal standard on which had been laid a wreath of white heather, dahlias and sweet peas, from the castle gardens where the queen breathed her last on Thursday.
In the procession, there was Princess Anne, daughter of the late sovereign, who had taken her place with her husband Tim Laurence in a limousine following the royal hearse.
Tens of thousands of people had massed along the route, some in mourning, others crushing a tear or bowing their heads as the convoy passed. They had come to greet for the last time the one who reigned for 70 years and 7 months, a familiar and reassuring presence, but always mysterious, having passed through times and crises imperturbable.
Scottish Independence First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has paid tribute to
an extraordinary woman.
Her Majesty has selflessly given her life and time to us. Paying homage to her in a traditional way was a way of thanking her for all she did, said Mark Lindley-Highfield, a 47-year-old academic who arrived at Balmoral from Inverness, a two-hour drive north. For the occasion, he wears a black tail coat and a top hat.
Along the route, some threw flowers at the convoy.
The Queen’s funeral will take place on September 19 at Westminster Abbey, London, a mecca for royal weddings, coronations and burials for nearly a millennium.
It was there that the one who was still only the young Princess Elizabeth had married in November 1947, at the age of 21, Philip Mountbatten. It was also there that she was crowned on June 2, 1953, aged 27, 16 months after becoming queen on the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952.
Dignitaries from around the world are expected, including US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, as well as many crowned heads.
Hundreds of thousands of people are also expected to pay their last respects to him at the Palace of Westminster, where his coffin will rest from September 14, before being transferred to the abbey for the funeral which will begin at 10 a.m. local time on September 19.
Charles III proclaimed king
After being proclaimed king on Saturday in London, Charles III was again on Saturday in the other three constituent countries of the United Kingdom, during ceremonies with an immutable ritual, in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. Twenty-one cannon shots were fired in the three towns.
On Saturday, during the proclamation ceremony at St. James’s Palace in London, he said to himself
deeply aware of this great heritage, of the duties and heavy responsibilities of sovereignty, which are now transmitted to meafter hailing the reign of his mother
unrivaled in its duration, dedication and devotion.
In assuming these responsibilities, I will strive to follow the inspiring example given to mehe added.
Her son William, now heir to the throne and Prince of Wales, also paid a moving tribute to his grandmother.
She was by my side in my happiest moments. And she was by my side during the saddest days of my life. I knew this day was coming, but it’s going to take me some time to get used to the reality of life without Grandma.a
extraordinary queenhe said on Saturday.
The prince then caused a surprise by going with his wife Kate, but also with his brother Harry and his wife Meghan to admire the flowers placed in front of Windsor Castle in tribute to Elizabeth II, where the quartet, much applauded, offered themselves a long walkabout.
The two couples are notoriously cold. Harry and Meghan are now settled in California and had not been seen in public with William and Kate in over two years.
They all left in the same car, but the faces were closed, the interactions minimal.
According to the newspaper The Timesit took
extended negotiations behind the scenes between the two camps, delaying their appearance by 45 minutes.
Increasingly frail in recent months, Queen Elizabeth has devoted her life to the monarchy. On Tuesday, she was still working, receiving in audience the resigning Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and the new Prime Minister Liz Truss, whom she had asked to create a new government.
The monarch had, however, remained at Balmoral for these audiences, too weak to travel.
Her last photo shows her receiving Liz Truss, smiling and leaning on a cane.
His death was announced Thursday at 6:30 p.m.