The Queen’s coffin has arrived at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, following a six-hour journey from Balmoral Castle to the Scottish capital.
Crowds of mourners lined the streets of villages and cities, paying tribute to the monarch as her cortege made its way across Scotland on the first of the Queen’s 8-day journey to her final resting place.
Britain’s longest-serving monarch died Thursday at the age of 96 at her Scottish country estate in Balmoral. Her funeral will be held in London on September 19.
At 10 a.m. local time (5 a.m. ET) the coffin left Balmoral, traveling through Scotland to the official Scottish residence of the British royal family.
The procession passed several villages and the cities of Aberdeen and Dundee, before making its way down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. Large crowds gathered along the pavements of the Royal Mile, with some people camping out ahead of the momentous occasion.
Visitor Hilary Gemmell said she drove one and a half hours to Edinburgh with her mother as they wanted to pay their respects to the Queen.
“On Thursday night I definitely had a tear in my eye. I feel like we’ve lost one of the family,” Gemmell told CNN.
The coffin arrived at the forecourt of the Palace of Holyroodhouse at about 4.20 p.m. (11:20 a.m. ET), where it was greeted with an honor guard made up of the Royal Regiment of Scotland who performed a royal salute. It was set to be transferred to the palace’s Throne Room, giving household staff the opportunity to pay their final respects to the late monarch – similar to how the coffin was placed in the ballroom at Balmoral.
Also on Sunday, public proclamations to King Charles III took place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. King Charles, who was formally confirmed as the new monarch of the United Kingdom during a ceremony at St. James’s Palace on Saturday, met religious and Commonwealth leaders in central London on Sunday afternoon.
Tributes for the late monarch have flooded in from around the world, and the UK has entered a period of national mourning. On Saturday, the Prince of Wales issued a personal statement on the loss of his grandmother.
“She was by my side at my happiest moments. And she was by my side during the saddest days of my life,” Prince William said. “I knew this day would come, but it will be some time before the reality of life without Grannie will truly feel real.”
What happens next?
On Monday, the coffin will proceed down the Royal Mile to St Giles’ Cathedral for a service of prayer and reflection attended by the King and Queen Consort and royal family members, as well as a congregation made up “from all areas of Scottish society,” the senior palace official said.
Afterward, the coffin will rest there for 24 hours to allow the Scottish public to see it, in a tradition known as lying in state.
The coffin will then be flown from Edinburgh to London on Tuesday evening.
The following day, the coffin will be moved again, from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall for the lying in state, which will end on the morning of the state funeral.
On the morning of September 19 – a public holiday across the UK – the Queen’s lying in state will end. The coffin will then travel in procession once more to Westminster Abbey for the state funeral.
After the funeral, the coffin will be taken again in procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch. From there, it will travel to Windsor. Once in Windsor, the hearse will travel to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle for the committal service.
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