Queen Elizabeth’s coffin began a six-hour journey from her summer home in the Scottish Highlands to Edinburgh on Sunday, as thousands of people lined the route to pay their respects. the late monarch, many in somber silence, some clapping and others crying.
Shortly after 10:00 local time (0900 GMT), a hearse with Elizabeth’s oak coffin left the gates of Balmoral Castle, where she died on Thursday at the age of 96, to make its way slowly towards the Scottish capital.
The casket was draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland, with a wreath on top composed of flowers taken from the Balmoral estate, including sweet peas, one of Elizabeth’s favourites.
In an emotional tribute to his mother on Friday, the new monarch, King Charles, said he had embarked on a “last great journey” to reunite with her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, who died last year.
The procession from Balmoral is the first in a series of events that will precede the state funeral at Westminster Abbey in London on September 19.
As the hearse reached the small town of Ballater, near Balmoral, hundreds of people stood quietly by the roadside in the bright morning sun, some throwing flowers onto the road.
“She is like a member of the family, we are overwhelmed with sadness that she is not going to be with us,” said Elizabeth Alexander, 69, who was born the day the queen was crowned in 1953.
“We have traveled a long way to come here, but we felt it was really important to come and pay our respects as he passes through Ballater,” a tearful Nicola Gibson told Reuters. “I guess like everyone, a lot of emotions.”
Accompanied by the queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, the procession leaves the remote castle and travels through picturesque countryside, villages and small towns to Edinburgh, where the coffin will be carried to the throne room of the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Tens of thousands of people have already gathered at royal palaces in the days since Elizabeth’s death to lay flowers and pay their respects.
“I know how deeply you, the entire nation – and I think I can say the entire world – sympathize with me for the irreparable loss we have all suffered,” Carlos said at a ceremony on Saturday.
The queen came to the throne after the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952, when she was only 25 years old. Her coronation took place a year later. Carlos became king just after the death of his mother and was officially proclaimed as the new monarch in a ceremony full of splendor and centuries-old traditions.
The day of Isabel’s funeral will be a public holiday in the United Kingdom, authorities announced. US President Joe Biden said he will attend, although full details of the event and attendees have yet to be released.
Before, his coffin will be flown to London and there will be a solemn procession when it is transferred from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, where it will remain for four days.
Liz Truss, whose appointment as prime minister on Tuesday was the queen’s last public act, will join King Charles to tour the four nations that make up the United Kingdom in the coming days.