EDINBURGH: The coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth was carried along the Royal Mile in Scotland’s capital Edinburgh on Monday in a silent and solemn procession watched by thousands of people lining the street to pay their respects to Great Britain’s longest-serving monarch -Brittany.
The skirl of bagpipes was the only sound as kilted soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland carried the coffin from the Palace of Holyroodhouse and placed it in the hearse.
A gun salute crashed from a battery in Edinburgh Castle as the hearse began its journey. Then there was only silence.
King Charles and his siblings – Anne, Andrew and Edward – walked behind the hearse down the historic street. The Royal Company of Archers provided the honor guard.
The coffin will rest in St. Giles Cathedral for an overnight vigil before being flown to London on Tuesday.
Elizabeth died on Thursday at her holiday home in Balmoral, in the Scottish Highlands, aged 96 after a 70-year reign, leaving the nation in mourning.
Charles became king upon his death and was officially proclaimed monarch on Saturday.
Tina Richardson, 63, a pensioner from Dunbar, was among those on the centuries-old Royal Mile next to the cathedral. She said her middle name was Elizabeth after the late Queen.
“She is like a member of my own family. There will never be anyone like her,” she told Reuters. “She was such a beautiful woman who gave us so much. She has devoted her whole life to the country. In good times and bad, she was there, especially during COVID. She united everyone.
Carol Williams, 52, a part-time primary teacher from Dunfermline, said she wanted to watch what she called a symbolic moment in Britain’s history.
“I feel so privileged that we can watch this moment. We are so lucky to have this opportunity to pay tribute like this. If she had died in London, we would never have had this opportunity,” she said.
Earlier on Monday in London, King Charles addressed members of the British parliament at Westminster Hall.
He called Parliament “a living, breathing instrument of our democracy” and pledged to follow his late mother’s example in maintaining its independence.
As with all ceremonies held to mark the Queen’s death and Charles’ accession to the throne, there was much pageantry.
He arrived at Westminster Hall to a fanfare of trumpets with his wife Camilla, Queen Consort. The royal couple sat in ceremonial chairs, with troopers in red tunics and feathered helmets standing to attention behind.
Charles told members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords: “When she was very young, Her late Majesty pledged herself to serve her country and her people and to uphold the treasured principles of constitutional government which are at the heart of our nation. She kept this vow with unparalleled devotion.
“She set an example of selfless duty which, with God’s help and your guidance, I am resolved to follow faithfully.”
The congregation then sang “God Save the King”.
Charles, 73, who is now king of the UK and 14 other kingdoms including Australia, Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, is known for speaking out on issues ranging from the environment to youth issues.
He suggested that as king he might have to moderate his style, in keeping with the tradition that the monarch steer clear of political matters.
Crown of Scotland
On Sunday, the Queen’s oak coffin, draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland with a wreath of white flowers on top, was transported by hearse on a six-hour journey from Balmoral through the scenic Scottish countryside, the villages, small towns and cities up to Edinburgh.
Tens of thousands of well-wishers lined the roads to pay their respects, while huge crowds, some in tears, gathered in Edinburgh to greet the motorcade.
Charles, who will also visit the Scottish parliament and meet Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, will later hold a vigil at 7:20 p.m. (6:20 p.m. GMT) with other members of the royal family.
On Tuesday the coffin will be flown to London, where on Wednesday it will begin a period of rest until early September 19 – the day of Elizabeth’s state funeral – on a catafalque in Westminster Hall.
Large crowd expected
In London, members of the public will be allowed to walk past the coffin, which will be covered by the Royal Standard with the sovereign’s orb and scepter placed on top, 24 hours a day until 6.30am (0530 GMT) on 19 september. .
“Those wishing to attend will have to queue for many hours, if not overnight,” the government said in a statement. “Large crowds are expected.”
Thousands of people continued to gather at royal palaces across Britain, bringing flowers. In Green Park, near Buckingham Palace, where some of the tributes are being paid, long lines of bouquets now wind through the park, allowing mourners to read the tributes.
“It really touched me to lose the Queen,” Amy Gibbs, 43, said outside Buckingham Palace. “I think she was an incredible woman who did her best and gave us everything.”
Britain last saw such a display of public mourning in 1997 after Charles’ first wife, Princess Diana, died in a car crash in Paris.
In his first public comment since the Queen’s death, Prince Harry https://www.Reuters.com/world/uk/prince-harry-pays-tribute-granny-queen-elizabeth-2022-09-12/ — Diana’s son — paid a moving tribute to his “grandmother” on Monday, saying she would be sorely missed not just by the family, but by the world.
“We too smile knowing that you and grandfather are reunited now, and both at peace,” said Harry, a reference to Elizabeth’s husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, who died last year. .