Home / GENERAL NEWS / Queen Elizabeth’s Coffin Seen for First Time as It Travels from Balmoral Castle to Edinburgh

Queen Elizabeth’s Coffin Seen for First Time as It Travels from Balmoral Castle to Edinburgh

Queen Elizabeth's Coffin Seen for First Time as It Travels from Balmoral Castle to Edinburgh 1

Queen Elizabeth’s coffin left Balmoral Castle, where the monarch died on Thursday, on Sunday morning draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland

Queen Elizabeth’s coffin has begun its journey.

The monarch’s oak coffin left Balmoral Castle, where she died on Sept. 8, on Sunday morning around 10 a.m. local time. Draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland and a wreath of flowers picked from the Balmoral estate including dahlias, sweet peas, phlox, white heather and pine fir, it began its six-hour drive south to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh.

Large crowds silently gathered along the route as Queen Elizabeth’s hearse passed through the rural beauty and small villages of Scotland’s Deeside. This included the town of Ballater, which lies close to the Balmoral Estate and was regularly visited by the monarch during her yearly visits to Scotland.

The Queen’s only daughter, Princess Anne, also made the journey in a car following the hearse. She was accompanied by her husband, Sir Timothy Laurence.

Earlier, Queen Elizabeth’s coffin had been carried from its resting place in the castle’s ballroom by six gamekeepers who had been close to her throughout her life. The late Queen’s piper also played as the hearse was prepared for the journey south.

The Balmoral estate’s Twitter account shared a smiling photo of the Queen surrounded by white horses on Sunday, writing: “Her Majesty the Queen has started her journey to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Rest in peace your Majesty. Long live the King.”

The coffin is expected to arrive at Holyroodhouse at around 4 p.m. local time and remain there overnight to enable staff at the palace to pay their respects.

On Monday, the late Queen’s coffin will be adorned with the Crown of Scotland and then be taken in a solemn procession up the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, in a procession to the city’s St. Giles’s Cathedral for a service.

King Charles III will walk behind his mother’s casket during the ceremony with his siblings, Princess Anne and her husband, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. It is expected that the Queen Consort, Camilla, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex will travel up to the cathedral service in transport behind the marchers.

Later that day, the coffin will be flown to London, accompanied by the Queen’s only daughter, Princess Anne, the Princess Royal.

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Mourners in the British capital will then have a chance to pay respects when the Queen’s coffin rests in the 900-year-old Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament.

The casket will remain there for about four days before her funeral at Westminster Abbey on Sept. 19. It will rest on a raised catafalque draped in the royal standard and be protected by soldiers of the Royal Household and members of the royal family around the clock.

The plan to bring the Queen’s body home to England if she died in Scotland is dubbed Operation Unicorn, while the funeral arrangements are known as Operation London Bridge.

In a statement read at a briefing at Buckingham Palace on Saturday, the Earl Marshal the Duke of Norfolk, who is managing all the funeral arrangements, said, “We will carry out our duty in the coming days with the heaviest of hearts, but also with the firmest of resolve to ensure a fitting farewell to one of the defining figures of our times; a monarch whom we were truly privileged to have had as the Head of State of our country and the Realms, and Head of the wider Commonwealth.”

He added, “While His Majesty The King was speaking about his family, I think it applies to us all when he said in his broadcast yesterday that: ‘We owe her the most heartfelt debt.’ I think we can, in some way, repay that debt by carrying out her last wishes in delivering Her Majesty The Queen’s funeral.”

Following the state funeral, the Queen’s coffin will travel to a committal service in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. Elizabeth II will then be laid to rest at the King George VI Memorial Chapel, alongside her late husband Prince Philip, who died in April 2021 aged 99.

“Following the death of Her Majesty The Queen, it is His Majesty The King’s wish that a period of Royal Mourning be observed from now until seven days after The Queen’s Funeral,” says a statement on Buckingham Palace’s website.

Flags will be flown at half-staff at royal residences through this period, and the buildings themselves will be closed.

Though there are no formal condolence books, supporters are invited to share sympathies on the royal website.


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