Queen Elizabeth’s coffin begins slow journey to Edinburgh - GulfToday

Queen Elizabeth’s coffin begins slow journey to Edinburgh


Members of the public line the streets in Ballater, Scotland, as the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II passes through as it makes its journey to Edinburgh from Balmoral in Scotland, on Sunday. AP

Queen Elizabeth's coffin began a six-hour journey from her home in the Scottish Highlands to Edinburgh on Sunday as crowds lined the roads in silence, paying tribute to the monarch who reigned for 70 years.

At 10am (0900 GMT), Elizabeth's oak coffin, which had been in the ballroom of Balmoral Castle since she died on Thursday aged 96, was placed in a hearse by six gamekeepers.


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Shortly afterwards, the hearse emerged from the gates of Balmoral to head towards the Scottish capital. The coffin was draped in the royal standard of Scotland and with a wreath on top made up of flowers from the Balmoral estate, including sweet peas - one of Elizabeth's favourites.

The slow cortege is the first of a series of events leading up to the state funeral at Westminster Abbey in London on Sept. 19.

Members of the public line the streets in Ballater, Scotland, on Sunday. AP

Her death has drawn tears, sadness and warm tributes, not just from the Queen's own close family and many in Britain, but also from around the globe — reflecting her presence on the world stage for seven decades.

In the nearby small village of Ballater, hundreds stood beside the road in silence as the hearse passed, some throwing flowers into the road.

"It's like a family member, it overwhelms - the sadness - that she's not going to be with us," said Elizabeth Alexander, 69, who was born on the day the Queen was crowned in 1953.

Accompanied by the Queen's daughter, Princess Anne, the cortege will slowly make its way from the remote castle, winding through small towns and villages to Edinburgh where the coffin will be taken to the throne room of the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Tens of thousands have gathered at royal palaces in the days since Elizabeth's death to leave flowers and to pay their respects.

Floral tributes are left at the Norwich Gate outside the Sandringham Estate in Sandringham, Norfolk. AFP

"I know how deeply you, the entire nation — and I think I may say the whole world — sympathise with me in the irreparable loss we have all suffered," her son King Charles said at a ceremony on Saturday.

The Queen came to the throne following the death of her father King George VI on Feb. 6, 1952, when she was just 25. Her coronation took place a year later.

Charles became king immediately after his mother's death but was officially proclaimed the new monarch at the ceremony.

While Elizabeth's death was not totally unexpected given her age, the fact her health had been deteriorating and the passing of her husband of 73 years Prince Philip last year, there was still a sense of shock at the news.

"We all thought she was invincible," her grandson Prince William, now the heir to the throne, told a well-wisher on Saturday as he met crowds at Windsor castle.




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