Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin to be flown to London
Edinburgh – Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin will be flown on Tuesday to London at the end of 24 hours of lying at rest in Edinburgh’s historic cathedral, where her son, King Charles and his three siblings held a silent vigil.
Charles was joined by his sister Anne and brothers Andrew and Edward for the 10-minute vigil on Monday at St Giles Cathedral, where they stood, heads bowed, at the four sides of the coffin while members of the public filed past to pay their respects.
While a bagpipe lament had been the only sound as kilted soldiers bore the casket earlier in the day, the four royals left the vigil in darkness to the sound of applause from mourners lining the street.
Frances Thain, 63, said she had been surprised to see the queen’s four children as she entered the cathedral.
“I was just overwhelmed because there were so much to take in,” she said.
People queued overnight to pay their respects, with some arriving with sleeping children and many wearing winter jackets, scarves, and woollen hats to keep out the cold.
“We were desperate to be here to show our respects,” Will Brehme, an engineer from Edinburgh, said. He arrived in the early hours of the morning with his partner and 20-month-old daughter sleeping in a baby carrier.
“It is a moment that will live with us forever,” he said. “When you think that she worked all of her life for us, it is the least we could do.”
Elizabeth died on Thursday in her holiday home at Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands at the age of 96 after a 70-year reign, plunging the nation into mourning. Her funeral will be held this coming Monday, September 19.
Charles, 73, who automatically became king of the United Kingdom and 14 other realms, including Australia, Canada, and Jamaica, will be travelling to the four parts of the United Kingdom before the funeral, and will visit Northern Ireland on Tuesday.
In Belfast, he will meet senior politicians and faith leaders, and attend a service at the city’s St Anne’s Cathedral before returning to London.