The flag-draped coffin of Queen Elizabeth II makes its way through the rugged Scottish countryside on Sunday on a final journey from her beloved summer estate, Balmoral Castle, to London, with mourners quietly lining the roads and flowers in honor of the deceased monarch after 70 years on the throne.
The hearse passed piles of bouquets and other tributes as it led a seven-car motorcade from Balmoral, where the Queen died on Thursday, for a six-hour journey through Scottish towns to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. The late Queen’s coffin was draped in the Royal Standard for Scotland and topped with a wreath made from the estate’s flowers, including sweet peas, one of the Queen’s favourites.
“A sad and poignant moment as Her Majesty The Queen leaves her beloved Balmoral for the last time,” Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted. “Today, as she travels to Edinburgh, Scotland will pay tribute to an extraordinary woman.”
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Crowds lined parts of the road as the nation mourned its longest-reigning monarch, the only one most Britons have ever known. In the Scottish village of Ballater, where locals consider the royal family to be neighbours, hundreds of people watched the hearse pass.
“She meant so much to the people of that area. People were crying, it was amazing to see,” Victoria Pacheco said.
In every town and village, the procession encountered similar scenes of muted reverence. The people stood mostly in silence; some cheered politely, others pointed to their phone cameras.
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Before reaching the Scottish capital, the procession passes through places steeped in the history of the House of Windsor, including Dyce, where in 1975 the Queen officially opened the first North Sea pipeline in the United Kingdom, and Fife near from the University of St. Andrews, where his grandson William, now the Prince of Wales, studied and met his future wife, Catherine.
In Ballater, the Reverend David Barr said locals consider members of the royal family “neighbors” and try to treat them like locals when they summer in the Scottish Highlands.
When Elizabeth came to her estate, the royal part of her mostly stayed on the outside, he said. “She was able to be a wife, a loving wife, a loving mom, a loving grandmother, and then later a loving great-grandmother – and an aunt – and be normal.”
Elizabeth Taylor of Aberdeen had tears in her eyes after the hearse passed Ballater.
“It was very emotional. It was respectful,” she said. “She certainly did this country a service, even up until a few days before her death.”
On Monday, the Queen’s coffin will be transported to nearby St. Giles Cathedral, where it will remain until Tuesday, when it will be flown to London. The coffin will be moved from Buckingham Palace on Wednesday to the Houses of Parliament to remain undisturbed until the state funeral at Westminster Abbey on September 19.
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President Biden has yet to speak with King Charles III
President Joe Biden said Sunday he had not yet spoken to King Charles III since his mother’s death.
“I spoke to him many times but I haven’t spoken to him since he became king,” Biden told reporters as he left Delaware to return to Washington for a 9/11 commemoration event at the Pentagon.
Biden is due to travel to London to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.
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The Queen’s solemn walk through Scotland comes a day after the Queen’s eldest son was officially proclaimed the new monarch – King Charles III – in a pompous accession ceremony steeped in ancient tradition and tradition. political symbolism.
He will be proclaimed king in other nations of the UK – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – and in towns across the country on Sunday.
Even as he mourned Elizabeth, Charles got to work. He was meeting at Buckingham Palace with the Secretary-General and other representatives of the Commonwealth, a group of nations struggling with affection for the Queen and lingering bitterness over their own colonial heritage, from slavery to punishment. bodies in African schools to looted artefacts. held in UK institutions.
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Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who began laying the groundwork for an Australian republic after May’s election, said on Sunday that now was not the time for change but to pay tribute to the late Queen.
India, a former British colony, observed a day of national mourning, with flags flown at half-mast on all government buildings across the country.
Contributor: David Jackson, USA TODAY
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