Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin arrived at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday evening, heading from Scotland through rainy London as crowds lined up to bid the Queen a final farewell.
People waved hearts, with lights inside illuminating the flag-covered coffin, and made its way to London after the Queen arrived from her last trip from Edinburgh to the capital by plane.
Thousands gathered outside the palace and applauded as the cup swung around a roundabout in front of the Queen’s official residence and through the iron gates. King Charles III and other members of the royal family waited to greet the casket.
The coffin of the late Queen’s beloved Scotland left as 33,000 people silently passed it in 24 hours after being brought to St Giles’ Cathedral in the Scottish capital from her cherished summer retreat, Balmoral. The Queen died there on September 8 at the age of 96 after 70 years on the throne.
The C-17 Globemaster military aircraft carrying the King’s coffin has landed at RAF Northolt, west of the city, about an hour after leaving Edinburgh. British Prime Minister Liz Truss, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and a military honor guard were among those who received the coffin at the base.
“We’ll never see her like her again.”
One of those who stood in the rain waiting for the chair to pass by, retired bus driver David Stringer, 82, remembers watching the Queen’s coronation in a news movie as a boy.
“It’s a huge shame,” he said. “I mean, I didn’t think about her every day, but I always knew she was there, and my life is coming to an end now that her time is up.”
The coffin will be transported by horse-drawn carriage on Wednesday to the Palace of Westminster and will remain in the state for four days before a funeral on Monday at Westminster Abbey.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Scotland has now bid a sad but sullen farewell to the Queen of Scotland.” “We will never see her like her again.”
The new king is making his own trip this week, visiting the four countries of the United Kingdom – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – on his first days on the throne.
On Tuesday, hundreds of people lined the street to Hillsborough Castle near Belfast, the official residence of Northern Ireland’s royal family, in the latest outpouring of affection after the Queen’s death. The area in front of the castle gates was carpeted with hundreds of floral motifs.
King Charles III and his wife Camilla, Queen Consort, got out of their car to wave to the crowd and sometimes used both hands to reach the villagers, including schoolchildren in light blue uniforms.
Charles III was even petting a Corgi—his late mother’s favorite dog breed—one grabbed him, and some chanted, “God save the King!”
Robin Campbell, a resident of Hillsborough, said as he waited to see the ruling governor.
Earlier on Tuesday, the flag-covered oak coffin was taken from St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh to the bagpipes. Crowds lined up along the Royal Mile through the historic heart of Edinburgh, as the coffin, accompanied by the Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, applauded, to Edinburgh Airport.
“I have been fortunate to share the last 24 hours of my dear mother’s life,” Princess Anne said in a statement. “It has been an honor and a privilege to accompany her on her recent travels. It has been both fun and relaxing to witness the love and respect shown by so many on these trips.”