Crowds lined the road in Scotland as the UK mourned its longest-reigning monarch, the only one most Britons have ever known.
The flag-draped coffin of Queen Elizabeth II arrived at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh after a six-hour journey from Balmoral Castle, where the UK’s longest reigning monarch died on Thursday.
Thousands of people lined the road in Scotland to pay their last respects to the late monarch, the only one most Britons have ever known. Earlier on Sunday, flowers and other tributes were piled up outside the gates of Balmoral and Holyroodhouse.
The coffin will be transported from Holyroodhouse to St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh on Monday, where it will remain before being flown to London for a state funeral on September 19.
He will then be transferred from Buckingham Palace on Wednesday to the Houses of Parliament to remain in state until the funeral at Westminster Abbey.
Elizabeth Alexander, 69 and born on the day of the Queen’s coronation in 1953, was in the village of Ballater to view the coffin.
“I think it will be very emotional for whoever says goodbye. It’s like a family member, it’s overwhelming — the sadness — that she’s not going to be with us,” Alexander said.
The Queen ascended the throne after the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952, when she was just 25 years old. His coronation took place a year later.
“Many people who have been gathering here for so long are standing up and not walking away – this moment is not over,” said Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher, reporting from the facade of the Palace of Holyroodhouse where people laid flowers. from the early hours.
“It gives people the opportunity to bid a collective farewell to a woman who was loved and admired by Scots…and let’s face it, Scots don’t love everyone, but had a special affection for the Queen,” Fisher said.
“Heavy responsibilities of sovereignty”
Sunday’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 lavish accession ceremony steeped in ancient tradition and political symbolism .
“I am keenly aware of this great heritage and of the heavy duties and responsibilities of sovereignty, which have now been handed down to me,” Charles said on assuming the duties of monarch.
He was proclaimed king in other nations of the UK – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – and in towns across the country.
Previously, proclamations had taken place in other parts of the Commonwealth – the group of former colonies of the British Empire – including Australia and New Zealand.
Even as he mourned his late mother, Charles got to work. He met the Commonwealth Secretary-General, a group of nations struggling with affection for the Queen and lingering bitterness over their own colonial heritage, at Buckingham Palace. This ranged from slavery to corporal punishment in African schools to looted items held in British institutions.