EDINBURGH, Scotland — King Charles III, dressed in the ceremonial uniform of a marshal, and his three siblings, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward walked behind a hearse carrying their mother’s coffin on Monday in a solemn procession attended by thousands along the Royal Mile in the historic heart of Scotland’s capital of Edinburgh.
The hearse was flanked by a party of bearers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland and a detachment of the King’s Bodyguard in Scotland, the Royal Company of Archers. After the procession, a memorial service for Queen Elizabeth II was held at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh.
The coffin, with the Crown of Scotland resting on a cushion on it, is due to remain in the 12th-century cathedral until Tuesday. Shortly after the end of the service, members of the public, some of whom have been waiting since dawn, were to be allowed to pay their respects to the late Queen.
The memorial service featured Karen Matheson singing Psalm 118 in Gaelic, with harp accompaniment, and a reading from Ecclesiastes by Scottish Head of Government Nicola Sturgeon.
The congregation sang The Lord’s My Shepherd, considered one of the Queen’s favorite hymns.
Members of the royal family are planned to hold a vigil near the casket in the evening.
The royal couple flew to Edinburgh on Monday where they attended a memorial service for the Queen and will travel to the Scottish Parliament to meet senior officials.
After landing, Charles and Camilla traveled from the airport to the Royal Family’s official residence in Edinburgh, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin lay overnight in the Throne Room.
On their way, they passed large crowds of people who were crammed behind metal barriers along the Royal Mile, the road between Holyroodhouse and St. Giles Cathedral. Spectators cheered and waved as the King’s limousine passed.
The royal couple got out of their car at Holyroodhouse and waved to people, and watched the floral tributes before a cannon salute rang out from Edinburgh Castle.
Before landing in Edinburgh, the royal couple traveled to Parliament at Westminster Hall in London to receive condolences from the House of Commons and House of Lords.
“As deep as our grief is, we know yours is deeper,” said House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle.
The King said symbols of his ‘deceased dear mother’ were all around the Palace of Westminster, such as a fountain in the New Palace Yard, a sundial in the Old Palace Yard and a ‘magnificent’ stained glass window which commemorated the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.
Charles III told the House of Commons that he was “deeply grateful for the addresses of condolence from the House of Lords and the House of Commons, which so touchingly embrace what our late Sovereign, my beloved mother the queen, meant to us all. As Shakespeare said of the former Queen Elizabeth, she was “a role model for all living princes”.
“As I stand before you today, I cannot help but feel the weight of history that surrounds us and reminds us of the vital parliamentary traditions to which members of both Houses dedicate themselves, with such commitment staff for the good of all of us,” he continued.
Speaking of the Queen’s return journey to London, Charles III said: “The Great Bell of Big Ben – one of our nation’s most powerful symbols throughout the world and housed in the Elizabeth Tower also named for the Jubilee mother’s diamond necklace – will mark the passing of the late Queen’s progress from Buckingham Palace to this Parliament on Wednesday.”
Read the full transcript:King Charles makes his first national address after the Queen’s death
The coffin will remain there for 24 hours. before flying to London on Tuesday. The Queen’s coffin will then be moved from Buckingham Palace on Wednesday to the Houses of Parliament to rest until the state funeral at Westminster Abbey on September 19.
On Tuesday, the King and Camilla will also travel to Northern Ireland where they will meet politicians and religious leaders and attend a memorial service at St Anne’s Cathedral.
A queue has already started to form to view Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin when she is in state in London, although it won’t start until Wednesday evening.
Security personnel are preparing for millions of people to pay their respects to the late monarch, whose coffin will be in London’s Westminster Hall until her state funeral on September 19.
The line should run from Parliament along the bank of the Thames.
Authorities have advised city commuters to change their working habits as London is expected to be extremely busy in the coming days.
‘An extraordinary woman’:Queen Elizabeth II’s flag-draped coffin arrives in Scotland’s capital
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex paid tribute to the Queen – his “grandmother” – and his “eternal legacy”, making his first full public statement since his death last week at 96.
In his statement, Harry praised the Queen, sharing, “we all remember the compass she was to so many in her commitment to service and duty.”
Harry’s words became deeply personal. “Thank you for your wise advice,” he wrote. “Thank you for your infectious smile. We, too, smile knowing that you and Grandpa are reunited now, and both at peace.”
Prince Harry’s tribute:Prince Harry pays touching tribute to his ‘grandmother’ and her ‘infectious smile’
UK government issues advice on how the public should act when paying their respects to Queen Elizabeth II
Monday, the The UK government has announced that members of the public will be able to pay their respects to the Queen during the lay-up at Westminster in London from Wednesday evening.
The public can watch the procession unfold in person at ceremonial viewing areas along the procession route, or at a screening site in Hyde Park, according to a press release. Guests are warned not to arrive intoxicated, to dress appropriately, not to make any political statements and not to take photos in Westminster Hall.
The Queen’s coffin will remain closed on a raised platform in Westminster Hall and will be draped in the Royal Standard with the Orb and Scepter placed on top. Every corner of the platform will be guarded 24 hours a day.
Large crowds and long hours of queuing, possibly overnight, are to be expected for those wishing to pay their respects to the Queen. To those attending the Lying-in-State, the UK government warns that they will go through airport-style security.
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Contributors: Scott Gleeson, Pamela Avila, Naledi Ushe, Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY; The Associated Press