Queen Elizabeth’s coffin arrives in Edinburgh ahead of a final journey to London
A cortege carrying Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin arrived at the royal Palace of Holyroodhouse in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh on Sunday after traveling the 100-mile journey from Balmoral Castle.
The convoy carrying the queen from the royal estate where she died began slowly snaking through the hills and forests of the Scottish highlands. The route took her through villages and towns which were lined by her subjects.
Gamekeepers from the summer retreat Balmoral, where the queen died on Thursday after 70 years on the throne, carried the late sovereign’s oak coffin from the castle’s ballroom to a hearse. The hearse drove out of the gates of Balmoral past piles of flowers left by the public.
In Scotland, there is respect for the queen but skepticism for the institution of monarchy.
Heather McGrath, a chef who lives in Glasgow, told NPR she thinks the royal family is redundant.
“We don’t really need them. It’s just like it’s a tourist attraction more than anything.”
A Scottish nationalist, McGrath voted for independence in the 2014 referendum and said she would do so again if she gets the chance.
For others, though, the cortege felt personal and historic. Terry Rigby, a retired air traffic controller, brought his grandson to watch in the town of Banchory.
Rigby said he had celebrated the queen’s coronation in 1953 outside Buckingham Palace.
“I was sitting on my father’s shoulders,” Rigby recalled. “That was her first journey. This is the last.”
The queen’s death kicked off a series of events that will last more than a week before her funeral, scheduled to take place Sept. 19. On Monday, she’ll be conveyed from the palace to nearby St. Giles’ Cathedral to lie at rest before being flown to London on Tuesday.
Over the weekend, the queen’s eldest son was formally proclaimed the new monarch — King Charles III — at an accession ceremony.
“I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of sovereignty, which have now passed to me,” he said.