Large crowds gathered in Scotland’s capital as King Charles III led the British royal family in a procession behind the coffin of his mother when it travelled to an Edinburgh cathedral to allow the public to pay their respects.
Queen Elizabeth II‘s coffin was taken from the Palace of Holyroodhouse on Monday to nearby St Giles’ Cathedral where her family, and a congregation drawn from all areas of Scottish society, attended a service of thanksgiving for her life.
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King Charles III, dressed in army uniform, along with Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, walked behind as the hearse travelled to St Giles’ Cathedral flanked by a bearer party of the Royal Regiment of Scotland and a detachment of The King’s Body Guard in Scotland, the Royal Company of Archers.
The coffin will remain at the cathedral until Tuesday so members of the public can pay their respects before it is taken to London to lie in state at the Houses of Parliament Palace from Wednesday afternoon until the morning of the funeral on September 19.
One man appeared to shout angrily at the hearse as it passed, while others called out: “God save the king!” But the procession was greeted mostly with a respectful silence under blue skies flecked with white clouds.
Earlier, a car carrying Charles and his wife Camilla passed the huge crowds of people who were packed behind metal barriers along the Royal Mile, the road between Holyroodhouse and St Giles’ Cathedral. Onlookers clapped and waved as the king’s limousine passed.
Charles and Camilla got out of their car at Holyroodhouse and greeted people, and looked at floral tributes before a gun salute boomed from Edinburgh Castle.
Earlier on Monday, the king addressed lawmakers in Parliament in London, telling them: “I cannot but help feel the weight of history which surrounds us.”
Charles told members of the House of Commons and House of Lords that he would follow his late mother in upholding “the precious principles of constitutional governance” that underpin the UK’s political system.
He paid tribute to his mother, saying: “As Shakespeare said of the earlier Queen Elizabeth, she was a pattern to all princes living.”
Earlier on Monday, Prince Harry paid an emotional tribute to his “granny” in his first public comments since her death, saying she would be sorely missed not just by the family, but the world over.
“Granny, while this final parting brings us great sadness, I am forever grateful for all of our first meetings – from my earliest childhood memories with you, to meeting you for the first time as my commander-in-chief, to the first moment you met my darling wife and hugged your beloved great-grandchildren.”
“We, too, smile knowing that you and grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace,” Harry said, a reference to Elizabeth’s husband of 73 years Prince Philip who died last year.
After visiting Scotland, Charles embarks on a tour of the other nations that make up the United Kingdom – he visits the Northern Ireland capital, Belfast, on Tuesday and Wales on Friday.