Death of Elizabeth II. From Balmoral to Edinburgh, silence and contemplation as the royal coffin passes

Death of Elizabeth II.  From Balmoral to Edinburgh, silence and contemplation as the royal coffin passes

Thousands of people gathered in silence to a last tribute to Elizabeth II : from Balmoral to Edinburgh, the coffin of the queen, who died Thursday September 8, 2022, slowly crossed, Sunday September 11, this Scottish countryside that she loved so much. Story of his final journey.

The coffin first left the castle ballroom, where the monarch lay, carried to the hearse by six estate gamekeepers. Last moments in this Balmoral residence, one of Elizabeth II’s favorites, where the queen used to spend part of the summer.

On the coffin, flowers from the garden of Balmoral

Then the funeral procession set off under the sun. At 10 a.m., the oak coffin passed through the gates of the property. On top, the Scottish royal standard and a wreath of white heather, dahlias and sweet peas, all from the gardens of the Balmoral estate.

The procession made up of seven cars passed slowly in front of the bouquets placed in front of the gates of the estate. Princess Anne, daughter of the late sovereign, was one of them: she had taken her place with her husband Tim Laurence in a limousine following the royal hearse.

Tailcoat and top hat for a last farewell

As soon as the news of the death of the sovereign, who was immensely loved in her country, fell, locals came to pay homage to her. They were joined by others from across Scotland and beyond.

“I had to come to Balmoral” to pay tribute to the Queen, said Mark Lindley-Highfield, a 47-year-old academic who lives in Inverness, nearly two hours from Balmoral. He made the trip in mourning clothes, tail coat and top hat.

“She is the only queen I will know in my entire life”explained Nia Gray-Wannell, a scientist who lives in the nearby village of Ballater.

First stop in Ballater

Ballater was the first village crossed by the procession. Hundreds of people lined the main street, many dressed in black. Members of the clergy, some bowed as the coffin passed, and local authorities in traditional Scottish dress took their places in front of the church. A few flowers were thrown as the convoy passed.

Many Britons in the villages accompany the late queen’s last journey, as here in Ballater, this Sunday, September 11, 2022. | PAUL ELLIS / AFP

Then the villages followed one another. In Banchory, applause rang out.

Unusual image but oh so symbolic. The farmers of Aberdeen and its surroundings placed their tractors on the edges of the road taken by the funeral procession, forming a kind of mechanical guard of honor.

The coffin expected in London on Tuesday evening

The hearse traveled almost 300 kilometers during the day through the green Scottish countryside.

In Kinross, these Britons watch the funeral procession pass on a bridge over the highway. | ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP

The coffin arrived at Holyrood Palace, the monarch’s official residence in Scotland in Edinburgh, around 5.30pm. He will spend the night there.

Reflecting the emotion that has gripped the United Kingdom since the death of the monarch in the longest reign in her history, a packed crowd welcomed the remains in the Scottish capital.

The Queen’s coffin as she travels from Edinburgh to Scotland, September 11, 2022. | ODD ANDERSEN / AFP

The queen’s body will then rest for 24 hours at Saint-Gilles Cathedral where a religious service and a funeral wake will take place. On Tuesday evening, the coffin will be flown to London.

The funeral of Elizabeth II will take place on September 19.

As the monarch’s coffin passed through Scotland, her son Charles III was proclaimed king in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. Twenty-one cannon shots were fired in the three towns.

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