The Windsors gather in Edinburgh for Scotland’s final tribute to Elizabeth II

Le roi Charles III, la princesse Anne et les princes Andrew et Edward suivent le cercueil de leur mère, la reine Élisabeth II, le long du Royal Mile, à Édimbourg, le 12 septembre 2022.

Surrounded by his wife, Queen Consort Camilla, and his siblings, King Charles III followed the procession leading the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II from Holyroodhouse to St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh on September 12, 2022 The Windsor clan also took part in a mass given in honor of the late sovereign in the Scottish capital.

To the sound of God Save The King, Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin leaves the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh. This September 12, 2022, Scotland pays a last tribute to its beloved sovereign, she who enjoyed her summer stays in the Highlands so much. The Royal Diet of Scotland Honor Guard flanks the hearse followed by King Charles III and his siblings, Princes Andrew and Edward, and Princess Anne.

The coffin of Elizabeth II leaves the Palace of Holyroodhouse to join St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, September 12, 2022.
The coffin of Elizabeth II leaves the Palace of Holyroodhouse to join St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, September 12, 2022. © PA Photos/ABACA

Her husband, Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, walks a few paces behind. Queen Consort Camilla and the Countess of Wessex took their places in one of the vehicles of the procession. At the same time, cannons were fired from Edinburgh Castle.

The emotion of Camilla and Sophie

King Charles III dressed in his British Army Field Marshal uniform. He holds in his right hand the baton given to him by his mother, Elizabeth II, in 2012. The Princess Royal, the Earl of Wessex and Tim Laurence also wear a uniform. Withdrawn from public life and a non-active member of the Windsor clan, the Duke of York is dressed in civilian clothes.

The four children of the defeated sovereign Elizabeth II followed by the husband of the Princess Royal, Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, walk up the Royal Mile, in Edinburgh, on September 12, 2022.
The four children of the defeated sovereign Elizabeth II followed by the husband of the Princess Royal, Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, go up the Royal Mile. © PA Photos/ABACA

Only the hooves of the horses at the head and end of the procession resonate. The thousands of Scots massed on either side of the street respect a religious calm. Some immortalize the scene with their smartphone, others sketch a bow as the coffin of their late sovereign passes. After taking Canongate and then High Street, the funeral procession arrives on the Royal Mile, the oldest processional route in the kingdom.

The coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II, which left the Palace of Holyroodhouse, travels up the Royal Mile towards St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh on September 12, 2022.
The coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II, which left the Palace of Holyroodhouse, travels up the Royal Mile towards St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh on September 12, 2022. © Milligan Andrew/PA Photos/ABACA
A packed crowd gathered along the Royal Mile in Edinburgh on September 12, 2022.
A packed crowd gathered along the Royal Mile in Edinburgh on September 12, 2022. © Milligan Andrew/PA Photos/ABACA

Once in front of Saint-Gilles, the procession stops. Queen Consort Camilla and Sophie of Wessex get out of the car and position themselves on the steps of the cathedral to watch their mother-in-law’s coffin pass by. The sadness can be seen on their faces. Both are very affected by the disappearance of Elizabeth II. Covered with the royal standard in Scotland, the coffin is placed in the middle of the nave. Alexander Douglas-Hamilton, 16th Duke of Hamilton and First Peer of Scotland, places the crown of the Stuarts thereon.

The Queen Consort and Countess of Wessex look dignified in grief outside St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh on September 12, 2022.
Queen Consort and Countess of Wessex, dignified despite pain. © SWNS/ABACA

The Reverend of Saint-Gilles, Calum Macleod, addresses the assembly and invites them to meditate. “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth. The eternal God is our refuge, and under him are the everlasting arms. God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in time of trouble “, he declares while reading an extract from the Bible. “We gather, at this time, a grieving nation that remembers with gratitude the long life and reign of your servant Elizabeth, our Queen, and for the many gifts and graces with which you endowed her, for the fullness of his faith in the trust entrusted to him and for all the benefits that through it you have granted to this people”, continues the pastor.

Under the gaze of the children of the late sovereign, the Duke of Hamilton lays the crown of the Stuarts on the coffin of Elisabeth, covered with her Scottish arms, in Saint-Gilles Cathedral, in Edinburgh, on September 12, 2022.
Under the gaze of the children of the late sovereign, the Duke of Hamilton lays the crown of the Stuarts on the coffin of Elizabeth, covered with her Scottish coat of arms. © Chown Aaron/PA Photos/ABACA

Then the touching voice of Scottish singer Karen Matheson, interpreting Psalm 118 in Gaelic, resounds in the nave of the cathedral: “I will not die, but I will live, and I may discover the works of God.” Words that have a special meaning in this period of national mourning. Psalm 23 is also a poignant tribute to the deceased sovereign and her husband Prince Philip. It had indeed been interpreted during their marriage in November 1947, reports on Twitter CNN reporter Max Foster. In turn, the Dean of the Royal Chapel of Scotland, David Fergusson, and the elder of the Church of Scotland, Morag Mylne, take the floor, as does the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, responsible for reading a passage from I’Ecclesiastes.

The Windsor clan meditates in front of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth, placed in the center of the nave of Saint-Gilles Cathedral, in Edinburgh, on September 12, 2022.
The Windsor clan meditates in front of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth, placed in the center of the nave of Saint-Gilles Cathedral, in Edinburgh, on September 12, 2022. © Barlow Jane/PA Photos/ABACA

The service in honor of the deceased queen ends with a vibrant God Save The King. King Charles III and his wife, Queen Consort Camilla, leave the cathedral, followed by Princess Anne, Tim Laurence, the Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex. The sovereign returns to the direction of the Palace of Holyroodhouse where he must receive the Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon before going to Parliament with his wife where the condolences of the deputies will be given to him. A little earlier in the afternoon, the king and queen went to meet the public installed near the royal residence. Charles III then took part in the handing over of the keys of Edinburgh with the Lord Provost of the Scottish capital before reviewing the guard of honor installed in the courtyard of Holyroodhouse.

The sovereign couple leaving St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland, September 12, 2022.
The sovereign couple leaves Saint-Gilles Cathedral to join the Palace of Holyroodhouse. © Lafargue Raphael/ABACA

The body of Elizabeth II will remain for twenty-four hours in Saint-Gilles where the Scots will be able to pay homage to it one after the other. During the evening, the sovereign and his brothers and sisters will hold a vigil around the coffin of their beloved mother.

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