GLASGOW – Queen Elizabeth II’s final journey began on Sunday when her coffin was moved from Balmoral Castle, on the country grounds where she died, at the start of a six-hour procession to Edinburgh, which will be the focal point of the farewell ceremony for the monarch of Scotland. .
The oak coffin was carried from the castle ballroom by six butlers to a waiting hearse from the Balmoral estate, where the queen spent her summer vacation and where she had a deep affection. colorful and long lasting.
The dramatic departure from Balmoral, a remote outpost in the Scottish countryside, begins a period when Britons will be able to pay their respects to the queen ahead of her funeral on September 19 at the Abbey. Westminster in London.
On Sunday, crowds lined the streets as the procession passed through small towns, with the queen’s wreath-covered coffin visible inside the hearse. In Ballater, a few bystanders threw flowers in the lanes of traffic as the town paid its silent and somber tribute.
The route will take the hearse from Balmoral, through Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth, before a procession is expected to arrive at 4pm at Holyroodhouse Palace, the residence of the Edinburgh royal family.
The fact that Queen Elizabeth spent her final days at Balmoral underscores her close relationship with Scotland which, for two days, will be the focus of national mourning.
When it arrives in Edinburgh, the coffin will be greeted by an honor guard and greeted with a royal salute before troopers will carry it to the palace’s throne room.
On Monday afternoon, members of the royal family are expected to accompany the coffin as it is moved along the Royal Mile to St. Giles’ nearby. There, after a religious ceremony, the queen’s coffin will be rested for people to pay their respects. On Tuesday, it will be flown to London, where there will be more opportunities for Britons to bid farewell to their monarch before her funeral.
Outside Balmoral, which has seen a steady stream of visitors pay their respects since Thursday, wise men have left bouquets of flowers and messages. In Edinburgh, authorities erected a fence along the Royal Mile, the path the coffin will take on Monday between the Palace of Holyroodhouse and St. Giles.