Britons to mourn as Queen lies in state
Thousands to pay last respects at Edinburgh cathedral
Published: Sep 12, 2022 06:26 PM
Mourners would on Monday get the first opportunity to pay respects before the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, as it lies in an Edinburgh cathedral where King Charles III himself would mount a vigil.

Thousands of people were expected to line up for the chance to see the flag-draped casket at St Giles' Cathedral in the Scottish capital, a week before her funeral in London.

The new monarch would walk behind his mother's coffin in a somber procession leading from Holyroodhouse palace, where it arrived on Sunday after making a six-hour road journey from Balmoral Castle, to the church.

The new king on Monday addressed British lawmakers in London for the first time since ascending the throne, as the pageantry continues ahead of the queen's September 19 state funeral.

The lengthy mourning period comes with Britain trying to reconcile itself to the death of its longest-serving monarch, who has been part of the backdrop of national life almost since World War II.

"To see her pass, in front of us, I think actually gave a bit of closure," said Lucy Hampshire, who came to Edinburgh with her boyfriend from the English city of York to see the queen's coffin.

Huge crowds turned out in Edinburgh as the hearse carrying the queen drove through the city, with some cheering, some throwing flowers and a few shedding tears in an outpouring of respect for the queen.

People also lined the streets of towns and villages along the 180-mile (290-kilometer) route from the queen's beloved Balmoral estate, where she died on Thursday aged 96 after seven decades on the throne.

Elizabeth II's oak casket rested overnight Sunday in the throne room of Holyroodhouse palace, with Charles and his queen consort Camilla flying to Edinburgh on Monday after his visit to parliament.

The king and senior royals would then follow on foot behind her hearse, flanked by soldiers, in a procession to take her along historic Edinburgh's Royal Mile to the 12th century St Giles' Cathedral.

The coffin would be carried into the imposing grey stone cathedral, where it would be topped with the Crown of Scotland, before a minister leads a service of "prayer and reflection" for the queen.

Her coffin will remain there for 24 hours "to enable people of Scotland to pay their last respects," a palace official said. Reports said there would be tight security and long queues were expected.

King Charles III and senior royals would mount a vigil beside the late queen at 7:20 pm (18:20 GMT), while soldiers from the Royal Company of Archers would stay on guard throughout.

The queen's body will be flown to London on Tuesday by Royal Air Force jet to an airfield near London, accompanied by the queen's daughter Princess Anne, and driven to Buckingham Palace.

The following day the royals will follow the coffin, carried atop a gun carriage, to Westminster Hall where it will lie in state from 5:00 pm (16:00 GMT) until the day of the funeral.

At least 1 million people are expected to come to see the coffin in London. 

Officials warning that people should expect to wait "many hours" and possibly even to queue overnight.