Queen's coffin arrives at Buckingham Palace as huge crowds line London route



Wed, 14 Sep 2022 - 05:42 GMT


Wed, 14 Sep 2022 - 05:42 GMT

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip will spend their anniversary with other members of the royal family -AFP

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip will spend their anniversary with other members of the royal family -AFP

LONDON/BELFAST, Sept 13 (Reuters) - King Charles and members of the royal family received the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, after tens of thousands of people lined the streets in heavy rain to mark its arrival in the British capital.

On a dark night, the well-lit hearse travelled slowly from a nearby airport through London, with crowds stood all along the route, some in the road, others throwing flowers, and many ditching their cars or running from nearby streets to catch a glimpse of the cortege.

Charles, who automatically became king on the death of his mother last week, had gathered to received the coffin along with his three siblings, two sons William and Harry, and other senior members of the royal family, a palace spokesperson said.

Elizabeth died peacefully on Thursday in her holiday home at Balmoral Castle, in the Scottish Highlands, at the age of 96, plunging the nation into 10 days of national mourning.

Princess Anne, the queen's only daughter, travelled with the coffin, first from the remote castle at Balmoral to Edinburgh, where it was greeted by tens of thousands of mourners, and then as it was brought to London.

"It has been an honour and a privilege to accompany her on her final journeys," Anne said in a statement. "Witnessing the love and respect shown by so many on these journeys has been both humbling and uplifting."

On Wednesday, the coffin will be taken on a gun carriage as part of a grand military procession to Westminster Hall, where a period of lying in state will begin until the funeral on Monday.

Members of the public will be allowed to walk past the coffin for 24 hours a day until the morning of the funeral, which will be attended by dozens of world leaders including U.S. President Joe Biden.

As part of the highly choreographed days of mourning, King Charles is also travelling to the four parts of the United Kingdom.

Thousands of well-wishers greeted him in Northern Ireland on Tuesday, with handshakes, smiles and warm words as he walked along lines of people crowding the streets outside Hillsborough Castle, the monarch's official residence in the province.

The visit was laden with political significance given Britain's historical record in Ireland and the more recent years of violence in Northern Ireland known as the Troubles.



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