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Queen Elizabeth II begins solemn final journey

by Editorial Team
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United Kingdom, Sept 11, 2022 (AFP) – Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin on Sunday left the Scottish retreat where she died as the late monarch embarked on her final journey with thousands of her mourning subjects expected to line the route.
A hush fell over the gathered crowd as the cortege carrying the queen’s casket exited the gates of Balmoral Castle for Edinburgh at the start of an odyssey of mourning in the United Kingdom, culminating in her state funeral   in London on September 19.
Six groundskeepers had loaded the oak coffin — draped with a Scottish Royal Standard and a floral wreath — into the black hearse that was to wind its way slowly on a six-hour journey to Scotland’s capital.
Security escort vehicles and a mauve Bentley carrying the queen’s only daughter Princess Anne made up the cortege passing through a series of towns before reaching Edinburgh, where it will rest for two days so people can pay tribute.
The first glimpse of her coffin for a grieving nation came a day after her son Charles III was formally proclaimed king, and after her warring grandsons William and Harry, and their wives Kate and Meghan, briefly reunited for a walkabout.
The king himself will travel to Edinburgh on Monday for a prayer service, before the body of the queen, who died at Balmoral on Thursday aged 96, is flown to London on Tuesday.

While Charles’ accession has pushed Britain into what newspapers have called the new “Carolean” era, Britain and the royal family are still coming to terms with the end of the Elizabethan age.
Prince William broke his silence with an emotional tribute to his beloved “Grannie” on Saturday.
“She was by my side at my happiest moments. And she was by my side during the saddest days of my life,” said William, who has now become the Prince of Wales.

But the queen’s death also brought a surprise show of unity from William, 40, and his younger brother Harry, 37, when they emerged with their wives to speak to well-wishers outside Windsor Castle, near London.
The sight of the two couples who have barely seen each other since 2020, together — even if they separated to speak and shake hands with different sides of the cheering crowds — will likely spark rumours of a reconciliation.
Pictures of the four were splashed on the covers of Sunday’s newspapers.
“Reunited for granny,” read the Sunday Mirror’s headline, while the Telegraph ran with “Reunited in sorrow” and the Sun with “All 4 One”.
The Sunday Times focused on the apparent frostiness, with the headline: “Warring Windsors’ awkward truce to honour the Queen”.
Senior royals including the queen’s children, Princess Anne and Princes Andrew and Edward and their families also inspected flowers outside Balmoral, where the queen’s body lay in the ballroom.
‘Many, many people’ –
The symbolism of the queen’s last journey will be heavy for Scotland — a nation with deep royal links, but where there is also a strong independence movement intent on severing the centuries-old union with the United Kingdom.
Dedicated viewing points are being set up along the route, although mourners will be asked not to throw flowers at the convoy as it passes.
“We anticipate many, many people will be keen to pay their respects,” First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said.
The queen’s coffin will be taken to the Holyroodhouse Palace, the monarch’s official residence in Scotland, where it will rest for a day.

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