(Ballater) Thousands of people gathered in silence for a final tribute to Elizabeth II: from Balmoral to Edinburgh, the coffin of the Queen who died on Thursday slowly crosses that Scottish landscape she loved so much on Sunday, a journey of six hours.
Posted at 7:24
The coffin first left the ballroom of the palace where the monarch lay, and was carried to the hearse by six game wardens of the estate. Final moments at this Balmoral residence, one of Elizabeth II’s favorite spots where the Queen spent part of the summer.
Then the procession under the sun began. At 10am (9am GMT) the oak coffin passed the gates of the property. On the coffin the Scottish royal standard and a wreath of white heather, dahlias and sweet peas, all from the gardens of the Balmoral estate.
The procession of seven cars drove slowly past bouquets of flowers placed at the gates of the estate.
When news of the death of the sovereign, who was dearly loved in her country, arrived on Thursday, the locals came to pay homage to her. They were joined by others from across Scotland and beyond.
“I had to come to Balmoral” to pay my respects to the Queen, said Mark Lindley-Highfield, a 47-year-old academic who lives in Inverness, almost two hours from Balmoral. He made the journey in mourning clothes, tails and top hat.
“She is the only queen I will know in my entire life,” said Nia Gray-Wannell, a researcher who lives in the nearby village of Ballater.
Ballater was the first village to be passed through by the procession. Hundreds of people lined the main street, many dressed in black. Members of the clergy, some bowing as the coffin passed, and local authorities in traditional Scottish dress took their seats in front of the church. A few flowers were thrown as the convoy passed.
Then the villages followed one another. Applause erupted in Banchory, a moved woman shedding a tear.
The hearse has to drive almost 300 kilometers a day through the green Scottish landscape. He is expected to arrive at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the monarch’s official residence in Scotland in Edinburgh around 15:00 GMT. There he will spend the night.
The coffin will then rest for 24 hours in Saint-Gilles Cathedral, where a service and wake will be held. The Queen’s coffin will be flown to London on Tuesday evening.
The funeral of Elizabeth II will take place on September 19th.
When the monarch’s coffin passed through Scotland, her son Charles III was killed. proclaimed king in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. 21 cannon shots were fired in the three cities.