The remains of Queen Elizabeth II for one last night at Buckingham Palace

(London) Five days after her death in Scotland, the remains of Queen Elizabeth II landed in London on Tuesday evening, where they were carried by her son Charles III. was to be received at Buckingham Palace.

Posted at 7:17 am
Updated at 3:03 p.m

Charlotte DURAND
Media Agency France

An impatient crowd waited outside to pay their last respects to the one who reigned for 70 years and whose funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey in the British capital on Monday.

The Royal Air Force plane, which was also on board Princess Anne, the Queen’s daughter, and her husband Tim Laurence, landed at Northolt’s Royal Air Force Airport around 7pm under particularly gray skies.

A few minutes later, the Queen’s coffin, covered with the yellow, red and blue Royal Standard of the United Kingdom and a wreath of white flowers, descended from the plane, ceremonially greeted by several rows of officers.

Silently loaded into a hearse, the coffin then left the airport for Buckingham Palace, the next leg of the final journey of the sovereign, who died at her Balmoral Castle on Thursday aged 96.

On the opposite side of the freeway, motorists got out of their cars to give him an honor guard.

King Charles III’s coffin, carried by grenadiers, is unveiled at Buckingham Palace. and Queen Consort Camilla, who have just returned from a brief official visit to Northern Ireland, and other members of the Royal Family.

Une petite foule patientait devant le palais.

« Je veux juste voir le cercueil », a expliqué Joseph Afrane, Britannique de 59 ans qui campe depuis dimanche devant le palais. Même si c’est long, il vante « l’atmosphère sympa » qui règne entre les campeurs.  

La dépouille d’Élisabeth II passera la nuit dans la Bow Room, une pièce circulaire aux colonnes de marbre encadrant chacune des fenêtres monumentales, où le personnel du palais pourra lui présenter ses adieux en privé.  

Mercredi, le cercueil de la reine quittera sa demeure officielle dans la capitale britannique sur un affût de canon, traversant le centre de Londres pour rejoindre le palais de Westminster, où il sera exposé pendant cinq jours.  

« Attente monstre »

Des milliers de personnes sont attendues pour la procession à travers le centre de la capitale britannique, qui sera saluée par la cloche de Big Ben et des coups de canon à Hyde Park.  

Ils seront encore plus nombreux à essayer de rendre entre mercredi et lundi matin un dernier hommage à Westminster Hall à la souveraine.

La presse évoque jusqu’à 750 000 personnes sur plus de 10 kilomètres. À Édimbourg, 33 000 personnes s’étaient déjà succédé pour lui dire adieu à la cathédrale Saint-Gilles.

« On s’attend à une file d’attente monstre dès demain matin », a confié Rumesh, un agent de sécurité positionné près du palais de Westminster. « C’est le calme avant la tempête ! ». « Je n’ai jamais rien vu de tel […] we feel it’s happening and it’s going to be huge.”

On Tuesday morning, a handful of die-hards, surrounded by dozens of journalists, already braved the unpredictable weather to wait across the Thames, well before Westminster Hall officially opened to the crowd at 4pm GMT on Wednesday.

Northern Ireland Test

The Queen’s state funeral will be held on Monday, attended by about 500 foreign dignitaries and many royalty, but not the leaders of Russia, Belarus or Burma.

A security challenge of unprecedented proportions, the event promises to be grandiose for the final farewell of a people who, for the most part, have known no other sovereign than Elizabeth II since birth.

A popular figure, rock of stability in the sometimes political, social or public health storms of COVID-19, the Queen was a comforting image for millions of Britons. A difficult legacy for his son Charles III.

Tensions in Northern Ireland, separatist aspirations in Scotland, runaway inflation: the new 73-year-old king, older than any British sovereign at the time of their accession, takes office at a critical moment. The country, which is in the midst of a serious social and political crisis, has had a new Prime Minister for a few days.

Already on Tuesday he weathered a delicate phase of his accession to the throne without issue on his first visit as sovereign to Northern Ireland, which has been plagued since Brexit by community tensions plagued by its bloody past of ‘The Troubles’.

“With a shining example before me and with the help of God, I take up my new duties determined to seek the well-being of all people in Northern Ireland,” the monarch told the local parliament, which had been suspended since winning the last Republican election of Sinn Féin who do not recognize the authority of the monarchy.

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