Britain’s Queen Elizabeth’s coffin will be flown to London on Tuesday after 24 hours of repose at Edinburgh’s historic cathedral, where her son King Charles and his three siblings held a silent vigil.
Charles joined his sister Anne and brothers Andrew and Edward for a 10-minute vigil on Monday at St Giles Cathedral, where they stood with their heads bowed at the four sides of the coffin as members of the public filed past to pay their respects. .
While earlier in the day soldiers in kilts carried the coffin to the lone wail of bagpipes, the four royals left the vigil in the dark to the applause of mourners lining the street.
“I was thrilled to be in the cathedral with Queen Elizabeth, who I’ve looked up to all my life,” said 55-year-old Marie Claire Cross. – It was wonderful in the truest sense of the word, and it was so sad.”
Frances Thane, 63, said she was surprised to see the late Queen’s four children as she entered the cathedral. “I was just overwhelmed because there was so much to take in,” she said.
Elizabeth died on Thursday at her holiday home in Balmoral, in the Scottish Highlands, aged 96 after a 70-year reign, plunging the nation into mourning.
Charles, 73, who automatically became king of the United Kingdom and 14 other realms including Australia, Canada, Jamaica and New Zealand, is traveling across four parts of the United Kingdom before the funeral and will visit Northern Ireland on Tuesday.
In Belfast, he will meet senior politicians and religious leaders and attend a service at the city’s St Anne’s Cathedral before returning to London.
Tens of thousands of people have gathered in Scotland, gathering since early morning to watch the processions. In London, a large number of people left flowers and messages in the royal parks.
The Queen’s coffin will leave Scotland for the first time since her death when it is flown to London in the evening before being taken to Buckingham Palace.
On Wednesday, he will be taken on a carriage in a grand military procession to Westminster Hall, where he will begin a period of repose until September 19, the day of the funeral.
Members of the public will be allowed to pass the coffin, which will be draped in a royal standard with the sovereign’s sphere and scepter placed on top, for 24 hours a day until the morning of the funeral.
The death of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch prompted tears and warm tributes not only from the Queen’s immediate family and across Britain, but from around the world – a reflection of her presence on the world stage for seven decades.
VIDEO: The body of the British Queen Elizabeth will be buried in Westminster Hall