Preparations underway for state funeral of Britain’s late Queen
By Susy Hodges – London
The oak coffin, draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland and with a wreath of the Queen’s favourite flowers on top, was driven from Balmoral Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the monarch’s official residence in Scotland, on Sunday.
The slow cortege was the first in a series of solemn events leading up to the Queen’s state funeral taking place on Monday, 19 September, in London’s Westminster Abbey.
After 24 hours in the Throne Room at Holyroodhouse the coffin will be taken to Edinburgh’s St. Giles’ Cathedral for a prayer vigil attended by King Charles III and the Royal Family.
Her coffin then will be flown to London, and there will be a sombre procession when it is later removed from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall where the late Queen will lie in state for four days.
Mourners to pay respects
Aides say they expect that hundreds of thousands or even upwards of a million mourners will wish to visit Westminster Hall to pay their respects to the late monarch. An 11th century building, it is the oldest part of the Palace of Westminster and the heart of the British government.
Queen Elizabeth’s death has drawn tears and warm tributes, not just from her own family and many in Britain but also from around the globe, reflecting her presence on the world stage for seven decades.
A public holiday has been declared on the date of the Queen’s funeral, and guests will include senior British politicians and dozens of heads of state from across the world.
New king’s UK tour
Ahead of the funeral, the new monarch will tour the four nations of the United Kingdom, accompanied by the new Prime Minister Liz Truss.
King Charles III is now the 41st monarch in a line that traces its origins to the Norman King William the Conqueror, who captured the English throne in 1066.
He is king and head of state not only of the United Kingdom but of 14 other realms including Australia, Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea.
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