A bittersweet homecoming.
The body of the late Queen Elizabeth II left Balmoral on Sunday, marking the start of a nine-day farewell journey to her final resting place in Windsor.
Her Majesty’s body left the Scottish castle at 10:00 am local time and was slowly driven 275 miles to Edinburgh’s Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Spectators lined the streets of the Scottish town, watching in silence as the hearse drove by.
“A sad and poignant moment as Her Majesty, the Queen leaves her beloved Balmoral for the last time,” Scotland’s Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted Sunday.
“Today, as she makes her journey to Edinburgh, Scotland will pay tribute to an extraordinary woman.”
According to Sky Newsapplause erupted from the crowd of thousands as the Queen’s coffin arrived in Dundee.
On Tuesday, the Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, will accompany her mother’s body by plane to London. On arrival in the British capital, she will spend one last night at Buckingham Palace, with her coffin in the Bow Room until Wednesday.
It will then be mounted on a gun carriage for a public funeral procession led by King Charles III’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.
The troop will escort the Queen’s casket through historic roads – past sites such as the Queen’s Gardens, the Mall, Horse Guards Arch, Whitehall, Parliament Square and New Palace Yard – en route to the Palace of Westminster.
The path is well known to the royal family as Princess Diana’s coffin traveled a similar route prior to her funeral in 1997.
The Queen’s casket will then remain on display at Westminster Hall for members of the public wishing to pay their respects until the morning of her funeral on Monday, September 19.
Before the journey to London began, the Queen’s coffin was in Balmoral Castle in Scotland. The estate had long been a favorite retreat of Her Majesty, the estate was where she stayed when her health took a sharp turn prior to her passing on September 8. The coffin was briefly kept in the castle’s ballroom, where the Queen is said to have made many fond memories amid lavish celebrations held in the space, according to the Daily Mail.
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Her death at the age of 96 marked the end of the longest reign of a single ruler in the history of the British monarchy, with Elizabeth taking the throne in 1952, then only 25 years old. Most living Britons have never known life in the UK without her as their Queen Mother.
Immediately after she died, her firstborn son, Charles, ascended the throne at the age of 73, becoming the oldest person to do so. His title as king was made official at a ceremony in London on September 10.
Queen Elizabeth will be buried near her parents, and the body of her late husband, Prince Philip, who died in April 2021 at the age of 99, will be moved to be by her side.
Aside from King Charles III, Queen Elizabeth II leaves behind her younger children – Anne, Andrew and Edward – as well as eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.