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Cortege on sombre six-hour journey to Edinburgh


Sombre scenes are unfolding across Scotland as the late Queen’s coffin, accompanied by her only daughter Princess Anne, begins a momentous final journey south.

Earlier, the Queen’s gamekeepers moved her oak coffin to a royal hearse parked up at Balmoral Castle, her beloved 50,000-acre in Aberdeenshire.

The route saw the coffin pass Crathie Kirk, a small church Queen Elizabeth II would attend on Sundays when she holidayed in the Highlands during summer.
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II has left the royal residence at Balmoral Castle
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II has left the royal residence at Balmoral Castle (9News)
Members of the public line the streets in Ballater, Scotland
Members of the public line the streets in Ballater, Scotland (AP)
The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II makes its journey to Edinburgh from Balmoral in Scotland.
The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II makes its journey to Edinburgh from Balmoral in Scotland. (AP)

At various times, the hearse slowed to walking pace so people could pay their respects.

The seven-car cortege will pass through Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth before reaching the Scottish capital, allowing as many people as possible to say a goodbye.

It will also move through Fife near St Andrews University, where the Queen’s grandson William, now Prince of Wales, met his future wife, Catherine.

Hushed crowds watched as the cortege rolled through picturesque villages and towns.

Local media reported some people using their phones to film the occasion, while others chose to stand silently and simply watch.

A single police officer on a motorcycle led the black Mercedes Benz out the gates at Balmoral, and a white flower wreath could be seen placed on top of the Queen’s coffin, which was draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland.

The flowers, which the palace confirmed as Dhalias, Sweet Peas, Phlox, White Heather and Pine Fir, were cut from the Queen’s estate.

A Rolls Royce and a number of dark Range Rovers trailed slowly behind.

The wreath on the Queen's coffin features flowers cut from her own estate.
The wreath on the Queen’s coffin features flowers cut from her own estate. (9News)
Queen Elizabeth II's funeral cortege departs Balmoral
Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral cortege departs Balmoral. (9News)
Crowds line the street as the Queen's coffin journeys through Aberdeenshire
Crowds line the street as the Queen’s coffin journeys through Aberdeenshire. (Nine)
The Queen's coffin journeys through Aberdeenshire.
The Queen’s coffin journeys through Aberdeenshire. (Nine)

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon tweeted the departure of Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin from Balmoral was “a sad and poignant moment”.

The gates outside the estate were lined with flowers from those mourning the death of the UK’s longest serving monarch.

The hearse will make a 280km journey to Edinburgh, where the coffin will arrive at the Palace of Holyroodhouse and be laid to rest in the Throne Room.

On Monday (local time), King Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort, will travel by plane to Edinburgh for more ceremonial duties.

The King will inspect the Guard of Honour and a Ceremony of the Keys will take place on the forecourt at Holyrood.

In the afternoon, the Queen’s coffin will travel by procession to St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, accompanied by the King and members of the royal family.

The Queen’s body will lie in rest at the cathedral, where members of the public will be able to view her coffin.



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