Queen’s children hold sombre vigil around her coffin in Edinburgh

Monarch's four children stood guard for a short time around her coffin at St Giles' Cathedral

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All four of the queen’s children guarded her coffin for a short vigil of solemn reflection while the first members of the public filed past in Edinburgh on Monday.

Just a few hours after attending a service of thanksgiving for the queen, King Charles III, head bowed, returned to St Giles’ Cathedral with his sister the Princess Royal and brothers the Duke of York and Earl of Wessex.

Just before the vigil began, members of the public were allowed to pass the queen’s coffin for the first time since her death on Thursday.

King Charles, Princess Royal Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward looked sombre as they took their places at the four sides of the oak coffin.

They stood alongside four suited members of the Royal Company of Archers, who were standing guard dressed in long-feathered hats and armed with bows and quivers.

The procession of members of the public queuing to view the coffin on Monday evening was temporarily paused to allow the royals to take their places.

Procession of Queen Elizabeth II's coffin through Edinburgh - in pictures

Prince Andrew kept his eyes closed for some time during the vigil, while Princess Royal Anne and Prince Edward had their eyes fixed towards the floor.

King Charles, wearing Prince Charles Edward Stuart tartan and white heather in his lapel from Balmoral, kept his hands joined and also looked towards the floor.

Many of those filing past bowed to the new monarch.

The Queen Consort and Countess of Wessex sat on seats opposite the coffin while the vigil, which began at 7.46pm and finished at 7.56pm, took place in the ancient cathedral.

The UK mourns Queen Elizabeth II - in pictures

The archers have been completing 20-minute periods of standing guard at the coffin, which will remain at St Giles’ for 24 hours before it is taken to London to sit in state.

Members of the crowd cheered as King Charles arrived at the cathedral, and as he departed.

As he drove past them, they took pictures and video and said: “Here he is. Here he is. It’s the king.”

King Charles III leads procession behind queen's coffin in Edinburgh - video

King Charles waved at onlookers waiting at the barriers to see him.

One woman was heard to say: “I missed him earlier and travelled up from Glasgow to see him. I waited five hours — I finally saw him.”

Updated: September 12, 2022, 8:58 PM
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