Queen's coffin rests at Buckingham Palace as royal family pay respects

Family receive the queen's coffin at the London palace where it will stay before she lies in state

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After a journey under leaden skies that rained on the waiting public, Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin spent a last night at Buckingham Palace before ceremonial events leading up to Monday’s state funeral.

The late monarch was driven in a new state hearse designed by Jaguar-Land Rover from Northolt military airport and through London streets brought to a standstill by the cortege.

With a glass roof and large side windows, the hearse was designed to give members of the public a clear view and thousands watched on as it made its journey.

Interior lights shone brightly in the gloomy London evening, illuminating the coffin draped in a royal standard, with a wreath of Balmoral blooms.

As it travelled, sections of busy roads such as the A40 came to a halt, with drivers standing by the central reservation while the public lined the pavements.

At moments, there was applause and cheers and a few blooms were thrown into the path of the state hearse, and when it neared Buckingham Palace three cheers went up, with people lighting up the area with the torches on their camera phones, holding them above their heads.

The royal family turned out to witness the arrival of the queen's coffin at Buckingham Palace, the London residence affectionately known as the “office”.

King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla were surrounded by the late monarch’s children and grandchildren and their partners, including the Prince and Princess of Wales and Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The coffin will stay for one night in the palace’s bow room before the public are given the chance to pay their respects when she lies in state at the ancient Westminster Hall for four days.

Anne, the Princess Royal, who travelled with the queen on her journey from Balmoral to London through Edinburgh alongside husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, gave a moving tribute to her mother after the military plane carrying her coffin arrived at London’s RAF Northolt.

Princess Anne said she was “fortunate” to be able to share “the last 24 hours of my dearest mother’s life”.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to accompany her on her final journeys,” she said.

“Witnessing the love and respect shown by so many on these journeys has been both humbling and uplifting.

“We will all share unique memories. I offer my thanks to each and every one who share our sense of loss.”

King Charles travelled to Northern Ireland on Tuesday on his tour of the home nations and he pledged to “seek the welfare” of all Northern Ireland’s people.

The king described how his family have felt their “sorrows” as the queen’s peace-building efforts were praised.

The king, who in 2015 made a pilgrimage to the site of his great-uncle Lord Mountbatten’s killing in an IRA bombing, said the queen had “never ceased to pray for the best of times for this place and its people”.

Speaking at Hillsborough Castle in County Down, the royal residence in Northern Ireland, the new monarch said the late queen was aware of her position in bringing together divided communities “whom history had separated”.

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

On the steps of the grand entrance, King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla were joined by Prince William and his wife Kate, and Prince Harry and his wife Meghan.

Also there were the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their children Lady Louise and Viscount Severn, as well as the Duke of York and his daughters Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice and their husbands Jack Brooksbank and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.

Lady Sarah Chatto and Earl Snowdon, the children of the queen's sister Princess Margaret, were among those paying their respects.

The UK mourns Queen Elizabeth II — in pictures

Standing in the palace’s quadrangle was a guard of honour formed by the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards and they gave the royal salute as the hearse came to a stop.

The bearer party, from the Queen’s Company 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, carried the coffin into the bow room and in a poignant moment, the sovereign’s piper, Pipe Maj Paul Burns of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, played a lament.

Updated: September 14, 2022, 8:11 AM
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