Written by Reuters
14 Sep, 2022 | 6:39 pm
Reuters – King Charles, his sons Princes William and Harry and other senior royals will join a solemn procession as Queen Elizabeth's coffin is taken from Buckingham Palace on Wednesday to lie in state in parliament.
After the queen's death last week at her summer home of Balmoral Castle in Scotland, her coffin was taken to Edinburgh for a series of poignant ceremonies, and then flown to London late on Tuesday.
Tens of thousands of people lined the 14-mile (22 km) route in driving rain and cars stopped on normally busy roads to see the well-lit hearse driving slowly through the dark towards Buckingham Palace, drawing applause and cheers.
At the palace, the flag-draped coffin was met by Charles and all the queen's children, grandchildren and their spouses who had gathered together for the first time since their matriarch died.
"It has been an honour and a privilege to accompany her on her final journeys," said Elizabeth's daughter Anne, 72, who flew from Scotland alongside the coffin. "Witnessing the love and respect shown by so many on these journeys has been both humbling and uplifting."
The queen's death, at the age of 96, has plunged the nation into mourning for a monarch who had reigned for 70 years.
People started queuing in the streets late on Tuesday to be one of the first to file past the coffin when the official lying in state period begins later on Wednesday.
Among those gathered, some were there to represent elderly parents, others to witness history and many to thank a woman who, having ascended the throne in 1952, was still holding official government meetings just two days before she died.
"She really did hold up her oath of doing everything she could for this country," said Veronica Lewis, 52, from Worthing, southern England.
On Wednesday, the Imperial State Crown will be placed on top of the coffin, along with a wreath, at Buckingham Palace.
From there it will move at 2.22 p.m. (1322 GMT) on a gun carriage of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery through central London to Westminster Hall, a medieval building with origins dating back to 1097 that is the oldest on the parliamentary estate.
Charles will walk in silence behind the carriage with other senior royals, including his siblings Anne, Andrew and Edward.
Also in the procession will be his sons William, 40, now the Prince of Wales, and Harry, 37, the Duke of Sussex, whose once close relationship has deteriorated in recent years to such an extent that they were said to barely be on speaking terms.
However, they appeared together with their wives when they met well-wishers outside Windsor Castle on Saturday, in a show of unity which hinted at a possible rapprochement.
Kate, William's wife and now the Princess of Wales, and Harry's wife, Meghan, will travel by car, as will Charles' wife Camilla, now the Queen Consort.
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