EDINBURGH, Scotland — King Charles III, dressed in the ceremonial uniform of a field marshal, and his three siblings, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward marched behind a hearse carrying her mother’s coffin on Monday in a solemn procession attended by thousands along the Royal Mile in the historic heart of the Scottish capital of Edinburgh.
The hearse was flanked by a group of bearers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland and a detachment from The King’s Body Guard in Scotland, the Royal Company of Archers. Following the procession, a memorial service for Queen Elizabeth II was held at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh.
The coffin, with the Crown of Scotland on a cushion, will remain in the 12th-century cathedral until Tuesday. Shortly after the service ended, members of the public, some of whom had been waiting since dawn, were allowed inside to pay their respects to the late queen.
The memorial service featured Karen Matheson singing Psalm 118 in Gaelic, to harp accompaniment, and a reading from Ecclesiastes by Scottish Chief Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
The congregation sang The Lord’s My Shepherd, said to be one of the Queen’s favorite hymns.
Members of the royal family are scheduled to hold a casketside vigil that evening.
The royal couple flew to Edinburgh on Monday, where they attended a memorial service for the queen and will visit the Scottish Parliament to meet senior officials.
After landing, Charles and Camilla traveled from the airport to the royal family’s official residence in Edinburgh, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin spent the night in the Throne Room.
On their way, they passed large crowds of people huddled behind metal barriers along the Royal Mile, the road between Holyroodhouse and St. Giles’ Cathedral. Spectators clapped and waved as the king’s limousine passed.
The royal couple got out of their car at Holyroodhouse and waved to people, looking at floral tributes before a gun salute resounded from Edinburgh Castle.
Before landing in Edinburgh, the royal couple visited Parliament at Westminster Hall in London to receive condolences from the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
“Deeper as our pain is, we know yours is deeper,” House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said.
The king said symbols of his “dear late mother” were all over the Palace of Westminster, including a fountain in New Palace Yard, a sundial in Old Palace Yard and a “magnificent” stained glass window commemorating the Silver Jubilee of the Queen.
Charles III told the House of Commons that he is “deeply grateful for the speeches of condolence from the House of Lords and the House of Commons, which so poignantly encompass what our late Sovereign, my beloved Queen Mother, meant to all of us.” As Shakespeare says of the previous Queen Elizabeth, she was ‘a model for all living princes'”.
“As I stand before you today, I cannot help but feel the weight of history that surrounds us and reminds us of the vital parliamentary traditions to which the members of both Houses devote themselves, with such a personal commitment to the betterment of us all” . he continued.
Speaking of the queen’s return trip to London, Charles III said: “The great bell of Big Ben, one of the most powerful symbols of our nation throughout the world and located within the Elizabeth Tower, also named for the Jubilee Mother’s Diamond Award will mark the pace of the late Queen’s progress from Buckingham Palace to this Parliament on Wednesday.
Read the full transcript:King Charles makes his first national speech after the queen’s death
The coffin will remain there for 24 hours. before flying to London on Tuesday. The queen’s coffin will be transferred from Buckingham Palace on Wednesday to the Houses of Parliament to lie in state until a state funeral at Westminster Abbey on September 19.
On Tuesday, the king and Camilla will also visit Northern Ireland, where they will meet politicians and religious leaders and attend a memorial service at St Anne’s Cathedral.
A queue has already begun to form to see Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin when she is in London, though that won’t start until Wednesday night.
Security personnel are preparing for millions of people to pay their respects to the late monarch, whose coffin will be in London’s Westminster Hall until her state funeral on September 19.
The line is expected to run from Parliament House along the bank of the River Thames.
Authorities have advised city commuters to change their work patterns because London is expected to be extremely busy in the coming days.
‘An extraordinary woman’:Queen Elizabeth II’s flag-draped coffin arrives in the Scottish capital
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, paid tribute to the queen – her “grandmother” – and her “eternal legacy”, making her first full public statement since her death last week at age 96.
In his statement, Harry praised the queen, sharing: “We all remember the compass she was to so many in their commitment to service and duty.”
Harry’s words became deeply personal. “Thanks for the good advice from him,” he wrote. “Thank you for your contagious smile. We smile too knowing that you and Grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace.”
Prince Harry Tribute:Prince Harry pays touching tribute to his ‘grandmother’ and her ‘infectious smile’
UK government issues notice on how the public should act when paying their respects to Queen Elizabeth II
On Monday, the The UK government announced that members of the public will be able to pay their respects to the queen at the funeral service at Westminster in London from Wednesday night.
The public can view the procession in person at the ceremonial viewing areas along the processional route, or at a screening site in Hyde Park, according to a press release. Guests are warned not to arrive intoxicated, to wear appropriate clothing, not to make political statements and are prohibited from taking photos inside Westminster Hall.
The queen’s coffin will remain locked on a raised platform in Westminster Hall and will be draped in the Royal Standard with the Orb and Scepter perched on top. Every corner of the platform will be guarded 24 hours a day.
Expect large crowds and long hours of queuing, possibly overnight, for those wishing to pay their respects to the queen. The UK government warns those attending the lying act that they will go through a security check similar to that of an airport.
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Contributors: Scott Gleeson, Pamela Avila, Naledi Ushe, Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY; The Associated Press