Queen Elizabeth II lies at St. Giles’ Cathedral

World

(NewsNation) — As Queen Elizabeth II’s four children walked silently, a hearse carried her flag-draped coffin along a crowd-lined street in the Scottish capital Monday to a cathedral, where a service of thanksgiving hailed the late monarch as a “constant in all of our lives for over 70 years.”

Four days after the 96-year-old queen died at her beloved Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands, a military bagpiper played as her oak coffin, draped in the royal standard, was borne from the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh under late-summer sunshine.

King Charles III, dressed in army uniform, and Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward walked behind as the hearse traveled to St. Giles’ Cathedral, flanked by a bearer party of the Royal Regiment of Scotland and a detachment of The King’s Body Guard in Scotland, the Royal Company of Archers.

Once inside St. Giles, the coffin was placed on a wooden stand and topped with the golden Crown of Scotland, encrusted with 22 gems and 20 precious stones along with freshwater pearls from Scotland’s rivers.

“And so we gather to bid Scotland’s farewell to our late monarch, whose life of service to the nation and the world we celebrate. And whose love for Scotland was legendary,” said the Rev. Calum MacLeod.

The coffin will remain at the cathedral until Tuesday so members of the public can pay their respect

In London, Charles received condolences at Parliament and told lawmakers he would follow his late mother’s example of “selfless duty.”

Earlier, Elizabeth II’s grandson, Prince Harry, hailed her as a “guiding compass” and praised her “unwavering grace and dignity.”

Mourners packed the streets of Edinburgh, Scotland, on Sunday as Queen Elizabeth’s flag-draped coffin slowly processed through the city on a final days-long journey from Balmoral Castle.

The hearse carrying the queen’s coffin, which was draped in the Royal Standard for Scotland, drove past piles of bouquets and tributes as it led a seven-car cortege through the countryside.

The procession was a huge event for Scotland as the U.K. takes days to mourn its longest-reigning monarch, the only one most Britons have ever known.

“I think she has been an ever-constant in my life. She was the queen I was born under, and she has always been there,” said Angus Ruthven, a 54-year-old civil servant from Edinburgh as he awaited the arrival of the coffin.

The queen’s body will rest overnight at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in the Scottish capital.

On Monday, the queen’s coffin — accompanied by the king and queen consort — will travel to Edinburgh’s St. Giles’ Cathedral where it will stay for 24 hours so the public can pay their respects. Members of the royal family will hold a vigil by the coffin in the evening.

On Tuesday, the queen’s coffin will be taken by hearse to Edinburgh Airport. It will be flown by the Royal Air Force to London and taken to Buckingham Palace.

Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral has been set for Monday, Sept. 19 at Westminster Abbey, the Royal Family announced Saturday.

NewsNation confirmed that President Joe Biden formally accepted an invitation to attend the queen’s state funeral. He will be accompanied by the first lady.

Organizers said the ceremony will be a “fitting farewell to one of the defining figures of our times.” Full details on the 96-year-old queen’s funeral will be released later.

The queen will lie in state in Westminster Hall for four days before her funeral to allow the public to pay their respects, according to the palace.

Queen Elizabeth II died Thursday at the age of 96 at Balmoral Castle, her summer residence in Scotland. Members of the royal family rushed to be at her side.

The Queen’s 73-year-old son Charles automatically became King, and was officially proclaimed Saturday.

“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother,” a statement from King Charles III said. “I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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