The Queen’s body has been brought down from Scotland to lie in state in Westminster Hall for “four clear days”, until 6.30am on the morning of the funeral, to allow the public to pay their respects.
The coffin bearing the Queen’s body – lying at Balmoral Castle – will begin its journey to the abbey on Sunday, taking a six-hour journey by hearse to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.
The journey to Edinburgh will be taken at a slow pace in order to allow mourners in towns and villages on the route to pay their respects. Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said the “poignant” journey would give the public a chance to “mark our country’s shared loss”.
From Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, the coffin will be taken in procession along the Royal Mile to St Giles’ Cathedral. After a service attended by members of the royal family, it will remain at the cathedral for a period of lying at rest until 13 September.
It will then be flown by RAF plane to the Northolt airbase and taken to Buckingham Palace, then on to parliament, where the Queen will lie in state in historic Westminster Hall.
Over the following days ahead of the state funeral, the coffin will stand on a catafalque in the hall, guarded by troops from the Household Cavalry and Guards regiments while members of the public file past to pay their respects.
Thousands of people are expected to file past the late monarch’s coffin during the period of lying in state. Further details of how the public can attend will be announced in the coming days.
From there, it is expected to be taken on a gun carriage hauled by Royal Navy sailors to Westminster Abbey for the state funeral service, then moved to St George’s Chapel in Windsor, where the Queen will be laid to rest.
The coffin of Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband of 73 years who died in April 2021, is expected to be moved from the royal vault at Windsor to be buried alongside his wife.
Arrangements for the coming days were announced by the Duke of Norfolk, in his role as Earl Marshal. A spokesperson for the King said the monarch’s main focus would be leading the royal family and nation in mourning over the coming days.
Charles and Camilla will attend a presentation of addresses in Westminster Hall on Monday 12 September, attended by MPs, peers and members from the legislatures of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The King will then be joined by Liz Truss as he attends services of reflection in Scotland on Monday, Northern Ireland on Tuesday and Wales on Friday, according to No 10.
“While, in the next few days, the King will carry out all the necessary state duties, his main focus will be leading the royal family, the nation, the realms and the Commonwealth in mourning Her Majesty The Queen.
“This will include meeting members of the public to share in their grief,” the spokesperson said.
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