Before the deceased Queen is to be transferred from Edinburgh to London this Tuesday, thousands of Scots bid farewell to Elizabeth II at a funeral procession. King Charles III led a procession with the coffin on foot in the old town of the Scottish capital.
In the morning, the new monarch received expressions of condolence from members of parliament in the lower and upper houses in London. Grandson Prince Harry once again paid tribute to the Queen as a role model for duty.
While heavy rain was still falling in Edinburgh on Sunday evening, the sun was shining on Monday. Thousands of Scots lined the way when Charles (73) and his siblings Princess Anne (72), Prince Andrew (62) and Prince Edward (58) walked behind the hearse.
Laying out in the Cathedral
The procession led from the royal residence, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, to St Giles Cathedral, just over a kilometer away, where a service was held. The closed coffin should remain there for around 24 hours so that the population can continue to say goodbye.
The Queen died Thursday at Balmoral Castle, Scotland, aged 96.
The coffin, wrapped in the royal standard, was carried to the hearse by eight kilt-clad soldiers. A bagpiper played at the beginning before the national anthem sounded. A guard escorted the car, which was moving at walking pace, to its destination. During the largely silent procession, cannon shots were repeatedly fired in honor of the dead monarch.
Prince Andrew was the only one of the Queen's children not to wear a military uniform. The Queen stripped him of all military ranks earlier this year for his involvement in the Epstein scandal. He had already lost his official role as representative of the royal family. Later in London, according to a report by the PA news agency, he was only allowed to wear a uniform on one single occasion during mourning ceremonies.
Charles and his wife, Queen Camilla, were greeted with applause when they arrived in Edinburgh city center in their car on Monday afternoon. Thousands of people had gathered along the central Royal Mile since the morning hours.
"Operation Spring Tide"
The Queen's body is scheduled to be flown to London on Tuesday evening, where the deceased will be laid out for several days.
On Wednesday, Charles will also lead a funeral procession there, which is to lead from Buckingham Palace to Parliament. There the coffin will be laid out on a scaffolding known as a catafalque in Westminster Hall from 5 p.m. (local time). Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend the wake. A Conservative MP even spoke of up to two million people.
Steinmeier wants to come to the state funeral
Until the day of the state funeral, the population has the opportunity to pay the Queen one last visit and say goodbye. The state funeral, to which Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier wants to travel for Germany, is scheduled for Monday, September 19th. The British get an extra holiday for this. Until then, national mourning applies, official events and parliamentary operations are suspended.
The government in London called on people in Great Britain to observe a minute's silence for the Queen the day before the planned state funeral – i.e. Sunday evening at eight (September 18, 9:00 p.m. CEST).
"Her unwavering grace and dignity remained throughout her life and is now her eternal legacy," Prince Harry wrote in a statement published on his Archewell foundation's website. The 37-year-old assured his father of his support. The relationship between Harry and his father and his brother Prince William (40) is considered to be heavily burdened. Harry's announcement of honoring Charles in his new role could mean a peace gesture.
Harry lives in California with his wife Duchess Meghan and their children Archie (3) and Lilibet (1). The couple happened to be in the UK when the Queen died in Scotland on Thursday. Meghan and Harry have given up their royal duties and have repeatedly criticized the palace. However, the Queen always expressly excluded them from the allegations.
New Zealand declares a one-time public holiday
The New Zealand government has meanwhile declared September 26 as a one-off public holiday. A week after the state funeral, the Pacific state wants to commemorate the monarch. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that a service would be held in Wellington Cathedral, which would also be televised. New Zealand is part of the Commonwealth. A day after the proclamation ceremonies in London, Charles III. officially appointed the new head of state in New Zealand on Sunday.
A representative survey by the opinion research institute YouGov showed that in Germany the mourning of the Queen is only of interest to some people. 42 percent of respondents said they wanted to follow the days of mourning and the Queen's state funeral in the media. Also 42 percent planned not to do so. 15 percent did not provide any information. Respondents aged 55 and over and women were therefore more likely to follow media reports.