Applause from packed crowds as Queen’s cortege made its way down the Royal Mile

·3-min read

Crowds packed Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile as the Queen arrived in the Scottish capital for one final time.

Having left her “beloved” Balmoral estate – where she died peacefully on Thursday – the coffin carrying Elizabeth II travelled to Edinburgh.

As the cortege headed down the Royal Mile – which stretches from Edinburgh Castle at one end to the royal residence of the Palace of Holyroodhouse at the other – thousands gathered.

Crowds had been forming throughout the day, with people lined up several rows deep at the barriers that had been erected.

Crowds watch as the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II was taken through the centre of Edinburgh to the Palace of Holyroodhouse (Ian Forsyth/PA)
Crowds watch as the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II was taken through the centre of Edinburgh to the Palace of Holyroodhouse (Ian Forsyth/PA)

As the cortege went past, there was a ripple of gentle applause from those who had come to see her and pay their respects, with many seen filming the scenes on mobile phones.

But there was silence when cortege entered the forecourt at the Palace of Holyroodhouse – where the Queen had spent time earlier this summer.

Waiting outside the Palace, the Duke of York, and the Duke and Duchess of Wessex, received the Queen’s coffin.

A guard of honour was formed by the King’s Bodyguard for Scotland (Royal Company of Archers).

The Princess Royal, who had travelled down from Balmoral in the group of cars, and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence also stood alongside Andrew, Edward and Sophie – while members of the Royal Company of Archers acted as pallbearers, carrying the Queen’s coffin into the throne room at the palace.

Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence and the Princess Royal stand solemnly as the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, is carried into the Palace of Holyroodhouse (Aaron Chown/PA)
Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence and the Princess Royal stand solemnly as the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, is carried into the Palace of Holyroodhouse (Aaron Chown/PA)

It came at the end of a journey which lasted more than six hours, travelling from the countryside of Royal Deeside, right to the heart of the Scottish capital city.

As well as those who packed the streets throughout Edinburgh, others had clambered on to Arthur’s Seat and the Salisbury Crags, trying to get the city’s best view of the gardens and courtyard of Holyroodhouse.

There was silence in the Palace courtyard, with members of staff lining up, wearing black armbands, as a mark of respect.

Before the coffin arrived, the Royal Company of Archers, also known as the King’s Bodyguard for Scotland performed a guard of honour for the Queen.

Her body will now lie at rest in the royal residence overnight, before being taken to St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh for a service of prayer and reflection.

Members of the public will also get the chance to see her coffin there, before it it is taken to Edinburgh Airport, for the journey down to London.

The King and Queen Consort are expected to arrive in Scotland again tomorrow where they will hear a motion of condolence before the Scottish Parliament.

As the hearse carrying the queen’s coffin departed Balmoral on Sunday morning, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was a “sad and poignant moment as Her Majesty, The Queen leaves her beloved Balmoral for the final time”.

Ms Sturgeon added: “As she makes her journey to Edinburgh, Scotland will pay tribute to an extraordinary woman.”