Queen’s coffin to begin journey to its final resting place

The Queen’s coffin will begin its journey to its final resting place when it travels from Balmoral to Edinburgh.

Draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland and with a wreath of flowers on top, it has remained at rest in the Balmoral ballroom so the late monarch’s loyal Balmoral estate workers can say their last goodbyes.

The oak coffin will be lifted into a hearse on Sunday at 10am by six of the estate’s gamekeepers, who have been tasked with the symbolic gesture, ready for a six-hour journey to Edinburgh.

(PA Graphics)

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the “poignant” journey, which will see the Queen’s coffin transported to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, would give the public a chance to come together to “mark our country’s shared loss”.

On Saturday, the royal family received the condolences of well-wishers when they viewed floral tributes left in memory of the late Queen at her homes of Balmoral and Windsor Castle.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Prince and Princess of Wales were united in grief when they went on a walkabout meeting the public close to the Berkshire castle.

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The Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex viewing the messages and floral tributes (Chris Jackson/PA)

Earlier that day, King Charles III had been formally confirmed as the nation’s new monarch during a meeting of the Accession Council.

Well-wishers are expected to gather along the route the cortege will take as it travels from Balmoral to the Scottish capital – which is expected to take about six hours.

It will first head to the nearby town of Ballater, where it is expected at approximately 10.12am.

About an hour later it will arrive in Aberdeen, with tributes expected to be paid in the city’s Duthie Park.

Travelling south along the A90, it will then arrive in Dundee at about 2pm.

In Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon and other party leaders in Scotland are expected to observe the coffin as it goes past the Scottish Parliament.

From there it will be taken into the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where it will remain for the night.

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Floral tributes outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh (Jane Barlow/PA)

Transport bosses said an “unprecedented” amount of preparation and planning had gone into drawing up the route.

In London, Charles will meet Baroness Scotland, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, at Buckingham Palace, and he will later host High Commissioners and their spouses, from countries where he is head of state, at the royal residence’s Bow Room.