Queen's coffin seen for the first time as it left Balmoral on start of journey to final resting place

·4-min read

Well-wishers in Scotland have been saying goodbye to the Queen, with some throwing flowers into the path of her coffin, which was seen for the first time as it made its slow journey from Balmoral to Edinburgh.

Draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland and featuring a wreath of Balmoral flowers on top, the oak coffin was travelling from the royal castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, passing through miles and miles of countryside and cities such as Aberdeen and Dundee.

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As the hearse left the Balmoral estate in bright sunshine, members of the public lined the road and stood silent to pay their respects and one mourner threw flowers at the vehicle, as police officers bowed their heads.

The gentle rush of flowing water through the River Dee could be heard as the seven-car cortege crossed a bridge, as well-wishers gathered at the end of the route out of Balmoral.

See the cortege as it continues its journey to Edinburgh

The Queen's only daughter, the Princess Royal, and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, were part of the royal procession, travelling in a limousine directly behind the hearse.

Onlookers described the "emotional moment" as they bade a quiet farewell to "the only Queen we've ever known".

Cortege passed through villages and towns

The cortege, with a single police outrider, slowly made its way towards the Scottish capital, as thousands of people turned out to see it pass, including hundreds in Ballater, Aberdeenshire.

Crowds three or four deep watched as the cortege drove through the village, including past the local church.

Some mourners threw flowers at the hearse.

Ballater is the village closest to the Balmoral estate, where many locals considered the royal as a neighbour.

One woman told Sky News she had driven eight hours from Cheshire to get to Ballater. She said: "I just wanted to be here today to wave her off. She's been the constant figure in the whole of my life."

She added: "It's brought together all the losses of the last few years."

Clapping the cortege

In the town of Banchory, crowds again came out in large numbers, with some people clapping the cortege as it went by.

Sky's royal commentator Alastair Bruce said: "A wonderful salute from Banchory, quiet gentle applause and a few of them throwing flowers into the path of the hearse."

Around two hours into its journey, it arrived in the city of Aberdeen, where large crowds fell silent as they watched the cortege pass. Many people brought their children, so they could bear witness to the historic moment.

Elizabeth Taylor, from Aberdeen, had tears in her eyes as she considered what she had just seen.

She said: "It was very emotional. It was respectful and showed what they think of the Queen. She certainly gave service to this country, even up until a few days before her death."

Some of the biggest crowds were seen in the city of Dundee.

Following the Queen's death on Thursday, the coffin had remained at rest in the Balmoral ballroom to give estate workers there the chance to say goodbye for the last time.

Six of the estate's gamekeepers lifted the coffin into a hearse at 10am, marking the start of the cortege's six-hour journey to Edinburgh.

The wreath sat atop the coffin is made from some of the Queen's favourite flowers picked from the garden of Balmoral.

Sky News understands these include phlox, dahlias, sweet pea, limonium, white heather, and pine fur.

Nicola Sturgeon, the country's first minister, said the "poignant" journey would give people in Scotland the chance to come together to "mark our country's shared loss".

Meanwhile, proclamation ceremonies for King Charles III have been taking place in Edinburgh, as well as at Cardiff Castle and Hillsborough Castle.

An "unprecedented" amount of preparation has gone into planning the coffin route, planning bosses said.

Ms Sturgeon and other party leaders in Scotland are expected to observe the coffin as it makes its way past the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

After arriving at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, it will rest in the throne room until Monday afternoon, when it will be moved to St Giles' Cathedral.

There it will lie for 24 hours, so the public can pay their respects.

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Public viewing of the coffin begins at 5pm on Monday, but people have been warned of long waits, and photography and recording is strictly prohibited.

Princess Anne will fly to London with her mother's body on Tuesday.

The events in Scotland are the first meticulously planned steps leading to the funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday 19 September - a day that will be a bank holiday.