The Queen leaves Balmoral for the last time: Crowds line the streets to pay tribute to Her Majesty as her coffin is driven by convoy to Edinburgh where she will lie in state
- Queen’s oak coffin, draped in Royal Standard for Scotland, will be taken by road the Palace of Holyroodhouse
- It will travel east from Balmoral to the coast, before heading south to the Scottish capital in a 170-mile journey
- Once inside the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the coffin will rest overnight inside the oak-panelled throne room
- Edinburgh will become focus of national mourning, with the coffin carried in procession to St Giles Cathedral
- Full coverage: Click here to see all our coverage of the Queen’s passing
The Queen’s coffin has left her beloved Balmoral Castle to begin its 500-mile journey to Buckingham Palace, with thousands lining the route her cortege will pass through on the first leg to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
The Queen’s oak coffin, draped in the Royal Standard for Scotland and topped by a wreath of sweet peas – one of her favourite flowers – is being taken by road to her official residence in Edinburgh in a journey lasting six hours. It is will travel east from Balmoral to the coast, before heading south to the Scottish capital in a 170-mile journey.
Princess Anne, her husband Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the minister of Crathie Kirk and a representative of the Lord chamberlain’s Office are in the convoy following the Queen’s coffin.
A slight mist hung in the air at Balmoral Castle early this morning ahead of the Queen’s final departure from what was one of her most beloved places to spend time. Police officers stood guard at the castle gates beside floral tributes which have been laid by members of the public since the Queen died on Thursday.
Placed neatly on top of dozens of bouquets was one particularly touching memento – a plastic zip-bag containing a marmalade sandwich with the message, ‘a marmalade sandwich for your journey ma’am’.
Members of the public began gathering early this morning in the village of Ballater, eight miles east of Balmoral, to pay their respects to the late Queen. Families have been seen setting up picnic chairs and attaching union flags to barriers outside the village’s Glenmuick Church from about 7am.
The Queen’s coffin will be driven past the church at a walking pace to allow people to pay respects, with local minister the Reverend David Barr predicting the moment would be met with ‘overwhelming emotion’ from villagers, many of whom knew her personally.
Once inside the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the coffin will rest overnight in the oak-panelled throne room. Proclamations will be read in the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland devolved parliaments in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.
Tomorrow, Edinburgh will become the focus of national mourning, with the Queen’s coffin carried in a procession from the palace to St Giles Cathedral, where a Vigil of the Princes is expected to take place before it lies in state for 24 hours.
The Queen’s poignant final journey will eventually end at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where she will be buried alongside her beloved husband, Prince Philip, alongside her father, George VI, the Queen Mother, and her sister, Princess Margaret.
The Queen ‘s oak coffin was today seen leaving Balmoral Castle on its way to Edinburgh in a black Mercedes Benz
A slight mist hung in the air at Balmoral Castle early this morning ahead of the Queen’s final departure from what was one of her most beloved places to spend time
Princess Anne (pictured), her husband Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the minister of Crathie Kirk and a representative of the Lord chamberlain’s Office are in the convoy following the Queen’s coffin
The coffin is draped in the Royal Standard for Scotland, which has been used by generations of Scottish monarchs
The wreath on the coffin is made up of flowers from the Balmoral estate including sweet peas – one of the Queen’s favourite flowers – dhalias, phlox, white heather and pine fir
The coffin, which is draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland, is being carried by William Purves, a funeral directors with offices in Edinburgh
Members of the public line the streets of Ballater, a village near Balmoral, where many locals know the Queen personally
The coffin is expected to stop in Ballater for a short ceremony in the town famed for its connections to the Royals.
The Queen’s coffin, draped in the Royal Standard for Scotland, will be taken by road via Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth
People gather along the streets in Ballater, the closest town to Balmoral as they wait to view the cortege carrying the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II
Families have been seen setting up picnic chairs and attaching union flags to barriers outside Ballater’s Glenmuick Church from about 7am
Families with young children turned out early in Ballater this morning to pay a final farewell to Elizabeth II.
Care assistant Elaine Reid stood wrapped in a tartan blanket with her sons Innis, 11, and Darragh, 16, in the street by Glenmuick Church.
She explained that she was happy to get up early and drive the one-hour- journey from their home in Buckie so her children could remember the Queen.
Elaine, 40, told MailOnline: ‘We came here today to pay our respects because the Queen has spent her whole life in service to our country. So this is the least we could do.
‘And I wanted the kids to be here so that they can remember this day and be able to tell their children that they were here to say goodbye to the Queen.’
Parents Lorna and Andre Andrasovska stood patiently in thick coats and bobble hats at the roadside with their daughter Zofia, 10, and son Jacob, four.
The couple explained how the Queen had become a constant presence in their lives after they moved to the UK from Slovakia.
Lorna, 40, from Elgin, told MailOnline: ‘We used to live in Windsor and we would often see the Queen and Prince Phillip come through the town.
‘And over the years when world leaders came and went she was always there. It was great to see a woman at the head of the table of world leaders.’
Andre, 48, a doctor, added: ‘What we are seeing today is the departure of the soul of the nation. It is a very significant event.’
The couple stood patiently in thick coats and bobble hats at the roadside with their daughter Zofia, 10, and son Jacob, four.
James and Margaret Phinn drove up to Ballater from Glasgow. James, 58, said: ‘We came up to pay our respects. The Queen has been there for me for my whole life so I just want to show her the respect she deserves.’
Reverend David Barr said locals regarded the Windsors as ‘like neighbours’, particularly as the Queen had been coming to Balmoral Castle since she was a girl, and people in the area had long-standing relationships with the estate.
He said: ‘When she comes up here, and she goes through those gates, I believe the royal part of her stays mostly outside.
‘She was able to be a wife, a loving wife, a loving mum, a loving gran and then later on a loving great gran – and aunty – and be normal.’
Young children, who holding Union flags and the other a corgi, wait in Ballater for the arrival of the Queen’s coffin
There will be ‘overwhelming emotion’ when the Queen’s coffin passes through the Aberdeenshire village of Ballater, pictured
Families have been seen setting up picnic chairs and attaching union flags to barriers outside the village’s Glenmuick Church
Reverend David Barr said locals regarded the Windsors as ‘like neighbours’, particularly as the Queen had been coming to Balmoral Castle since she was a girl, and people in the area had long-standing relationships with the estate
Local people dressed in tartan preparing for the arrival of the Queen’s coffin at Glenmuick Church in Ballater
People line the street waiting for the funeral cortage carrying Britain’s Queen Elizabeth in the village of Ballater
Police said the area leading up to the entrance to Balmoral will be closed to members of the public for the coffin’s departure.
It will leave at 10am and is expected in the city at 4pm.
‘Now 70 years, she’s given her life, even up to the very last day, she’s given us service.
‘So, here in the village, we want to give back, (and) by allowing the royal family to come here and go into the shops and have a cup of coffee and not be bothered.
‘That’s what this community has done for 70 years.’
He added: ‘As you stand here today and you watch Her Majesty pass, that will be very tangible and be very real for people, and I think that will bring on an overwhelming amount of emotion.’
Tomorrow, a procession will march up the Royal Mile to St Giles’ Cathedral where The Queen will lie at rest and members of the public can pay their respects.
A series of road closures in the capital have already been announced.
Traffic Scotland bosses warned it was an event of unprecedented scale – and said even COP26 could not match the amount of planning that has gone into the operation.
People have been urged to plan ahead and check city centre road closures, weather conditions, and be prepared to spend long periods in their vehicles.
Police chiefs have urged the public to only park in designated areas and to not throw flowers on the road or towards the cortege.
Significant numbers of stewards are being drafted in to work with police officers.
People wait for the funeral cortage carrying Britain’s Queen Elizabeth in the village of Ballater
A post box with adorned with a black knitted hat and likeness of The Queen in Ballater
A drawing of the Queen against the background of a Union flag which was left amongst flowers outside Balmoral Castle
Another tribute left among flowers at Balmoral Castle read ‘I miss you Queen’ on a child’s drawing of the late monarch
Police Scotland Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham said: ‘Our priority is public safety and we are working with partners, including the UK and Scottish governments, as well as local authorities, to support the delivery of planned events.
‘This includes supporting people and businesses to plan ahead for any potential disruption as a result of road closures, which are largely in the Royal Deeside and Edinburgh areas, and the management of crowds gathering to pay their respects.
‘We understand that the public will want to show their respects to Her Majesty and we would urge them to do so safely.
‘If you are attending to view the Queen’s cortege, please do not leave your vehicle at the side of the road as this poses a risk to public safety. Please only park in designated areas and follow the directions of stewards and police officers.
‘We would also urge people not to stand in unsafe areas and to keep off the carriageway at all times.
‘There will be rolling road closures along the route.
‘Other roads close to the route are expected to be significantly affected as large numbers of people from across Scotland and beyond come to pay their respects.’
Police officers patrol in the streets of Edinburgh, which will become a focus of national mourning today and tomorrow
Members of the public wait on the Royal Mile in the historic centre of Edinburgh to view the cortege this afternoon
Traffic Scotland operator manager Stein Connelly said: ‘This is an event of unprecedented scale.
‘Even the recent COP26 gathering in Glasgow cannot match the amount of preparation and planning that has gone into this operation.
‘In order for the next few days to be successful we need the public to play their part by planning ahead, checking before they travel, and allowing extra time for journeys.
‘The northbound carriageway of the Kingsway and A90 will be open throughout.
‘Other roads may be closed at short notice, at the discretion of senior officers within Police Scotland.
‘Every effort will be made to minimise disruption to the travelling public, but significant delays are expected.
‘Please plan ahead and use public transport where possible. If you
absolutely have to travel by car, allow extra time and only park within designated areas.
‘For up to date travel information and other updates, visit the Traffic Scotland website and twitter feeds, and check local authority websites for more localised information.’
A major policing operation will be underway on the Royal Mile and across the rest of Edinburgh to allow mourning to go ahead
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