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Queen's final journey from her beloved Scotland

The Queen is leaving Scotland for the last time as her coffin is flown from Edinburgh to London then carried to Buckingham Palace by hearse – where she will be received by King Charles III, the Queen Consort and the Prince and Princess of Wales.

The sound of pipes filled the streets as Her Majesty’s coffin – which was draped in the Royal Scottish Standard and decorated with a large wreath – was carried out of St Giles’ Cathedral by kilt-wearing pallbearers after 4.15pm into a hearse then driven up Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.

A guard of honour by the King’s Bodyguard for Scotland and pipers followed the Cortege towards Edinburgh Castle and on to Edinburgh Airport airport.

A sea of thousands of mourners – including young schoolgirls wearing tartan and waving Union flags – packed into the capital’s tiny streets broke out into applause, while the Scottish flag, the Saltaire, flew at half-mask from the top of a building. The enormous crowd of men, women and children continued to clap for the monarch as the last company of soldiers followed the procession.

At Edinburgh Airport, the Queen will be received by the Royal Regiment of Scotland with a royal salute, before a bearer party from the Royal Air Force will then be on hand to carry the coffin onto the aircraft – an RAF Globemaster C-17 –  accompanied by her daughter the Princess Royal, who travelled with her late mother from Balmoral on Sunday.

The RAF plane is scheduled to depart from the runway in Edinburgh at 6pm, before touching down at RAF Northolt in west London at 6.55pm. 

The bearer party will then carry the Queen’s coffin from the aircraft to the waiting state hearse to begin the journey by road along the A40 towards Buckingham Palace, where tens of thousands of mourners are expected to gather to catch a glimpse of Her Majesty.

When she arrives at the palace, a further guard of honour will be formed by the King’s Guard as the coffin arrives at the Grand Entrance. 

The King will be joined by Camilla, Prince William, Kate Middleton and Princess Beatrice as he receives his mother’s coffin at Buckingham Palace, where she spent so many of her decades as sovereign before her death at the Balmoral estate on Thursday at the age of 96.

The bearer party carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II to a hearse as they prepare to depart from St Giles Cathedral

The bearer party carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II to a hearse as they prepare to depart from St Giles Cathedral

The Queen's coffin being carried into the hearse by pallbearers outside St Giles' Cathedral

The Queen's coffin being carried into the hearse by pallbearers outside St Giles' Cathedral

The Queen’s coffin being carried into the hearse by pallbearers outside St Giles’ Cathedral

The Queen's coffin is taken in a hearse from St Giles' Cathedral to Edinburgh Airport

The Queen's coffin is taken in a hearse from St Giles' Cathedral to Edinburgh Airport

The Queen’s coffin is taken in a hearse from St Giles’ Cathedral to Edinburgh Airport

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II makes its way up the Royal Mile

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II makes its way up the Royal Mile

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II makes its way up the Royal Mile

Princess Anne and her husband Sir Tim Laurence arrive at St Giles' Cathedral

Princess Anne and her husband Sir Tim Laurence arrive at St Giles' Cathedral

Princess Anne and her husband Sir Tim Laurence arrive at St Giles’ Cathedral

Princess Anne, Princess Royal, arrives at St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh

Princess Anne, Princess Royal, arrives at St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh

Princess Anne, Princess Royal, arrives at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh

The Queen's coffin is taken in a hearse from St Giles' Cathedral to Edinburgh Airport

The Queen's coffin is taken in a hearse from St Giles' Cathedral to Edinburgh Airport

The Queen’s coffin is taken in a hearse from St Giles’ Cathedral to Edinburgh Airport

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth in Edinburgh

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth in Edinburgh

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth in Edinburgh

Princess Anne, Princess Royal, arrives at St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh

Princess Anne, Princess Royal, arrives at St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh

Princess Anne, Princess Royal, arrives at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh

The Royal Company of Archers, The King's Bodyguard for Scotland, stand on guard outside St Giles' Cathedral

The Royal Company of Archers, The King's Bodyguard for Scotland, stand on guard outside St Giles' Cathedral

The Royal Company of Archers, The King’s Bodyguard for Scotland, stand on guard outside St Giles’ Cathedral

The Queen's coffin being carried by pallbearers outside St Giles' Cathedral today

The Queen's coffin being carried by pallbearers outside St Giles' Cathedral today

The Queen’s coffin being carried by pallbearers outside St Giles’ Cathedral today

A member of honour guard marches at St Giles' Cathedral

A member of honour guard marches at St Giles' Cathedral

A member of honour guard marches at St Giles’ Cathedral

Crowds wave ahead of the coffin carrying Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II leaving St Giles Church

Crowds wave ahead of the coffin carrying Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II leaving St Giles Church

Crowds wave ahead of the coffin carrying Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II leaving St Giles Church

King Charles III waves as he leaves St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast, during his visit to Northern Ireland

King Charles III waves as he leaves St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast, during his visit to Northern Ireland

King Charles III waves as he leaves St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast, during his visit to Northern Ireland

1663084814 358 Queen039s final journey from her beloved Scotland

1663084814 358 Queen039s final journey from her beloved Scotland

Official details of the route for the lying-in-state queue will be published at 10pm tonight, but this is the predicted route

Official details of the route for the lying-in-state queue will be published at 10pm tonight, but this is the predicted route

Official details of the route for the lying-in-state queue will be published at 10pm tonight, but this is the predicted route

Around 26,000 people filed past the late monarch’s coffin at St Giles’ Cathedral in the 24 hours since it was carried 1,200 yards up the Royal Mile from the Palace of Holyroodhouse during a solemn military procession led by King Charles III and his grief-stricken siblings.

The Scottish Government said that the queue to view the late monarch – which wound down the Royal Mile, up George IV Bridge and past the National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street – had closed at around 1pm and that further efforts were made to ensure all those already waiting would be able to pay their respects before the lying at rest in Edinburgh ended at 3pm.

The Queen is lying in rest in the Scottish capital until the late monarch is flown to London from Edinburgh Airport by the RAF at 6pm. She will stay at Buckingham Palace overnight, then will lie in state at the Palace of Westminster for four days before her state funeral at Westminster Abbey and burial at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on Monday, September 19.

Mourners described being ‘overwhelmed with the power and emotion of the occasion’ with many wiping away tears as they briefly stood in prayer looking at the coffin. Most bowed or curtseyed when they arrived. Dozens came to queue after travelling from England. Some came from London, believing that it would be easier to see her in Scotland with 30-hour queues predicted in the English capital.

Corey Burgher joined the very back of the queue with his stepdaughter Giovanna Giambastiani at 2.30am. He said: ‘We wanted to say our goodbyes to the boss. I’m in the military, I work on the submarines. Was surprised how much the news hit me. I didn’t know her personally, but I met her when I was a kid. I got quite emotional about it, it was quite a shock.’ 

Dawn Legge, from Manchester said: ‘I needed to come. We needed to pay our respects and mourn our Queen before we want to celebrate our King’. Catherine Gray, from London, said with tears in her eyes that she had made the 800-mile round trip because she felt ‘weird’ without Her Majesty in her life. She said seeing the coffin was ‘surreal’ and ‘one of the most emotional moments of my life’.

And one man in the Edinburgh queue said this morning: ‘If she could do 70 years, I can do 12 hours’. 

Hundreds filed past the casket last night when King Charles III and his three siblings staged a silent 10-minute vigil at the four corners of Her Majesty’s oak coffin. 

Mitch Stevenson, who queued for just under five hours with his sister, made it into the cathedral at just after 1am. He said: ‘It was a very important occasion for us – we lost our mum earlier this year and she would have loved to have been able to go, so we went for her memory also’.

Luke McIlwain, 34, joined the queue with his partner Felicity Baines, 31, at just after 3am. He said: ‘It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. We might never see another Queen’. He said it was very cold, adding: ‘We wanted to join the line overnight to avoid the crowds – unsuccessfully’.

Mourners raced to central Edinburgh early this morning to pay their respects.

Those wanting to see the Queen’s coffin must first obtain a coloured wristband in George Square before they join the queue.

At 7am numbers had dwindled overnight so members of the public were able to walk to the cathedral doors almost uninterrupted.

But by 9am a steady flow footfall had grown but mourners had to wait no more than an hour.

Among those queuing were Tom and Jane Baker from York.

Tom, 42, a security guard, explained: ‘We really wanted to pay our respects and it’s not that much longer to drive to Edinburgh than it is to London so we drove up last night.

‘We stayed in a little hotel outside the city but we’re here now and hopefully we’ll get to take part in the vigil shortly.

‘The Queen has always been there for me. I was a Cub Scout, a Scout and I served in the British Army.

‘This is the least I can do to serve my Queen.’

Jane, 38, added: ‘The Queen was a wonderful woman. Christmas Day will not be the same without the Queen’s Speech.’

People traveled from across Scotland, the UK and the Commonwealth to offer prayers to the Queen as she lay at rest.

Council workers Janet Mattheson and Danielle Gartland-Quinn got up early to did the monarch farewell before going to work this morning.

Janet, 55, from Edinburgh told MailOnline: ‘It felt very peaceful to be so close to the Queen and to see her for the last time.

‘There is a feeling of quiet serenity in the church. It was very moving to see her coffin with the crown.’

Danielle, 29, from Edinburgh, added: ‘It was very peaceful.’

Friends Jenny Baker and Cathie Paterson had traveled from the west coast of Scotland to pay their respects for the last time.

Jenny, 74, from Loch Lomond told MailOnline: ‘We are royalists and have always supported the monarchy.

‘So we decided to get up early this morning and vibe to pay our respects. She has been such a constant presence in our lives we wanted to say goodbye. She is being really well looked after and that was great to see.’

Cathie, 82, from the Isle of Lewis, said: ‘I have always followed the royal family and do I felt I had to come and pay my respects to the Queen. We are in Scotland but we will always fly the Union Jack.’

Amanda Rawlins and her family learned of the Queen’s death as the flew to London from Melbourne, Australia.

Amanda, 52, told MailOnline: ‘We were on the plane to London when we learned that the Queen had died. So we decided we wanted to come to Edinburgh to pay our respects to our monarch. We felt that this was a moment in history and we wanted to witness it first hand.

‘I was very impressed by the vigil – the sense of tradition, respect and love. It was so moving.’

Amanda was accompanied by her husband Shaun Kempton, 49 and children Ruby, 14, and Max, 12.

It comes as King Charles III pledged to ‘seek the welfare’ of all Northern Ireland’s people and described how his family have felt their ‘sorrows’ as he praised his mother’s relationship with Northern Ireland.

Charles, who in 2015 made a pilgrimage to the site of his great-uncle Lord Mountbatten’s murder in an IRA bombing, said the Queen had ‘never ceased to pray for the best of times for this place and its people’.

Speaking at Hillsborough Castle in Co Down, the royal residence in Northern Ireland, the new monarch said the late Queen was aware of her position in bringing together divided communities ‘whom history had separated’.

Later, the King shook hands with the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins following a memorial service for the late Queen at St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast.

The King, responding at Hillsborough Castle to a message of condolence on behalf of the people of Northern Ireland from Stormont Assembly speaker Alex Maskey, said: ‘Through all those years, she never ceased to pray for the best of times for this place and for its people, whose stories she knew, whose sorrows our family had felt, and for whom she had a great affection and regard.

‘My mother felt deeply, I know, the significance of the role she herself played in bringing together those whom history had separated, and in extending a hand to make possible the healing of long-held hurts.’

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II leaves St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II leaves St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II leaves St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II crossing The Dean Bridge

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II crossing The Dean Bridge

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II crossing The Dean Bridge

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II on its way to Edinburgh Airport

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II on its way to Edinburgh Airport

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II on its way to Edinburgh Airport

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II crossing The Dean Bridge

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II crossing The Dean Bridge

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II crossing The Dean Bridge

The Queen's coffin is carried in a hearse up the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Airport as a sea of mourners watches

The Queen's coffin is carried in a hearse up the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Airport as a sea of mourners watches

The Queen’s coffin is carried in a hearse up the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Airport as a sea of mourners watches 

Thousands of mourners packed Edinburgh's small streets as the Queen leaves Scotland for the final time

Thousands of mourners packed Edinburgh's small streets as the Queen leaves Scotland for the final time

Thousands of mourners packed Edinburgh’s small streets as the Queen leaves Scotland for the final time 

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth is seen on the Royal Mile

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth is seen on the Royal Mile

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth is seen on the Royal Mile 

The Queen's cortege with the hearse carrying Her Majesty's coffin

The Queen's cortege with the hearse carrying Her Majesty's coffin

The Queen’s cortege with the hearse carrying Her Majesty’s coffin

Members of the public gather to see the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II leave from St Giles' Cathedral

Members of the public gather to see the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II leave from St Giles' Cathedral

Members of the public gather to see the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II leave from St Giles’ Cathedral

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II from St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II from St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II from St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II leaves St Giles' Cathedral

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II leaves St Giles' Cathedral

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II leaves St Giles’ Cathedral

With his Queen Consort, Prime Minister Liz Truss and significant figures from Northern Ireland watching, the King said about the late Queen: ‘Now, with that shining example before me, and with God’s help, I take up my new duties resolved to seek the welfare of all the inhabitants of Northern Ireland.’

A momentous step forward in Anglo-Irish relations came in 2012 when the Queen shook hands with Martin McGuinness, the then-deputy first minister of Northern Ireland and a former IRA commander.

The late monarch had lost a member of her family in the Troubles, her cousin Lord Mountbatten, who had a close relationship with Charles.

The 79-year-old Lord Mountbatten was murdered on August 27 1979, when a bomb blew apart a boat at Mullaghmore in Co Sligo, on one of the most violent days in the history of the Troubles that saw 18 British troops die in an IRA ambush.

The Queen’s historic state visit to the Republic of Ireland in 2011 – the first by a British monarch since the Republic’s independence – was another milestone.

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II leaving St Giles' Cathedral

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II leaving St Giles' Cathedral

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II leaving St Giles’ Cathedral

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth in Edinburgh

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth in Edinburgh

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth in Edinburgh

Members of the public queue outside St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburg

Members of the public queue outside St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburg

Members of the public queue outside St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburg

She visited significant locations such as Dublin’s Croke Park – the site of the 1920 Bloody Sunday massacre where British forces fired into the crowd at a football match, killing 14 spectators and players – and surprised and delighted the nation by speaking a few words of Gaelic at the start of her state dinner speech.

The speaker of the Stormont Assembly described how the Queen had been part of efforts to build peace in Ireland.

Mr Maskey said she had not been ‘a distant observer’ in the transformation and progress of relationships among the people of the country.

He said the monarch had ‘demonstrated how individual acts of positive leadership can help break down barriers and encourage reconciliation’.

Mr Maskey added: ‘She showed that a small and insignificant gesture – a visit, a handshake, crossing the street or speaking a few words of Irish – can make a huge difference in changing attitudes and building relationships.’

The Queen’s recognition of both British and Irish traditions, as well as the wider diversity of the community, was ‘exceptionally significant’, he said.

Mr Maskey added: ‘In all of this she personally underlined that one tradition is not diminished by reaching out to show respect to another.’

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