Queen Elizabeth II: Royals gather to receive coffin at Buckingham Palace in last private farewell
Her coffin lit up as night fell, the Queen returned home to Buckingham Palace for the last time.
Waiting for her, out of sight of the cameras, were the King and Queen Consort, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex, as well as the new Prince and Princess of Wales.
There were also the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Edward’s wife Sophie and their children Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn, as well as Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and their husbands.
Also present were the beloved nephew and grandson of the late monarch, Lady Sarah Chatto and Lord Snowdon, the children of Princess Margaret.
It was his family’s last chance to spend time with their beloved matriarch in private “before handing over His Majesty to the nation,” a senior royal official said.
Along the way from RAF Northolt, some in the crowd wiped tears from their eyes and put down their umbrellas as a sign of respect, while others cheered with an overwhelming “hip hip hip hip hooray” after spotting the royal burgundy vehicle. with the royal code of the queen.
When the hearse finally rolled through central London, with the capital’s lights twinkling in the rain, the atmosphere was gloomy but somehow a celebration of a life well lived.
Earlier, William and Kate – the latter wearing, as in honor of the queen, a necklace and earrings of the late monarch’s favorite pearls – could be seen driving to the palace.
They were driven separately from Windsor to Harry and Meghan, who are currently staying at Frogmore Cottage.
Household Division guards marched through Buckingham Palace’s front gates as the hearse passed the Queen Victoria Memorial, slowing as it entered.
Of course, as much of the national mourning period is in public, the cameras were turned off as the hearse moved through the historic quadrilateral.
In the quadrangle was an honor guard formed by the 1st Coldstream Guards Battalion, who gave the royal salute when the hearse stopped.
The coffin was then carried through the grand entrance, where the Queen’s close relatives awaited what was described as a “small private family reunion the evening before the coffin was actually handed over to the nation to be put into state.” “.
Standing in front of the grand entrance were Kings Charles and Camilla, surrounded by the late monarch’s children and grandchildren and their partners, including William and Kate, as well as Harry and Meghan.
On Wednesday evening, the Queen’s coffin will be transported in a horse-drawn carriage to Westminster Hall, where she will remain in custody for four days before Monday’s state funeral.
The scenes early Wednesday came when Princess Anne, who has barely left the maternal side since her death last Thursday at Balmoral, released a heartwarming statement in which she said how fortunate she felt to have been able to share. last hours of his “dear mother”. .
He also described it as “an honor and a privilege” to accompany the queen on her final journeys as she traveled with the monarch’s coffin, first from Balmoral to Edinburgh and then to London.
She said: “I was lucky enough to share the last 24 hours of my dear mother’s life. It was an honor and a privilege to accompany him on her last journeys.
“Witnessing the love and respect shown by so many on these trips has been both humbling and uplifting. We will all share unique memories. I give my thanks to all who share our sense of loss. Perhaps we have been reminded how much his presence and his contribution to our national identity took us for granted.
“I am also very grateful for the support and understanding offered to my dear brother Charles as he takes on the additional responsibilities of the monarch.”
It was a moving return to the 300-year-old seat of power that the Queen affectionately called “the office”.
The group of coffin bearers, from the Queen’s Company 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, then carried the coffin into the Bow Room and, in a touching moment, the Sovereign’s bagpiper, pipe major Paul Burns of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, sounded a disturbing lament.
The Bow Room is centrally located in the west wing of Buckingham Palace, with direct access to its 39 acre garden via a series of double doors.
It takes its name from the window that runs along one side and has been the scene of numerous historical family photos over the years.
The coffin remained there overnight, tenderly guarded by some of his most loyal collaborators.
On Wednesday evening, the carriage procession carrying the coffin will leave Buckingham Palace at 2:22 pm, with a specific time to arrive at Westminster Hall at 3:00 pm
The King, Andrew, Anne, Edward, William, Harry, Peter Phillips, Sir Tim, the Duke of Gloucester and the Earl of Snowdon will walk the coffin. Camilla, Kate, Sophie and Meghan will drive to the venue.
A 20-minute service will take place, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and accompanied by the Dean of Westminster, with the official period of storage in the state.
The Queen’s closed coffin will rest on a raised platform, called a bier, inside the Palace of Westminster, allowing the public to parade and pay homage.
It will be open 24 hours a day until closing at 6:30 on Monday 19th September.
While all eyes will be on the queen’s coffin today, the family dynamics of the procession will also prove fascinating, particularly if brothers Princes William and Harry walk side by side.
Working members of the royal family will be in uniform, which means that Prince Andrew and his grandson, Prince Harry, will visibly wear formal attire.
In a statement ahead of today’s procession in the capital, Harry’s press secretary said: ‘Prince Harry … will wear a morning dress at events honoring his great-mother.
“His decade of military service is not determined by the uniform he wears and we respectfully ask that the focus remain on the life and legacy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.”