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Day 2: The Queen’s coffin begins the 500-mile journey from Balmoral Castle to Buckingham Palace 

The Queen’s 500-mile journey from her beloved Balmoral Castle to Buckingham Palace begins today.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to pay their respects as Her Majesty is taken to Edinburgh, which will become the first major focal point of a nation in mourning.

After a night at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen will lie in state for 24 hours at St Giles’ Cathedral. Her coffin will be flown to London on Tuesday, before being driven to Buckingham Palace. 

Every stage of her extraordinary three-day journey will be closely followed by a British public coming to terms with its grief.

D+2 – Sunday September 11

The Queen’s coffin, draped in the Royal Standard for Scotland, will be taken by road to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh from 10am.

It will travel east from Balmoral to the coast, before travelling south to Holyroodhouse, in a journey lasting six hours.

Huge crowds are expected to line the route of the 170-mile journey, as mourners pay their respects. 

The Queen 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.

D+3 – Monday September 12

At 2.35pm, the procession will be held along the Royal Mile to St Giles’ Cathedral.

The King and other senior members of the Royal Family will walk the 1,200 yard route on foot. 

At 7.20pm, the King and other family members will mount a vigil by the coffin.   

The Queen will then lie at rest for 24 hours, with thousands expected to file past. 

The House of Commons and the House of Lords are expected to come together in Westminster for a Motion of Condolence, which the King could attend.

After leaving England and visiting Scotland, Charles will at some stage travel to the other countries of the UK – Wales and Northern Ireland – known as Operation Spring Tide.

D+4 – Tuesday September 13

At 5pm on Tuesday, the Queen’s coffin will be taken by hearse to Edinburgh airport, where it will be met by a Guard of Honour from the Royal Regiment of Scotland. 

The Royal Air Force bearer party will then carry it on to a waiting aircraft, where it will be flown to London at 6pm. 

She will be accompanied by Princess Anne and arrive at RAF Northolt in West London shortly before 7pm.

The coffin will then be driven to Buckingham Palace where it will be met by a Guard of Honour.

There it will rest in the Bow Room, under the watch of a rota of chaplains.

A rehearsal for the procession of the coffin from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster is also expected to take place.

D+5 – Wednesday September 14

The Queen’s lying in state is expected to begin in Westminster Hall – Operation Marquee – following a ceremonial procession through London that will begin at 2.22pm.

The King will walk behind his mother’s coffin for the second time in three days.  

On arrival, the coffin will be placed on a raised bier where the Queen will lie in state for four full days.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will conduct a short service following the coffin’s arrival.

Hundreds of thousands of people will file past the coffin on its catafalque and pay their respects, just as they did for the Queen Mother’s lying in state in 2002.

The management of the queues outside is Operation Feather.

During the Covid-19 crisis, plans included the possibility of the introduction of timed ticketing for those wanting to attend.

Senior royals are also expected to pay their own moving tribute, standing guard at some stage around the coffin – the tradition known as the Vigil of the Princes.

D+6 – Thursday September 15

Lying in state continues and a rehearsal is likely to take place for the state funeral procession.

D+7 – Friday September 16 

 Lying in state continues, ending on D+9. 

On Friday, King Charles will continue his tour of the UK, travelling to Wales to receive a motion of condolence at the Welsh Parliament, and attend a service at Llandaff Cathedral, in Cardiff.

D+9 – Sunday September 18 

Heads of state begin to arrive for the funeral. An evening reception will be held for funeral guests, including prime ministers, heads of state and other dignitaries from across the world.

The King will hold an audience with the Prime Minister. 

D+10 – Monday September 19

The Queen’s state funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey in central London at 11am.

The original plans are for the Queen’s coffin to process on a gun carriage to the abbey, pulled by naval ratings – sailors – using ropes rather than horses.

Senior members of the family are expected to follow behind – just like they did for the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh.

The military will line the streets and also join the procession.

Heads of state, prime ministers and presidents, European royals and key figures from public life will be invited to gather in the abbey, which can hold a congregation of 2,000.

The service will be televised, and a national two minutes’ silence is expected to be held.

The same day as the funeral, the Queen’s coffin will be taken to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle for a televised committal service.

Later in the evening, there will be a private interment service with senior members of the royal family.

The Queen’s final resting place will be the King George VI memorial chapel, an annex to the main chapel – where her mother and father were buried, along with the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret. Philip’s coffin will move from the Royal Vault to the memorial chapel to join the Queen’s.

The Queen's coffin – which is lying in the Ballroom at Balmoral Castle – will be taken by road to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh today on a six-hour journey by hearse

The Queen’s coffin – which is lying in the Ballroom at Balmoral Castle – will be taken by road to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh today on a six-hour journey by hearse

When her coffin arrives in Edinburgh it will be taken to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen in Scotland, before a service is held at St Giles' Cathedral on Tuesday

When her coffin arrives in Edinburgh it will be taken to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen in Scotland, before a service is held at St Giles’ Cathedral on Tuesday

Details of the committal ceremony when the Queen will be buried in Windsor 

The committal ceremony will take place in St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle after the funeral on Monday, September 19. 

The Queen will be laid to rest alongside her late husband the Duke of Edinburgh. 

It is expected large crowds will come to the town in the days leading up to the ceremony. 

People are advised to lay tributes at Cambridge Gate in the Long Walk. 

Thames Valley Police said to expect a larger police presence and road closures will be communicated in due course.

Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral will be held on Monday, September 19 at Westminster Abbey at 11am – which King Charles declared would be a bank holiday.

The service at Westminster Abbey will be the culmination of ten days of official mourning, details of which were revealed for the first time by the Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk, who is charged with organising the huge event. 

The Queen will lie in state for ‘four clear days’ in Westminster Hall from Wednesday, September 14, before the funeral, a senior palace official said.

Buckingham Palace said devoted daughter Princess Anne will accompany the late monarch’s body to London ahead of the funeral, the only one from the Royal Family to do so. 

On the day of the funeral at 10.44am the coffin will be taken in procession from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey where the state funeral service will take place. 

Following the funeral, the coffin will be taken again in procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch, and from there to Windsor by road, where the Queen will be laid to rest in St George’s Chapel, alongside her late husband the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Queen’s coffin – which is lying in the ballroom at Balmoral Castle – will be taken by road to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh today, on a six-hour journey by hearse, covering 175 miles.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the ‘poignant’ journey would give the public a chance to come together to ‘mark our country’s shared loss’. 

Wellwishers are expected to gather along the route and Ms Sturgeon and other party leaders in Scotland are expected to watch the coffin as it goes past the Scottish Parliament.  

The Queen will lie in state in St Giles in Edinburgh and then in Westminster Hall in London for 'four clear days'. Pictured: the late King George VI lies in state in the chapel in Windsor

The Queen will lie in state in St Giles in Edinburgh and then in Westminster Hall in London for ‘four clear days’. Pictured: the late King George VI lies in state in the chapel in Windsor 

King Charles will be at the front of the royal party heading from the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh and up the Royal Mile to St Giles' Cathedral

King Charles will be at the front of the royal party heading from the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh and up the Royal Mile to St Giles’ Cathedral

After the ceremonies in Edinburgh, the coffin will be flown to RAF Northolt and from there will be taken by road to Buckingham Palace

After the ceremonies in Edinburgh, the coffin will be flown to RAF Northolt and from there will be taken by road to Buckingham Palace

What happens next: Day two of mourning

D+2 – Sunday September 11

The Queen’s coffin, draped in the Royal Standard for Scotland, will be taken by road to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh from 10am.

It will travel east from Balmoral to the coast, before travelling south to Holyroodhouse, in a journey lasting six hours.

Huge crowds are expected to line the route of the 170-mile journey, as mourners pay their respects. 

The Queen 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.

D+3 – Monday September 12

At 2.35pm, the procession will be held along the Royal Mile to St Giles’ Cathedral.

The King and other senior members of the Royal Family will walk the 1,200 yard route on foot. 

At 7.20pm, the King and other family members will mount a vigil by the coffin.   

The Queen will then lie at rest for 24 hours, with thousands expected to file past. 

The House of Commons and the House of Lords are expected to come together in Westminster for a Motion of Condolence, which the King could attend.

After leaving England and visiting Scotland, Charles will at some stage travel to the other countries of the UK – Wales and Northern Ireland – known as Operation Spring Tide.

D+4 – Tuesday September 13

At 5pm on Tuesday, the Queen’s coffin will be taken by hearse to Edinburgh airport, where it will be met by a Guard of Honour from the Royal Regiment of Scotland. 

The Royal Air Force bearer party will then carry it on to a waiting aircraft, where it will be flown to London at 6pm. 

She will be accompanied by Princess Anne and arrive at RAF Northolt in West London shortly before 7pm.

The coffin will then be driven to Buckingham Palace where it will be met by a Guard of Honour.

There it will rest in the Bow Room, under the watch of a rota of chaplains.

A rehearsal for the procession of the coffin from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster is also expected to take place.

D+5 – Wednesday September 14

The Queen’s lying in state is expected to begin in Westminster Hall – Operation Marquee – following a ceremonial procession through London that will begin at 2.22pm.

The King will walk behind his mother’s coffin for the second time in three days.  

On arrival, the coffin will be placed on a raised bier where the Queen will lie in state for four full days.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will conduct a short service following the coffin’s arrival.

Hundreds of thousands of people will file past the coffin on its catafalque and pay their respects, just as they did for the Queen Mother’s lying in state in 2002.

The management of the queues outside is Operation Feather.

During the Covid-19 crisis, plans included the possibility of the introduction of timed ticketing for those wanting to attend.

Senior royals are also expected to pay their own moving tribute, standing guard at some stage around the coffin – the tradition known as the Vigil of the Princes.

D+6 – Thursday September 15

Lying in state continues and a rehearsal is likely to take place for the state funeral procession.

D+7 – Friday September 16 

 Lying in state continues, ending on D+9. 

On Friday, King Charles will continue his tour of the UK, travelling to Wales to receive a motion of condolence at the Welsh Parliament, and attend a service at Llandaff Cathedral, in Cardiff.

D+9 – Sunday September 18 

Heads of state begin to arrive for the funeral. An evening reception will be held for funeral guests, including prime ministers, heads of state and other dignitaries from across the world.

The King will hold an audience with the Prime Minister. 

D+10 – Monday September 19

The Queen’s state funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey in central London at 11am.

The original plans are for the Queen’s coffin to process on a gun carriage to the abbey, pulled by naval ratings – sailors – using ropes rather than horses.

Senior members of the family will follow behind – just like they did for the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh.

The military will line the streets and also join the procession.

Heads of state, prime ministers and presidents, European royals and key figures from public life will be invited to gather in the abbey, which can hold a congregation of 2,000.

The service will be televised, and a national two minutes’ silence is expected to be held at midday.

The same day as the funeral, the Queen’s coffin will be taken to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle for a televised committal service.

Later in the evening, there will be a private interment service with senior members of the royal family.

The Queen’s final resting place will be the King George VI memorial chapel, an annex to the main chapel – where her mother and father were buried, along with the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret. Philip’s coffin will move from the Royal Vault to the memorial chapel to join the Queen’s.

On Monday the coffin will be taken to St Giles’ Cathedral where it will lie in rest until Tuesday. 

After lying in state for 24 hours, the coffin will be flown to RAF Northolt on Tuesday and taken by road to Buckingham Palace. 

It will be taken to Westminster Hall on Wednesday for lying-in-state until the morning of the funeral on September 19. Members of the public will be able to see the coffin as it lies in state. 

King Charles will lead the nation in mourning on Monday as he walks at the head of a procession of the Queen’s coffin through the streets of Edinburgh.  

He will be at the front of the royal party heading from the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh and up the Royal Mile to St Giles’ Cathedral, it has been announced.

The King and Queen Consort will fly to Edinburgh with Prince William and other members of the Royal Family to lead the procession. Some members of the family will follow in cars, with others walking.

She will then lie in state for 24 hours before being transported by plane to RAF Northolt and from there will be taken by road to Buckingham Palace.

Members of the public will be able to see the monarch lying in state at St Giles and later in London at Westminster Hall. 

Thousands of people will be able to file past to see the late monarch’s coffin – and further details of how the public can attend will be announced in the coming days.

A spokesman for the King said the monarch’s main focus will be leading the royal family and nation in mourning over the coming days.

‘Whilst, in the next few days, the King will carry out all the necessary state duties, his main focus will be leading the Royal Family, the nation, the Realms and the Commonwealth in mourning Her Majesty The Queen. This will include meeting members of the public, to share in their grief,’ the spokesman said.

The man in charge of the huge funeral operation, the Earl Marshall the Duke of Norfolk has confirmed for the first time that the funeral will take place on Monday September 19 at 11am in Westminster Abbey.

The Duke of Norfolk said he and other staff were carrying out their task ‘with a heavy heart’.

He said: ‘As the person with overall responsibility for delivering the funeral, let me end by saying that, together with so many colleagues from within The Royal Household, the Armed Forces, the Police, and other institutions of Church and State, we will carry out our duty over the coming days with the heaviest of hearts.

‘But also, with the firmest of resolve to ensure a fitting farewell to one of the defining figures of our times; a monarch whom we were truly privileged to have had as the Head of State of our country and the Realms, and Head of the wider Commonwealth.

‘While His Majesty The King was speaking about his family, I think it applies to us all when he said in his broadcast yesterday that: ‘We owe her the most heartfelt debt.’ I think we can, in some way, repay that debt by carrying out her last wishes in delivering Her Majesty The Queen’s Funeral.’

The Queen’s body is currently lying in the ballroom of Balmoral Castle, her Highland home, the coffin cloaked in the Royal Standard of Scotland with a wreath of flowers. 

Today at 10am, a bearer party formed of six gamekeepers from the estate will carry the coffin into a hearse and it will begin the six-hour, 175-mile journey to Edinburgh, with mourners paying their last respects at many points along the way.

On arrival at Holyrood, a Guard of Honour formed from The Royal Regiment of Scotland will be positioned in the Forecourt where the coffin will be received with a Royal Salute.

A military Bearer Party from The Royal Regiment of Scotland will carry the coffin into the Palace to the Throne Room where it will remain for nearly 24 hours until the afternoon of Monday September 12, allowing the the staff of Holyroodhouse to pay their final respects.

On Monday, the coffin will be taken from the Palace of Holyroodhouse at 2.35pm in procession to St Giles’s Cathedral.

The King and The Queen Consort will travel to Edinburgh from London to join the procession which will set off from the forecourt of the palace to the cathedral.

At 2.55pm the Coffin will be carried into St Giles’s Cathedral, where The Duke of Hamilton and Brandon, Hereditary Keeper of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, will place the Crown of Scotland onto the Coffin.

Following the service, the coffin will rest at St Giles’ Cathedral for a period of 24 hours to enable the people of Scotland to pay their last respects.

Continuous vigils will be mounted on the coffin, including one by the King and Members of the Royal Family, known as the Vigil of the Princes, at 7.20 pm.

On Tuesday at 5pm, following prayers conducted by the Minister, the coffin will be taken by Hearse from St Giles’ to Edinburgh Airport from where it will depart in a Royal Air Force aircraft for RAF Northolt.

A Guard of Honour, found by the Royal Company of Archers, will give a Royal Salute as the Coffin departs the Cathedral.

The Hearse will move directly to Edinburgh Airport and a bearer, Princess Anne and Professor David Fergusson, Dean of the Chapel Royal in Scotland will accompany it to London, arriving at Northolt at 6.55pm.

On arrival at Northolt, the hearse will then depart for Buckingham Palace and will be taken to the Bow Room where it will be placed on trestles in the centre of the room.

The poignant moment will be witnessed by The King and Queen Consort along with other Members of the Royal Family. 

On Wednesday the coffin will be adorned with the Imperial State Crown, along with a wreath of flowers. Prayers will be said by the Dean of the Chapels Royal in the presence of The King, The Queen Consort and other Royals.

At 2.22 pm the coffin will be moved from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall for lying-in-State which will end the following Monday, the morning of the State Funeral.

The will be taken in Procession on a Gun Carriage of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster, recalling memories of the State Funeral of King George VI in 1952.

The route will take in Queen’s Gardens, The Mall, Horse Guards and Horse Guards Arch, Whitehall, Parliament Street, Parliament Square and New Palace Yard.   

Under the Operation Unicorn plan, the Queen is to travel from Balmoral to the Palace of Holyroodhouse by road

Under the Operation Unicorn plan, the Queen is to travel from Balmoral to the Palace of Holyroodhouse by road  

The Prince and Princess of Wales view the tributes left after the Death of Queen Elizabeth II, at Windsor Castle

The Prince and Princess of Wales view the tributes left after the Death of Queen Elizabeth II, at Windsor Castle

The procession on foot will include the King and members of the Royal Family, senior staff of both The Queen’s and The King’s Households, all positioned to the rear of the gun carriage. Close personal staff, supported by the military found by the Household Division, will follow behind.

The procession will be an intimate, dignified affair, simply walking in silence without music, by contrast to the full-scale State ceremonial procession at the funeral itself on Monday.

On the day of the funeral, Monday September 19, at 10.44am, the coffin will be taken in procession from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey where the State Funeral Service will take place.

Following the Funeral, the coffin will be taken again in procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch, and from there to Windsor by road, where the Queen will be laid to rest in St George’s Chapel, alongside her late husband the Duke of Edinburgh.

Full details of how the public can attend the Lying in State Ceremonies will be announced by government colleagues in the coming days.

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