King Charles has landed in Scotland to privately mourn his mother on the Balmoral estate where the Queen died 12 days ago with him by her side, MailOnline can reveal today.
The monarch left RAF Northolt on the private jet he used during his tour of the UK following Her Majesty’s death and touched down in Aberdeen this lunchtime. The Queen Consort, Camilla, is with him.
His flight to Scotland came after the royals published a previously unseen picture of Her Majesty hiking in Balmoral – released just as Charles laid her to rest during a private interment at St George’s Chapel last night.
The service was for senior royals only – and completely private – but one senior royal source told the Evening Standard: ‘Yes there were tears. Of course there were. But at least Her Majesty is at peace now’.
It is telling that the King is visiting the estate his mother ‘loved most’ in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park following her interment in the family tomb yesterday. Charles chose to retreat to his remote home in the Welsh countryside within 24 hours of his father’s funeral in April 2021.
Charles will visit the home where his mother died 12 days ago. He will likely stay at Birkhall, his Scottish home on the Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire, which sits around seven miles from the main castle. He inherited Birkhall from the Queen Mother upon her death in 2002. MailOnline has asked Buckingham Palace to comment.
This morning the King left Windsor, where the royals stayed last night. He may also have said goodbye to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, with the couple reportedly flying back to Los Angeles as soon as possible.
The King was swept into RAF Northolt in north London at just before 10.30am. His police outriders removed their helmets and bowed while he boarded with his wife, as the Royal Family observes a period of mourning to be observed from now until seven days after the Queen’s Funeral. All public engagements are cancelled until next Tuesday.
The royals landed at 12.04pm at Aberdeen – the airport the Queen’s children and grandchildren rushed to on Thursday, September 8 in the hope they would see her before she died. Tragically only Charles and Anne are understood to have made it to the Scottish estate – an hour’s drive away from the airport – with Prince Harry 15 minutes from landing there when the world learned she had passed away. Palace officials insist he had been told before the public.
Charles III looks tired and emotional leaves Aberdeen Airport on his way to Balmoral – where his mother died 12 days ago when he was by her side
Buckingham Palace has released this never seen before picture of Her Majesty hiking through heathland close to Balmoral and said: ‘May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest’, quoting Shakespeare. Charles is now heading to the Scottish estate
The car containing Camilla and Charles leaves Windsor this morning
The King at Northolt airport leaving for Scotland this morning. The monarch is pictured in the back of the car with a close protection officer
The King could be heading to Balmoral or may choose to stay at Birkhall, the home he inherited from the Queen Mother. He was in the back of the car, Camilla in the front
The Queen Consort, Camilla, was also in the same car as the couple mourned the Queen together. She looked forlorn as they arrived for the flight
The King’s vehicle pulls up at the jet at RAF Northolt this morning. Police outriders removed their helmets and bowed as the Royal Family still mourns
His Majesty used the same private jet used as he toured the UK following the Queen’s death, pictured taking off today
The King’s convoy is swept into the RAF airfield less than 24 hours after his mother’s funeral
Palace releases new 1971 photo of the Queen at Balmoral: The place she ‘loved the most’ and chose to spend her final days
A final tribute from Balmoral for the Queen along with a photo
The Queen spent her last night alive in her beloved Balmoral Castle – a place she loved more than any other of her homes.
Quoting from Shakespeare’s immortal play Hamlet, and including a never seen before picture of Her Majesty hiking through heathland, it said: ‘May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest’
And last night Buckingham Palace published a picture of the Queen taken at Balmoral in 1971, with the words: ‘May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest. In loving memory of Her Majesty The Queen.’
The photo sees Her Majesty hiking through the heathlands at her beloved Aberdeenshire estate.
The links to the castle didn’t end there yesterday. The late sovereign’s personal piper Paul Burns, who had been there every morning during her final days at Balmoral, was there at the end, playing during the final moments of public mourning. He played one last lament while the Queen’s coffin was lowered into the Royal Vault,
Even in the days before she died she had urged guests to a shooting party that many of the traditions of a Balmoral summer should continue, even though she could not join in as she once did, particularly with the walks and the picnics.
Just days before her death Dr Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, stayed with the Queen at Balmoral.
Indeed he had dinner with her on Saturday and lunch with her on Sunday.
Giving a rare insight into her final days, Dr Greensheilds described the monarch as frail but in ‘really good spirits’ and ‘very engaging’ company, and said he had been surprised by the sudden decline in her health and her death.
The Queen was seen only a few weeks ago walking her corgis in the gardens, slowly and cautiously, but out in the fresh air nonetheless.
‘It’s been a very typical and jolly summer at Balmoral, lots of walks and picnics and BBQs,’ a source said.
Another royal source who encountered the Queen just days ago described her as being in ‘genuinely good spirits’.
That, and the fact that members of the Royal Family were only scrambled to Balmoral, first thing on the Thursday morning, suggests that her health took a catastrophic turn for the worse on the night before.
The Queen’s love of Scotland was well known, as is her son’s. When he was Prince of Wales, Charles was known as the Duke of Rothesay there until his titles were handed to Prince William.
Her Majesty had a special connection to Balmoral since childhood because of the time she spent there with her parents and sister. The late monarch would always spend her summer there. Charles shared that love, and was moved to tears when his mother was lying at rest in Edinburgh last week after a procession that saw him and his siblings march the Royal Mile behind her coffin before her body left Scotland on last Tuesday.
It came as the Royal Family released two poignant photo tributes to the Queen as they begin another week of mourning after a state funeral full of emotion, ceremony and symbolism that wowed and moved the world before Charles personally laid his mother to rest during a private burial last night.
Her Majesty’s long journey to her final resting place began in Balmoral on the day of her death on September 8 and ended last night with her private interment next to Prince Philip, with the new King scattering earth on his mother’s coffin at 7.30pm.
And as she was laid to rest the royals released a tribute titled: ‘In loving memory of Her Majesty The Queen’ and shared a never-before seen image of the late Monarch hiking through heathlands in her beloved Scotland and a smiling picture of her with her parents, sister and husband at Buckingham Palace.
The touching post issued via the Royal Family’s social media accounts also touched on King Charles III’s first address to the nation as monarch in which he quoted the Shakespeare’s immortal play Hamlet – ‘May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest.’
Queen Elizabeth II today lies at peace for eternity in the royal vault under St George’s Chapel with her husband, father, mother and sister. She is the 12th British monarch to be buried at Windsor and has chosen to be with her family following the ‘Us Four’ principle pursued by her father George VI.
He told his daughter repeatedly that following the abdication of his brother, a happy and united Royal Family was the most important thing in life after the duties of a monarch.
The family are in a crypt under a black stone slab set into the floor, inscribed with ‘George VI’ and ‘Elizabeth’ in gold accompanied by their years of birth and death.
The Queen and Prince Philip will likely be added.
It came after a highly-symbolic and moving public moment in which the Queen’s crown, orb and sceptre were removed from her coffin so she could descend into her grave below St George’s Chapel Windsor ‘as a simple Christian soul’.
She was interred with the Queen’s Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards, placed on her coffin by her son.
The details of last night’s private ceremony were even kept secret from most royal aides with the congregation limited to senior royals only. It is not known if it was just the King and his siblings or whether it included grandchildren such as Prince William and Prince Harry.
Her son decreed on September 9, the day after the Queen died following her 70-year reign, that a period of mourning would be observed until seven days after the funeral – ending next Tuesday.
It means that royals will not do any official engagements before then with Harry and Meghan expected to fly to the US as soon as possible to be reunited with their children.
Her Majesty was carried by eight soldiers from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards who raised and put down the Queen’s 500lb lead-lined coffin no less than 10 times on her journey from Westminster Hall to St George’s Chapel in Windsor, where she lies peacefully today.
His trip to Scotland came hours after he said farewell to his mother at St George’s Chapel following her state funeral at Westminster Abbey
Charles was tearful as he bade farewell to his mother while the Royal Family and the nation grieves
King Charles, members of the royal family, Prince Edward, Prince William, Prince Andrew, Princess Anne, Sir Timothy Lawrence, Prince Harry, Peter Philips and Lord Linley, await the arrival of the Queen’s coffin as it returns to Windsor. Harry stood away from his family. He is likely to return to the US as soon as possible
A private service, which was due to start at 7.30pm, took place last night away from the public’s gaze where King Charles buried his mother the Queen. This rarely seen picture from 1947 was released last night
The Queen has been buried alongside her beloved Prince Philip and next to her parents George VI and Elizabeth (pictured: The grave inside the George VI Memorial Chapel), the Queen Mother, and her sister, Margaret at the George VI Memorial Chapel inside St George’s Chapel
King Charles III places the the Queen’s Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on the coffin at the Committal Service
Flowers and bouquets cover the royal hearse as the Queen arrives in Windsor
The Royal Family and European royals watch as the coffin is carried towards the altar
Buckingham Palace said: ‘Following the death of Her Majesty the Queen, it is His Majesty the King’s wish that a period of royal mourning be observed from now until seven days after the Queen’s Funeral.
‘May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest’: Royal family’s touching final message to the Queen
Quoting from Shakespeare’s immortal play Hamlet, and including a never seen before picture of Her Majesty hiking through heathland, it said: ‘May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest’
The Royal Family have tonight paid a touching final tribute to the Queen after she was laid to laid to rest with her beloved Prince Philip following a day of public ceremonies – watched by as many as four billion people worldwide.
In a tribute titled: ‘In loving memory of Her Majesty The Queen,’ the family tonight shared a never-before seen image of the late Monarch hiking through heathlands.
The touching post issued via the Royal Family’s social media account also harked back to her son King Charles’s first address to the nation in which he quoted the Shakespeare’s immortal play Hamlet – ‘May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest.’
‘Royal mourning will be observed by members of the royal family, Royal Household staff and representatives of the Royal Household on official duties, together with troops committed to ceremonial duties.’
The family members are not expected to carry out official engagements, and flags at royal residences will remain at half-mast until 8am after the final day of royal mourning.
Yesterday afternoon, as the Queen sank gently into the depths of St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, giving millions of watching mourners a lump in their throats, it brought to a close a mesmerising 11 days of public mourning.
Queen Elizabeth II is now reunited with her ‘strength and stay’ – her beloved husband Prince Philip – and with her parents and her sister Princess Margaret in the King George VI Memorial Chapel at Windsor after her coffin was interred overnight in an intimate private ceremony.
Her crown, orb and sceptre were earlier removed from her coffin so she could descend into her grave in the royal crypt as a ‘simple Christian soul’.
An estimated 4.1 billion people worldwide watched yesterday morning as kings, queens, presidents and prime ministers joined millions of mourners in London for her historic State Funeral Service at Westminster Abbey.
They have been left bereft by the death of their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, and at times their grief was palpable with Charles looking emotional and close to tears at the state funeral.
The Countess of Wessex was also seen weeping during the long day as was the Duchess of Sussex, who returned with the Duke of Sussex to the royal family to share their grief.
But Charles and his family have been consoled by the support and love they have received from the public, including the tens of thousands who turned out to watch the late monarch’s funeral procession make its slow journey through the capital and on to Windsor Castle for the committal service.
The Queen was finally laid to rest with her husband the Duke of Edinburgh during a private evening burial service attended just by close family.
Harry and Meghan stayed in Windsor last night after uniting with royals to mourn Queen but are expected to return to Archie and Lilibet ‘as soon as they can’
Harry and Meghan stayed in the UK last night after reuniting with the royals to mourn the Queen but are expected to leave for California ‘as soon as they can’ after not seeing Archie and Lilibet for nearly three weeks.
The Sussexes arrived in Britain on September 3 for the first time since the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June. They expected to stay only briefly but with the news Her Majesty was ill Prince Harry cancelled his appearance at the WellChild Awards in London and rushed to Balmoral.
Although the Duchess of Sussex did not join him in Scotland, she was by his side for a series of official events over the 10-day period of mourning, including the funeral yesterday.
The Sussexes were reported at the weekend to be planning to fly back to the US as soon as they could, although informed sources last night told The Times that the couple were still in the UK.
Harry was seen puffing his cheeks yesterday evening as he got into a car with Meghan.
The family’s website said it was conducted by the Dean of Windsor, adding: The Queen was buried together with The Duke of Edinburgh, at The King George VI Memorial Chapel.’
The royal Twitter account published a picture of the Queen taken at Balmoral in 1971, with the words: ‘May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest. In loving memory of Her Majesty The Queen.’
The quote is from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and was said by Charles in his speech to MPs and peers on September 12.
The words are said by Horatio as he pays tribute to his dying friend Hamlet in the tragedy.
The day of the funeral was filled with personal touches, with the wreath adorning the Queen’s coffin featuring a handwritten note from the King, saying: ‘In loving and devoted memory. Charles R.’
Charles had requested the floral tribute which replaced a wreath of Balmoral flowers with foliage and blooms cut from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Highgrove.
The simple committal service at St George’s Chapel contrasted with the earlier state funeral, with the Queen’s close staff represented, including her senior dresser and personal adviser Angela Kelly, alongside individuals like Earl Spencer, the brother of Diana, Princess of Wales.
It was heavy with symbolism with the Camp Colour from the military unit personally commanded by the Queen – Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards – placed on her coffin by the King.
Baron Parker – the Lord Chamberlain and a former MI5 chief, and the most senior official in her royal household – ‘broke’ his wand of office by dismantling it into two halves and laying them on her coffin.
As the committal service drew to a close the sovereign’s piper, Pipe Major Paul Burns played a lament and walked away from the congregation, his tune fading into the chapel air.
Earlier in the day, the state funeral at Westminster Abbey was attended by dignitaries including hundreds of heads of state, and with London full with mourners the event called for the largest policing operation undertaken by the Metropolitan Police.
The Procession following the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard, on the State Gun Carriage
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II with the Imperial State Crown resting on top, borne on the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy followed by members of the royal family proceeds past Buckingham Palace
The Ceremonial Procession of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II travels down the Long Walk
Pallbearers place the coffin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as it arrives for a committal service at St George’s Chapel
Among the 2,000-strong congregation at the abbey were foreign royalty, leading figures from UK life and world leaders including US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron.
During his sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury told the congregation the outpouring of emotion for the Queen ‘arises from her abundant life and loving service, now gone from us’.
Justin Welby described the Queen as having touched ‘a multitude of lives’ and being a ‘joyful’ figure for many.
A signal from the King’s equerry, rubber-soled boots and the crown bolted down on Queen’s coffin: How pallbearers carried Her Majesty to her final resting place – as calls are made for Grenadier Guards who did the ‘toughest job in the world’ to get medals
The steady-shouldered soldiers who yesterday won the hearts of the nation by safely carrying the Queen’s coffin during her funeral finished their incredible shift with an unseen but incredibly important task.
With the eyes of the world on them, the eight soldiers from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards raised and put down the Queen’s 500lb lead-lined coffin no less than 10 times on her journey from Westminster Hall to St George’s Chapel in Windsor.
That task alone, which saw them at one point lift the coffin up the steep stairs of the 450-year-old chapel, was enough to earn them high praise last night – with admirers across Britain declaring: ‘They have done our nation and Her Majesty proud.’
The team did not put a foot wrong all day as first they shouldered her coffin, with each soldier wearing rubber-soled boots to avoid slipping on the highly polished stone floor at Windsor.
But after the cameras had switched off and the Queen’s coffin had been lowered into the vault where her beloved Prince Philip lies, the hero guardsmen had one more task – perhaps the most important of the day.
According to General The Lord Dannatt, the UK’s former Chief of the General Staff, their final task was to move the Queen into her final resting place next to her beloved Prince Philip – 11 days after her death in Balmoral.
Singling them out for praise in a comment piece to The Daily Telegraph, in which he lauded the Armed Forces personnel for their involved in yesterday’s funeral, he wrote: ‘These young guardsmen deserve particular praise.
‘Even when the cameras are switched off at the end of the day and the final private service of committal is being held at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, their duty will not be over.
‘Deep in the Royal Vault under the chapel, the pallbearers will have one final unseen duty — to move the late Queen’s body to its final resting place close to her husband, The Duke of Edinburgh, and to her father, King George VI.
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II being carried by pallbearers leaving the State Funeral held at Westminster Abbey
The Grenadier Guards seamlessly transferred the Queen’s coffin yesterday, moving it safely to each point in the funeral and procession
King Charles, Camilla, Queen Consort, Anne, Princess Royal, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Sophie, Countess of Wessex follow behind the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II with the Imperial State Crown resting on top of it carried by pallbearers as it departs Westminster Abbey
The pallbearing team of eight Grenadier Guards inched their way up the steps of St George’s Chapel in Windsor and were followed by members of the Royal family
Arm in arm, the pallbearers made their way tentatively up the steps of St George’s Chapel as the world held its breath
At the front, a ninth, was Company Sergeant Major Dean Jones (pictured left), leading in exemplary fashion. The tall warrant officer, resplendent in a ceremonial red tunic, walked ahead of Her Majesty’s oak coffin which weighed over 500lb due to its lead lining. The married father of one marshalled his young team of pallbearers, which included 19-year-old Fletcher Cox (pictured right). The teenager, from Jersey, was at the back of the coffin both during yesterday’s funeral and during the procession of the Queen’s casket from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall – where the late Monarch lay in state for four days.
Last night the Grenadier Guards paid their own tribute to Her Majesty following yesterday’s events. In a Facebook post, they said: ‘With a huge sense of privilege, but also with great sadness, hundreds of soldiers and officers today took part in Her Majesty The Queen’s funeral in London and Windsor. The eyes of the world were upon them as they laid HM Queen Elizabeth II to rest.’
Once all is complete, then these young men too can relax and reflect on their very difficult job, extremely well done.’
The eight soldiers, at least five of whom were just weeks ago were serving in Iraq, were from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. At the front, leading in exemplary fashion, was Company Sergeant Major Dean Jones.
The tall warrant officer, resplendent in a ceremonial red tunic, walked ahead of Her Majesty’s oak coffin which weighed over 500lb due to its lead lining.
The married father-of-one marshalled his young team of pallbearers, which included 19-year-old Fletcher Cox.
The teenager, from Jersey, was at the back of the coffin both during yesterday’s funeral and during the procession of the Queen’s casket from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall – where the late Monarch lay in state for four days.
Cox was part of his school’s Army Cadet Force and was awarded the Lieutenant-Governor’s medal in 2018 – the highest honour a Jersey cadet can be given.
He left the Channel island at the age of 16 to attend a military training college in the UK and is now in the ranks of the Grenadier Guards.
Revealed: The Queen’s crown was bolted to her coffin after her grandfather’s bejewelled Maltese Cross fell into the gutter during his funeral procession
Her Majesty’s Imperial State Crown, orb and sceptre which balanced atop the Queen’s coffin were screwed down to prevent a previous historical mishap, it is revealed.
Back in 1936 George V’s bejewelled Maltese Cross – which contains some of the biggest jewels in the Crown – fell off into the gutter while it rested on the coffin during his royal funeral procession.
It was said to have been a bad omen, especially after his son, Edward VIII abdicated, causing a constitutional crisis, a short time later, and was replaced by Queen Elizabeth II’s father, George VI.
So in light of this terrifying moment, the Times said, it was been fastened down with all the other jewel fittings to the Queen’s coffin while lying in state and during her funeral not to repeat the misfortunate incident.
Signifying the severing of the Queen from her public service in death, the objects was seen to have been later removed by the Crown Jeweller in St George’s Chapel as she entered the royal crypt as a ‘simple Christian soul’ instead of Monarch.
The Imperial State Crown then rested on the high altar after being removed from the coffin of the Queen. It was placed there by the The Dean of Windsor, The Rt Revd David Conner.
King Charles III and members of the royal family follow behind the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign’s orb and sceptre, as it is carried out of Westminster Abbey after her State Funeral
The Imperial State Crown is removed from the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II during the Committal Service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle
Prior to the final hymn, the Imperial State Crown, the Orb and the Sceptre were removed from the coffin by the Crown Jeweller and, with the Bargemaster and Serjeants-at-Arms, passed to the Dean who placed them on the altar.
The removal of the crown from the coffin to the altar is poignant, because in 1953 the crown was taken from the altar in Westminster Abbey and placed on the Queen’s head, marking the start of a 70-year reign.
At the end of the final hymn, the King placed The Queen’s Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on the coffin.
At the same time, The Lord Chamberlain ‘broke’ his Wand of Office and place it on the coffin – signifying the severing of the Queen from her public service in death.
This is to create a symmetry with the three Instruments of State that have been removed.
The Dean of Windsor, The Rt Revd David Conner, places the Imperial State Crown, and orb and sceptre on the high altar during the Committal Service for Queen Elizabeth
The coffin, which was placed on a catafalque draped in purple velvet was slowly lowered down into the royal vault as the Dean of Windsor said: ‘Go forth upon thy journey from this world, O Christian soul.’
The Sovereign’s Piper played a lament, A Salute to the Royal Fendersmith, from the doorway between the Chapel and the Dean’s Cloister during which he walked slowly towards the Deanery in the Cloister so that the music inside the Chapel gradually fades.
During the service, the King will sit in the seat which was occupied by the Queen when she came to the chapel, positioned closest to the altar.