King Charles III and his three siblings watch as Crown of Scotland is placed on Queen’s coffin


The Queen’s four grief-stricken children watched sombrely as the Crown of Scotland was placed on their mother’s coffin in Edinburgh this afternoon after hundreds of thousands turned out to pay their respects to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward had followed Her Majesty’s hearse along the Scottish capital’s Royal Mile before the service at St Giles’ Cathedral where Reverend Calum MacLeod said her ‘love for Scotland was legendary’.

Charles stared mournfully at Her Majesty’s coffin as the congregation sang God Save the Queen on a day where he was moved to tears after addressing Parliament for the first time this morning. 

Today was the first time the monarch had been seen with his mother’s coffin since she died at Balmoral on Thursday. She was taken to the Palace of Holyroodhouse yesterday evening before travelling the 1,200 yards to the service of remembrance. Tomorrow the coffin will be taken to London.

King Charles walked solemnly in step with his younger brothers and sister behind the Queen on the march. The assembled well-wishers fell silent as the hearse appeared. The crowd then broke out in spontaneous applause as the cortège approached and many shouted God Save the King and God Save the Queen.

Around 30 minutes later the Queen arrived at St Giles’ Cathedral. Her Majesty’s coffin was lifted out of the hearse and brought into the place of worship, with the King, the Queen Consort, the Princess Royal, her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke of York, and the Earl and the Countess of Wessex walking behind. 

The Crown of Scotland was then placed upon the coffin, which was draped with the Royal Standard in Scotland and dressed with a wreath of flowers consisting of white Spray Roses, white Freesias, white button chrysanthemums, dried white heather from Balmoral, spray eryngium, foliage, rosemary, hebe, and pittosporum.

It is the oldest of Britain’s royal regalia, made in 1540 for King James V from a crown first made 37 years earlier. Weighing 3lbs 10oz, it contains 2lbs of Scottish gold, 42 gems and precious stones and almost 70 Scottish pearls. Her Majesty herself held the crown in the same church in the weeks after her coronation in 1953.

After today’s service, described as a Service of Prayer and Reflection, members of the public will be allowed to file past to pay their respects for 24 hours before Her Majesty is moved to London by plane.

The Royal Family watch as the Crown of Scotland is place on the Queen’s coffin this afternoon

As God Save the King was sung in the church, Charles looked mournfully at his mother's coffin

As God Save the King was sung in the church, Charles looked mournfully at his mother’s coffin

The Queen had herself held the crown in the same church - St Giles' Kirk - just after her coronation

The Queen had herself held the crown in the same church – St Giles’ Kirk – just after her coronation

King Charles III during a Service of Prayer and Reflection for the Life of Queen Elizabeth II at St Giles' Cathedral

King Charles III during a Service of Prayer and Reflection for the Life of Queen Elizabeth II at St Giles’ Cathedral

(left to right) The Countess of Wessex, the Earl of Wessex, the Duke of York, King Charles III, the Queen Consort, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence during a Service of Prayer and Reflection for the Life of Queen Elizabeth II at St Giles' Cathedral

(left to right) The Countess of Wessex, the Earl of Wessex, the Duke of York, King Charles III, the Queen Consort, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence during a Service of Prayer and Reflection for the Life of Queen Elizabeth II at St Giles’ Cathedral 

The Queen's coffin arrives at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh

The Queen’s coffin arrives at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh

King Charles III, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex walk behind Queen Elizabeth II's coffin during the procession from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles' Cathedral

King Charles III, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex walk behind Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin during the procession from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles’ Cathedral

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland, into St Giles' Cathedral for a service of Thanksgiving for her life

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland, into St Giles’ Cathedral for a service of Thanksgiving for her life

The Queen's coffin entering St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh

The Queen’s coffin entering St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh

The bearer party carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II in to a Service of Prayer and Reflection for her life at St Giles' Cathedral

The bearer party carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II in to a Service of Prayer and Reflection for her life at St Giles’ Cathedral

The from above as the coffin is placed in the church followed by Her Majesty's four children

The from above as the coffin is placed in the church followed by Her Majesty’s four children

The Royal Family process past the Queen's coffin as they as they take their seats in the Cathedral

The Royal Family process past the Queen’s coffin as they as they take their seats in the Cathedral

King Charles III and the Queen Consort, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, and the Duke of York, follow the coffin as they enter the cathedral for a Service of Prayer and Reflection

King Charles III and the Queen Consort, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, and the Duke of York, follow the coffin as they enter the cathedral for a Service of Prayer and Reflection

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort are seen outside St Giles Cathedral as The Queen's funeral cortege makes its way into the cathedral

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort are seen outside St Giles Cathedral as The Queen’s funeral cortege makes its way into the cathedral

Prince Harry is ‘banned’ from wearing military uniform at final vigil for The Queen at Westminster Hall but Prince Andrew is allowed to ‘as special mark of respect’ 

King Charles III’s son Prince Harry has been banned from wearing military uniform if he attends the final vigil for Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall – but the monarch’s shamed younger brother Prince Andrew will be allowed to don his Armed Forces outfit ‘as a special mark of respect’ for their late mother, it has been claimed today.

Royal sources have said the disgraced Duke of York – a Falklands War veteran who exiled from public life amid the fallout from his role in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal – will be entitled to wear military colours if he attends the ceremonial event on Wednesday.

However, Meghan Markle’s friend and preferred journalist Omid Scobie claimed that the Duke of Sussex – who has also seen military action by serving two tours of Afghanistan – has been banned from wearing his uniform at all ceremonial events during mourning for Her Majesty.

‘I understand that, unlike Prince Andrew, Prince Harry will NOT be allowed to wear uniform at the final vigil in Westminster Hall. No doubt a huge blow for the Duke of Sussex, who served for 10 years and this morning spoke of the Queen being his ”commander-in-chief”’, he tweeted this afternoon.

The Queen will lie in state at Westminster Hall from Wednesday at 5pm until 6:30am Monday 19 September, the day of the state funeral.

A ceremonial procession is due to take place, which will see the Queen’s coffin travel from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster for the lying in state. Her coffin will be closed and will rest on a raised platform, called a catafalque, in the hall and will be draped in the Royal Standard with the Orb and Sceptre placed on top. It will be guarded around the clock by a vigil of units from the Sovereign’s Bodyguard, the Household Division, or Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London.

Buckingham Palace has yet to confirm what time the vigil will take place and which royals will attend the event, though it is believed that it will take place before the late monarch’s lying in state opens to the public that evening.

Working members of the Royal Family will wear uniform when present at five ceremonial events during the period of mourning the Queen.

These are the service of thanksgiving at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, the procession to Westminster Hall and service of prayer and reflection, the Vigil at Westminster Hall, and next Monday’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey and the committal service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.

The crowd outside the cathedral joined in with the congregation during the national anthem – some singing God Save the King while others sang God Save the Queen. There was then spontaneous applause from many of those gathered at the end of the hour long service. There was more applause as King Charles left the cathedral in a waiting car. 

Her Majesty’s coffin was lifted out of the hearse and brought into the place of worship, with the King, the Queen Consort, the Princess Royal, her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke of York, and the Earl and the Countess of Wessex walking behind.

As the coffin made its way through the cathedral the choir sang Thou Wilt Keep Him In Perfect Peace, Whose Mind Is Stayed On Thee.

The Queen’s coffin was placed on a wooden catafalque as the congregation continued to stand.

The King, Queen Consort, and other members of the royal family, then walked to their seats alongside the coffin.

The King has his wife to his left and the Duke of York to his right.

At the beginning of the service, Reverend Calum MacLeod welcomed the royal family, ‘representatives of our nation’s life’ and ‘people whose lives were touched by the Queen in so many unforgettable ways’.

He said: ‘And so we gather to bid Scotland’s farewell to our late monarch, whose life of service to the nation and the world we celebrate.

‘And whose love for Scotland was legendary.’

The Queen’s coffin arrived at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh today followed by her four children on a sorrowful journey through the Scottish capital lined by hundreds of thousands of mourners who stood in silent revelry punctuated by the sound of gun salutes from the city’s castle.

Led by a lone piper from Balmoral playing a lament, Her Majesty was carried from the Palace of Holyroodhouse where she was lying in rest since a six-hour journey from her Aberdeenshire home yesterday. 

As the national anthem played the coffin was gently lowered into the hearse, watched by a visibly emotional King Charles and his siblings, Anne, the Princess Royal, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, who then marched dolefully for 1,200 yards behind their beloved mother. 

The Duke of York was not in military uniform like his siblings after Her Majesty stripped him of his titles because of the Epstein scandal. He was briefly heckled during the procession. Police Scotland said a 22-year-old man had been arrested.

Hundreds of thousands lined the streets and applauded as the Queen was taken to the cathedral where her family, and a congregation drawn from all areas of Scottish society, attended a service of thanksgiving for her life. 

Bagpipes played the National Anthem from Holyrood Palace as the Queen’s coffin cortege began the walk up the Royal Mile. The hearse was flanked by a Bearer Party found by The Royal Regiment of Scotland and The King’s Body Guard for Scotland. Mounted police in ceremonial dress rode ahead of the parade. 

Earlier the King met with well-wishers who lined the streets of Edinburgh to see him today in an unplanned walkabout as Scotland’s capital welcomed the new monarch and mourned the Queen – with so many people turning up that police were forced to turn many away.  

Top, left to right: Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Prince Edward, Prince Andrew, King Charles III, Camilla, Queen Consort, The Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence sat alongside the Queen's coffin at St Giles' Cathedral. Bottom, left to right: Ann Jack and her husband, Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack, Hugh O'Leary and his wife Prime Minister Liz Truss, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, her husband Peter Murrell, and the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament Alison Johnstone

Top, left to right: Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Prince Edward, Prince Andrew, King Charles III, Camilla, Queen Consort, The Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence sat alongside the Queen’s coffin at St Giles’ Cathedral. Bottom, left to right: Ann Jack and her husband, Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack, Hugh O’Leary and his wife Prime Minister Liz Truss, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, her husband Peter Murrell, and the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament Alison Johnstone

The Queen's coffin was placed into the hearse from the Palace of Holyroodhouse on its way to St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh

The Queen’s coffin was placed into the hearse from the Palace of Holyroodhouse on its way to St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh

The Queen's casket was draped with the Royal Standard in Scotland and dressed with a wreath of flowers consisting of white Spray Roses, white Freesias, white button chrysanthemums, dried white heather from Balmoral, spray eryngium, foliage, rosemary, hebe, and pittosporum.

The Queen’s casket was draped with the Royal Standard in Scotland and dressed with a wreath of flowers consisting of white Spray Roses, white Freesias, white button chrysanthemums, dried white heather from Balmoral, spray eryngium, foliage, rosemary, hebe, and pittosporum.

King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward walk behind the cortege carrying Queen Elizabeth II

King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward walk behind the cortege carrying Queen Elizabeth II

Princess Anne has not left her mother's side since her death on Thursday. Charles has been in London while Andrew and Edward were also in Scotland

Princess Anne has not left her mother’s side since her death on Thursday. Charles has been in London while Andrew and Edward were also in Scotland

Huge crowds lined the streets of Edinburgh to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II

Huge crowds lined the streets of Edinburgh to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II

Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward line up to follow the hearse carrying their mother on her final journey

King Charles watches mournfully as he watches the coffin be moved on its journey to St Giles' Kirk

King Charles watches mournfully as he watches the coffin be moved on its journey to St Giles’ Kirk

Prince Andrew walks behind the cortege. He wore medals but not military dress like his siblings. He was heckled by one man in the crowd

Prince Andrew walks behind the cortege. He wore medals but not military dress like his siblings. He was heckled by one man in the crowd

The cortege carrying Queen Elizabeth II from Palace of Holyroodhouse arrives at St Giles Cathedral

The cortege carrying Queen Elizabeth II from Palace of Holyroodhouse arrives at St Giles Cathedral

King Charles III (L), Britain’s Princess Anne, Princess Royal (2L), Britain’s Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Britain’s Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex walk behind the procession of Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin, from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles Cathedral, on the Royal Mile

The city was rammed with people desperate to catch a glimpse of the Queen and her family

The city was rammed with people desperate to catch a glimpse of the Queen and her family

Senior church officials stood patiently at the entrance to the church as the procession made its way up the Royal Mile from the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Crowds packed in 10 deep along the narrow pavements of the historic old town while others took up positions in windows along the route during the solemn procession.

Military personnel saluted as two police officers on horseback signalled the arrival of the Queen’s body.

All four of the Queen’s children led by the new King Charles followed close by as the hearse arrived at the iconic place of worship.

Princess Anne’s husband was also among the party.

Camilla, the Queen Consort and Prince Edward’s wife Sophie arrived in a following car.

King Charles III and members of the royal family join the procession of Queen Elizabeth's coffin from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles' Cathedral,

King Charles III and members of the royal family join the procession of Queen Elizabeth’s coffin from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles’ Cathedral,

People gather in tribute as the cortege carrying the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II passes

People gather in tribute as the cortege carrying the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II passes

King Charles III and members of the royal family join the procession of Queen Elizabeth's coffin from the Palace of Holyroodhouse

King Charles III and members of the royal family join the procession of Queen Elizabeth’s coffin from the Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Queen's children followed by the Princess Royal's husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence (centre left)

The Queen’s children followed by the Princess Royal’s husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence (centre left)

A soldier looks moved by the scene with a mournful King Charles behind him

A soldier looks moved by the scene with a mournful King Charles behind him

The procession travels through the Scottish capital today

The procession travels through the Scottish capital today

King Charles follows the hearse carrying the coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth on the Royal Mile

King Charles follows the hearse carrying the coffin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth on the Royal Mile

The Queen's children follow their mother along the 1,200-yard route to the church

The Queen’s children follow their mother along the 1,200-yard route to the church

The Royal Family follow Her Majesty down the world famous Royal Mile

King Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew walk behind the hearse carrying the coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth

King Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew walk behind the hearse carrying the coffin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth

Huge crowds turned out to see the Queen for the last time in Scotland before she is taken to London tomorrow

Huge crowds turned out to see the Queen for the last time in Scotland before she is taken to London tomorrow

The Queen leaves the Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Queen leaves the Palace of Holyroodhouse

Royal guards carry Queen Elizabeth II's coffin at the start of the procession from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles' Cathedral

Royal guards carry Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin at the start of the procession from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles’ Cathedral

Hundreds of thousands turned out for the procession - with Police Scotland forced to stop letting people into the city centre

Hundreds of thousands turned out for the procession – with Police Scotland forced to stop letting people into the city centre

Charles looked emotional yet again as his mother's body was moved from Holyroodhouse

Charles looked emotional yet again as his mother’s body was moved from Holyroodhouse

The silence was perfectly preserved during a pause as military guards removed the flag draped casket from the vehicle before carrying it into the cathedral with the Royal party following close by.

Sophia Bruce, from Edinburgh, said: ‘It was very moving to be here and watch the Queen followed by her children enter St Giles for the last time.

‘There was an dignified silence from the whole crowd. You could have heard a pin drop.

‘It was very respectful with everyone wanting to say their last goodbye.

‘I’ve been here for three hours and there had been a tremendous camaraderie amongst the whole crowd.’

Enormous queues of royal fans were seen lining up with Union Flags and colourful homemade signs outside St Giles’ Cathedral as the sun’s first light began to break through the morning clouds today.

But by midday, Police Scotland officers were preventing any newcomers from joining the swelling crowds that had lined the narrow streets around the 12th-century stone cathedral as city officials warned of significant disruption ahead of the proceedings.

There were cheers, clapping and cries of God Save the King as his limousine went along the Royal Mile and through the Scottish capital. He then got out and spoke to crowds, thanking them for coming and their best wishes followed by the Queen Consort, Camilla.  

This afternoon the new King will be reunited with his mother where he will be seen in public for the first time with her coffin on the latest leg of her final and saddest journey before the monarch leads a vigil at the casket with his brothers tonight.

The monarch left for Scotland on a private jet from RAF Northolt shortly after addressing Parliament and being moved to tears by tributes to his mother and a rousing rendition of the national anthem. He landed in the Scottish capital at just before 12.30pm, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon waiting for him on the Tarmac.

This afternoon he travelled to the Palace of Holyroodhouse to inspect a guard of honour where his mother has been overnight. There was then a gun salute from the city’s castle. 

King Charles III meets well-wishers who welcomed him to Edinburgh for the first time as King

King Charles III meets well-wishers who welcomed him to Edinburgh for the first time as King

King Charles travels in a convoy of cars to Holyrood to return with the Queen's coffin to St Giles Cathedral, where the Vigil of the Princes will take place

King Charles travels in a convoy of cars to Holyrood to return with the Queen’s coffin to St Giles Cathedral, where the Vigil of the Princes will take place 

The monarch inspects the Guard of Honour as he arrives to attend the Ceremony of the Keys at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

The monarch inspects the Guard of Honour as he arrives to attend the Ceremony of the Keys at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

Charles and Camilla inspected flowers, cards and other tributes outside Holyroodhouse

Charles and Camilla inspected flowers, cards and other tributes outside Holyroodhouse

King Charles III took part in the Ceremony of the Keys at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh today

King Charles III took part in the Ceremony of the Keys at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh today

Charles inspects an honour guard waiting for him in Edinburgh

Charles inspects an honour guard waiting for him in Edinburgh

Britain's King Charles and Britain's Queen Camilla arrive at the Palace of Holyroodhouse,

Britain’s King Charles and Britain’s Queen Camilla arrive at the Palace of Holyroodhouse,

King Charles III shaking hands with Lord Provost of Edinburgh Robert Aldridge during the Ceremony of the Keys at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

King Charles III shaking hands with Lord Provost of Edinburgh Robert Aldridge during the Ceremony of the Keys at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

There were cheers and clapping as the limousine passed through the Scottish capital

Camilla, Queen Consort, smiles as she and Charles are driven along the Royal Mile towards the Palace of Holyroodhouse

Camilla, Queen Consort, smiles as she and Charles are driven along the Royal Mile towards the Palace of Holyroodhouse

King Charles III and the Queen Consort leave Edinburgh Airport by car after travelling from London, ahead of joining the procession of Queen Elizabeth's coffin from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles' Cathedral

King Charles III and the Queen Consort leave Edinburgh Airport by car after travelling from London, ahead of joining the procession of Queen Elizabeth’s coffin from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles’ Cathedral

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was waiting for the King on the tarmac along with civil servants and police chiefs

Charles steps off his plane at Edinburgh Airport this afternoon as he heads to Holyroodhouse

Charles steps off his plane at Edinburgh Airport this afternoon as he heads to Holyroodhouse

King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla land in Edinburgh before they follow the Queen's coffin

King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla land in Edinburgh before they follow the Queen’s coffin

King Charles boards a jet for Edinburgh where he will follow his mother's coffin through the streets of Edinburgh

King Charles boards a jet for Edinburgh where he will follow his mother’s coffin through the streets of Edinburgh

King Charles III and the Queen Consort depart by plane from RAF Northolt in west London

King Charles III and the Queen Consort depart by plane from RAF Northolt in west London

People gather on the Royal Mile to pay tribute as the cortege carrying the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II will pass later today

People gather on the Royal Mile to pay tribute as the cortege carrying the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II will pass later today

Members of the public watch the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland, as it is driven through Edinburgh yesterday

Members of the public watch the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland, as it is driven through Edinburgh yesterday

Pallbearers, one with his eyes closed another looking to the sky, carry the coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth as the hearse arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

Pallbearers, one with his eyes closed another looking to the sky, carry the coffin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as the hearse arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

King Charles III leaves after his first visit to Parliament with Queen Consort Camilla

King Charles III leaves after his first visit to Parliament with Queen Consort Camilla

Prince Andrew and Prince Harry will not wear military uniform for the Queen’s funeral

Working members of the royal family will wear military uniform when present at five ceremonial events during this period of mourning the Queen.

These are the Service of Thanksgiving at St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh, the procession to Westminster Hall and service of prayer and reflection, the Vigil at Westminster Hall, the state funeral at Westminster Abbey and the Committal Service at St George’s Chapel Windsor.

But as a non-working member of the royal family, the Duke of York will not wear uniform except as a special mark of respect for the Queen at the final vigil in Westminster Hall, sources said.

The coffin was lifted out of the hearse and brought into the place of worship, with the King, the Queen Consort, the Princess Royal, her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke of York, and the Earl and the Countess of Wessex walking behind.

As the coffin made its way through the cathedral the choir sang Thou Wilt Keep Him In Perfect Peace, Whose Mind Is Stayed On Thee.

The Queen’s coffin was placed on a wooden catafalque as the congregation continued to stand.

The King, Queen Consort, and other members of the royal family, then walked to their seats alongside the coffin.

The King has his wife to his left and the Duke of York to his right.

At the beginning of the service, Reverend Calum MacLeod welcomed the royal family, ‘representatives of our nation’s life’ and ‘people whose lives were touched by the Queen in so many unforgettable ways’.

He said: ‘And so we gather to bid Scotland’s farewell to our late monarch, whose life of service to the nation and the world we celebrate.

‘And whose love for Scotland was legendary.’

The Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields told the congregation: ‘It is clearly evident and without doubt that the Queen’s Christian faith was genuine, and often gave clear and sincere expression when there were those remarkable Christmas broadcasts.

‘She spoke unashamedly of her trust in God and of the example and teaching of Jesus Christ whom she sought to follow as best she could – indeed of that faith, she said she had no regret.

‘Her focus on family, on community, on reaching across divisions and differences were evident to us throughout these short yet meaningful festive messages.

‘For 70 years, she reigned as our Queen. She has been present among us as a follower of Christ and a member of his church. And for that and much else beside we give thanks to God together here this day.

‘Today we mourn her passing. But we also celebrate the long and happy reign that we experience with her.

‘And we pray God’s blessing upon King Charles who will surely draw strength from his mother’s example and the many affectionate tributes of these days and from our assurance to him as a church of our steadfast prayers at all times and of our unstinting support to him, as was offered to his mother, the Queen.’

During the St Giles’ Cathedral service, Morag Mylne, Elder of the Church of the Scotland, said: ‘Most gracious God, with all our hearts we thank you for the long life, the shining example,

The Ceremony of the Keys: Explained 

King Charles III and senior members of the Royal Family will be attending the Ceremony of the Keys at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh today. 

The ancient custom – which takes place every time the monarch stays in the Scottish capital – was performed as recently at the end of June this year, making the historic ritual one of the late Queen’s last public engagements before her death at Balmoral on Thursday.

When the King arrives this afternoon, he will be presented with the keys of the City of Edinburgh – borne by the City Chamberlain on a cushion of red velvet, edged with gold braided fringe and with thistles embroidered at is four corners.

The Lord Provost will then declare: ‘We, the Lord Provost and the members of the City of Edinburgh Council, welcome Your Majesty to the capital city of your Ancient and Hereditary Kingdom of Scotland and offer for your gracious acceptance the Keys of Your Majesty’s good City of Edinburgh.’

In keeping with convention, the monarch will then return the keys, saying: ‘I return these keys, being perfectly convinced that they cannot be placed in better hands than those of the Lord Provost and Councillors of my good City of Edinburgh.’

After the Ceremony of Keys, King Charles will carry out an inspection of the guard – before leading the procession as the Queen’s coffin is taken from the palace some 1,200 yards up the Royal Mile to St Giles’ Cathedral, where the royal family, and a congregation drawn from all areas of Scottish society, will attend a service of thanksgiving for her life.

the steadfast commitment to duty, the strong faith, and the good humour of our wise and great Queen.

‘We thank you for the deep love she has inspired from all her subjects, for the myriad ways in which she met and welcomed people from all walks of life, for the diplomacy with which she resolved conflict, and for the stability she brought to her realms and to the Commonwealth.’

The national anthem, God Save The King, was sang near the end of the service.

The Queen Consort, Duke of York, Earl of Wessex, Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence could be seen singing as they stood alongside the King in front of the late Queen’s coffin.

Members of the public will be able to view the coffin to pay their respects for 24 hours before it is taken to London to lie in state.

At 7.20pm the King and his brothers will perform the Vigil of The Princes. The coffin is expected to be flown to London tomorrow evening, again with Princess Anne accompanying her mother.

On arrival at RAF Northolt in west London at 6.55pm, the coffin will be transferred to the State Hearse. At Buckingham Palace, a guard of honour will receive the coffin. 

A bearer party of the Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, will carry it to the Bow Room where it will be placed on trestles, witnessed by King Charles and the Queen Consort. Chaplains to the King will keep watch over the coffin.

King Charles III looked close to tears today as Parliament sang ‘God Save the King’ after he addressed MPs and peers for the first time telling them he could ‘feel the weight of history’ on his shoulders following their own tributes to his beloved mother the Queen.

His Majesty also looked moved as the Lord Speaker and the Commons Speaker expressed their condolences and said: ‘Deep as our grief is, we know yours is deeper.’

The King stood at a gilded lectern to speak to the crowd assembled in Westminster Hall and thanked the hundreds of politicians and peers, including Liz Truss, Sir Keir Starmer and Boris Johnson, for their tributes his mother.

In his short, poignant speech, Charles quoted Shakespeare in his tribute to his ‘beloved mother’ as he addressed Parliament for the first time since becoming monarch, saying of the Queen: ‘As Shakespeare said of the earlier Queen Elizabeth, she was a pattern to all princes living.’

He said: ‘As I stand before you today, I cannot help but feel the weight of history which surrounds us and which reminds us of the vital parliamentary traditions to which members of both Houses dedicate yourselves with such personal commitment, for the betterment of us all.’

Charles said the late Queen had ‘set an example of selfless duty which, with God’s help and your counsels, I am resolved faithfully to follow.’

He added: ‘I am deeply grateful for addresses of condolence, which so touchingly encompass what late sovereign beloved mother meant to us all’.

The hundreds of dignitaries then stood for the national anthem, which moved the new King to tears on a day where he will be seen in public with the Queen’s coffin for the first time in Scotland this afternoon.

King Charles III was visibly emotional as MPs and peers sang the national anthem following tributes to his mother

King Charles III was visibly emotional as MPs and peers sang the national anthem following tributes to his mother

Charles also looked tearful as he heard tributes to his mother and was told: 'Deep as our grief is, we know yours is deeper'

Charles also looked tearful as he heard tributes to his mother and was told: ‘Deep as our grief is, we know yours is deeper’

Britain's King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla stand for the national anthem

Britain’s King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla stand for the national anthem

Charles said he was moved by the tributes to his mother – who he said ‘set an example of selfless duty’ that he said he would faithfully folllow

The King said Parliament is the 'living and breathing instrument of our democracy' as he referenced the connections to 'my darling late mother'

The King said Parliament is the ‘living and breathing instrument of our democracy’ as he referenced the connections to ‘my darling late mother’

Charles said he felt the weight of history around him as he spoke in the ancient Westminster Hall. where his mother will lie in state later this week

Charles said he felt the weight of history around him as he spoke in the ancient Westminster Hall. where his mother will lie in state later this week

King Charles III and Camilla Queen Consort arrive at Houses of Parliament

King Charles III and Camilla Queen Consort arrive at Houses of Parliament

‘The Queen set an example of selfless duty which I am resolved faithfully to follow’: Charles’ Westminster Hall speech in full 

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:

I am deeply grateful for the Addresses of Condolence by the House of Lords and the House of Commons, which so touchingly encompass what our late Sovereign, my beloved mother The Queen, meant to us all. As Shakespeare says of the earlier Queen Elizabeth, she was ‘a pattern to all Princes living’.

As I stand before you today, I cannot help but feel the weight of history which surrounds us and which reminds us of the vital Parliamentary traditions to which Members of both Houses dedicate yourselves, with such personal commitment for the betterment of us all.

Parliament is the living and breathing instrument of our democracy. That your traditions are ancient we see in the construction of this great Hall and the reminders of Mediaeval predecessors of the Office to which I have been called. And the tangible connections to my darling late mother we see all around us; from the Fountain in New Palace Yard which commemorates The late Queen’s Silver Jubilee to the Sundial in Old Palace Yard for the Golden Jubilee, the magnificent Stained Glass Window before me for the Diamond Jubilee and, so poignantly and yet to be formally unveiled, your most generous gift to Her late Majesty to mark the unprecedented Platinum Jubilee which we celebrated only three months ago, with such joyful hearts.

The great bell of Big Ben – one of the most powerful symbols of our nation throughout the world and housed within the Elizabeth Tower also named for my mother’s Diamond Jubilee – will mark the passage of The late Queen’s progress from Buckingham Palace to this Parliament on Wednesday.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:

We gather today in remembrance of the remarkable span of The Queen’s dedicated service to her nations and peoples. While very young, Her late Majesty pledged herself to serve her country and her people and to maintain the precious principles of constitutional government which lie at the heart of our nation. This vow she kept with unsurpassed devotion.

She set an example of selfless duty which, with God’s help and your counsels, I am resolved faithfully to follow.

The King told MPs and peers assembled in Westminster Hall that he was ‘resolved faithfully to follow’ the example of his mother, the Queen.

He concluded his first formal address to Parliament as King by saying: ‘We gather today in remembrance of the remarkable span of the Queen’s dedicated service to her nations and peoples.

‘While very young, Her late Majesty pledged herself to serve her country and her people and to maintain the precious principles of constitutional government which lie at the heart of our nation.

‘This vow she kept with unsurpassed devotion. She set an example of selfless duty which, with God’s help and your counsels, I am resolved faithfully to follow.’

There were wild cheers and cries of ‘God Save the King’ as the monarch drove from Clarence House down The Mall for the historic moment before MPs and peers bowed and curtseyed as he walked slowly to his throne with Queen Consort, Camilla.

Liz Truss and her predecessor Boris Johnson were also in Westminster Hall this morning along with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and hundreds of politicians.

His Majesty heard tributes for the Queen in the near-1,000-year-old Westminster Hall – the ancient heart of the Palace of Westminster where his mother will lie in state from Wednesday evening for four days until her funeral next Monday. At times Charles looked deeply moved.

The Lord Speaker and the Commons Speaker expressed their condolences to His Majesty in a ceremony in Westminster Hall. Charles received a motion of confidence from both houses of Parliament – in another constitutional event that has never been seen on TV before.

The Lord Speaker Lord McFall of Alcluith said people will continue to draw strength from the Queen’s ‘shining example’.

Speaking in Westminster Hall, he said: ‘In 2012, Her late Majesty came to Westminster Hall to mark her Diamond Jubilee and we saw the unveiling of the splendid memorial window, commissioned by both members of Parliament’s Houses, which now graces the north wall of this historic space.

‘Like the light that shines through this memorial window, Her late Majesty’s magnificent achievements will live on by permanently illuminating and enriching our lives and our national discourse.

‘Your Majesty, even as we mourn the loss of our dear Queen, we and future generations will draw strength from her shining example.

‘Your Majesty, on behalf of all the members of the House of Lords, I pledge my loyalty to you. I wish you and Her Majesty the Queen Consort well in the life of service to which you have dedicated yourself.

‘We are proud and indeed humbled to welcome you as our King. And we look forward to welcoming you on many more occasions to Parliament, and to this hall in the years ahead.’

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle told Westminster Hall that in his first address King Charles ‘pledged to uphold constitutional principles at the heart of our nation’.

Sir Lindsay said: ‘In your first address to the nation you recognised your life would change as a result of the new responsibilities.

‘You pledged yourself to uphold constitutional principles at the heart of our nation.

‘These are weighty responsibilities, as the early Queen Elizabeth said in her final speech to parliamentarians ‘to be a king and wear a crown is a thing more glorious to them that see it than it is pleasant to them that bear it’.’

He added: ‘We know you hold the greatest respect, the precious traditions, the freedoms, and responsibilities of our unique history and our system of parliamentary government.

‘We know that you will bear those responsibilities which fall to you with the fortitude, dignity, demonstrated by Her late Majesty.’

It is perhaps ‘very British’ to celebrate revolutions by presenting an address to Her Majesty, Sir Lindsay said.

Presenting an address to the King on behalf of the lower house, the Commons Speaker told Westminster Hall: ‘Let me repeat a welcome to you and to Her Majesty, the Queen Consort, on this solemn occasion.

‘Members of both Houses of Parliament gather here to express our deep sympathy for the loss we have all sustained in the death of our sovereign lady, Queen Elizabeth. We have seen that this is a loss that is felt around the world.’

He went on: ‘Our late Queen was here to mark the historic moments, such as the 50th anniversary of the Second World War, a war in which she herself served in the armed forces.

‘And in 1988, we celebrated the 300th anniversary of the revolutions of 1688 to 1689.

‘It is perhaps very British to celebrate revolutions by presenting an address to Her Majesty; but those revolutions led to our constitutional freedoms, set out the foundation for a stable monarchy, which protects liberty.’

The medieval hall was full to bursting with peers and MPs crammed in to see the King and Queen Consort.

As well as the party leaders those present included Labour left wingers likeJeremy Corbyn, John McDonnel and Zara Sultana, who would not be counted among the most royalist of MPs.

Apart from music from the Band of the Household Cavalry the crowd was completely silent.

The only noises that could be heard before the royal arrival was the thud of circling news helicopters outside and the sharp clack of staffs carried by the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, who provided a symbolic bodyguard.

As the King left the hall he appeared to speak to those he was passing and was repaid with bows and curtsies from those lining the passage.

King Charles and the Queen Consort take the thrones in Westminster Hall – where the Queen will lie in state later this week 

Charles looked moved and emotional as he heard tributes to his late mother the Queen

Charles looked moved and emotional as he heard tributes to his late mother the Queen

MPs and peers bowed and curtseyed to the monarch and his Queen consort

MPs and peers bowed and curtseyed to the monarch and his Queen consort

The royal couple smile as they are met by Black Rod and the Lord Great Chamberlain at the start of the historic moment in London this morning

The royal couple smile as they are met by Black Rod and the Lord Great Chamberlain at the start of the historic moment in London this morning

Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, leaves to address Parliament for the first time in an event of immense symbolic importance

Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, leaves to address Parliament for the first time in an event of immense symbolic importance 

Labour leader Keir Starmer and Prime Minister Liz Truss, ahead of the arrival of King Charles III

Labour leader Keir Starmer and Prime Minister Liz Truss, ahead of the arrival of King Charles III

Boris Johnson takes his place in Westminster Hall - days after he left No 10

Boris Johnson takes his place in Westminster Hall – days after he left No 10

Even anti-monarchist Jeremy Corbyn was in Parliament for the historic event

Even anti-monarchist Jeremy Corbyn was in Parliament for the historic event

Yeomen Warders march out of Westminster Hall, in the Palace of Westminster, where the House of Commons and the House of Lords meet to express their condolences

Yeomen Warders march out of Westminster Hall, in the Palace of Westminster, where the House of Commons and the House of Lords meet to express their condolences

King Charles and the Queen Consort will fly into the Scottish capital after Midday and travel to the palace to inspect a guard of honour. The King follow the hearse to St Giles’ Cathedral – the first time he will have been seen with his mother’s coffin – amid rumours Prince William, Prince Harry and their wives Kate and Meghan could also be there after their shock reunion outside Windsor Castle on Saturday.

At 2.35pm, Charles and Camilla will join a procession to St Giles’ Cathedral 1,200 yards away. Charles and other royals will walk behind the hearse as it makes its way along the Royal Mile.

Full details about the royal mourners have yet to be released but there is speculation the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the new Prince and Princess of Wales, who on Saturday put on a united front during an appearance at Windsor Castle, will be part of the group.

Charles will lead some of the royals on foot, expected to be the Duke of York, Earl of Wessex, Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence – while the Queen Consort and other members of the monarchy will follow in cars.

At the cathedral, the Crown of Scotland will be placed upon the coffin. After a service, members of the public will be allowed to file past to pay their respects.

At 7.20pm the King and his brothers will perform the Vigil of The Princes. The coffin is expected to be flown to London tomorrow evening, again with Princess Anne accompanying her mother.

On arrival at RAF Northolt in west London at 6.55pm, the coffin will be transferred to the State Hearse. At Buckingham Palace, a guard of honour will receive the coffin. 

A bearer party of the Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, will carry it to the Bow Room where it will be placed on trestles, witnessed by King Charles and the Queen Consort. Chaplains to the King will keep watch over the coffin.

Mourners and wellwishers camped overnight as they wait outside St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh and will pay their respects to the Queen on Monday

Mourners and wellwishers camped overnight as they wait outside St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh and will pay their respects to the Queen on Monday

A man with his dog arrive early as they wait to view the cortege carrying the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II in Edinburgh

A man with his dog arrive early as they wait to view the cortege carrying the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II in Edinburgh

The Princess Royal curtseys as the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland, completes its journey from Balmoral to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

The Princess Royal curtseys as the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland, completes its journey from Balmoral to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

The Countess of Wessex was pictured comforting Princess Anne yesterday as members of the royal family watched Queen Elizabeth II's coffin arrive in Edinburgh to lie in rest at the Palace of Holyroodhouse overnight

The Countess of Wessex was pictured comforting Princess Anne yesterday as members of the royal family watched Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin arrive in Edinburgh to lie in rest at the Palace of Holyroodhouse overnight

The Countess of Wessex was pictured comforting Princess Anne yesterday as members of the royal family watched Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin arrive in Edinburgh to lie in rest at the Palace of Holyroodhouse overnight.

Sophie, 57, the wife of the Queen’s youngest son Prince Edward, 58, was seen placing her hand on the Princess Royal’s back in a supportive gesture after the coffin made the journey from Balmoral to the Scottish city.

The Queen’s children and their spouses – Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex – watched as soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland carried the coffin into the Palace. 

In a touching moment, deference to the monarch was still observed, with the royal women curtseying and the men bowing their heads. 

Her Majesty did not travel alone during her 180-mile journey, Anne and her husband were in a limousine as part of a procession directly behind her. 

The Queen will stay at the palace overnight before being moved to St Giles’ Cathedral tomorrow afternoon – where earlier a large crowd had gathered to witness the midday proclamation of King Charles as head of state.

Yesterday, both Princess Anne and Sophie appeared teary-eyed as they looked at floral tributes to the Queen left at Balmoral, alongside other members of the royal family.

Meanwhile, Scottish mourners paid tribute to Her Majesty by lining the route of her coffin procession in their thousands as she left Balmoral for the last time.

Silent, sombre and respectful, well-wishers gathered beside country roads, bridges and in village and city centres to say goodbye to the woman who was never more at home than when in Scotland. 

By the time the procession reached its destination of Edinburgh’s Palace of Holyroodhouse, after more than six hours, the crowds were 10 deep in places on the famous Royal Mile, a famous thoroughfare the Queen knew well.

As the procession neared its end, flowers were thrown in front of the hearse – from William Purvis, a family run funeral directors based in Scotland – and spontaneous applause broke out from sections of the crowds in the Royal Mile.

At one point, as the cortege travelled through Dundee, a lone long-stemmed flower could be seen on the hearse windscreen and in a rural part of the route farmers paid homage to the Queen with tractors lined up in a field.

Earlier yesterday, a single motorbike police outrider led the way as the hearse travelled at a stately pace through the Aberdeenshire countryside. At one point, as the cortege travelled through Dundee, a lone long-stemmed flower could be seen on the hearse windscreen and in a rural part of the route farmers paid homage to the monarch with tractors lined up in a field.

Hundreds lined the main street of Ballater, the picturesque Victorian village closest to the Balmoral estate, where locals considered her a neighbour, as the Queen’s coffin was driven slowly through. Her Majesty and her family were often seen in the village in Royal Deeside, which she had visited since childhood and where the Royal Family have space to be themselves.

The hearse passed Glenmuick Church, where the Rev David Barr rang the church bells 70 times after the Queen’s death was announced.

Flowers were thrown into the hearse’s path by well-wishers on both sides of the road in Ballater, which was sombre and silent. The hearse slowed to a fast walking pace and mourners could clearly see the royal standard-draped coffin and the wreath featuring flowers from the Balmoral estate, including sweet peas – one of the Queen’s favourite flowers – dahlias, phlox, white heather and pine fir.

Crowds have descended on Edinburgh's Royal Mile today as thousands head to the Scottish capital to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II

Crowds have descended on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile today as thousands head to the Scottish capital to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II

In a touching gesture, deference to the monarch was still observed, with the royal women curtseying and the men bowing their heads

In a touching gesture, deference to the monarch was still observed, with the royal women curtseying and the men bowing their heads

Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, the Duke of York, the Princess Royal, the Countess of Wessex and the Earl of Wessex at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, awaiting the Queen's coffin

Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, the Duke of York, the Princess Royal, the Countess of Wessex and the Earl of Wessex at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, awaiting the Queen’s coffin

On arrival at Holyroodhouse she was met by three of her children and other family members. Pictured here from left to right is Prince Andrew, the Countess of Wessex and the Earl of Wessex

On arrival at Holyroodhouse she was met by three of her children and other family members. Pictured here from left to right is Prince Andrew, the Countess of Wessex and the Earl of Wessex

The Duke of York, the Countess of Wessex, and the Earl of Wessex outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

The Duke of York, the Countess of Wessex, and the Earl of Wessex outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

Princess Anne watches as the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

Princess Anne watches as the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, paid tribute to the Queen when her final journey through the Scottish Highlands began just after 10am.

Ms Sturgeon said in a tweet: ‘A sad and poignant moment as Her Majesty, The Queen leaves her beloved Balmoral for the final time. Yesterday, as she made her journey to Edinburgh, Scotland will pay tribute to an extraordinary woman.’

The Queen’s oak coffin, draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland with a wreath of Balmoral flowers on top, began its journey from the Queen’s summer sanctuary in the Highlands and the first settlement it reached was Ballater.

Locals from Ballater considered the Queen a neighbour with the monarch and her family often seen in the village in Royal Deeside, which she had visited since childhood and where the monarchy have space to be themselves.

The death of the Queen became a stark reality for tens of thousands who took to the streets to witness the first stage of her final journey yesterday. 

Many had travelled through the night to secure their place along the route after Her Majesty left her beloved Balmoral for the last time. 

Yesterday, both Princess Anne and Sophie (pictured yesterday) appeared teary-eyed as they looked at floral tributes to the Queen left at Balmoral, alongside other members of the royal family

Yesterday, both Princess Anne and Sophie (pictured yesterday) appeared teary-eyed as they looked at floral tributes to the Queen left at Balmoral, alongside other members of the royal family

There was a solemn mood as the Queen’s oak coffin draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland reached the climax of the journey to the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. 

Hundreds lined the village’s main street as the Queen’s coffin was driven slowly past, and behind the well-wishers many shops displayed photographs of the monarch as a mark of respect.

The hearse passed Glenmuick Church, where the Rev David Barr rang the church bells 70 times after the Queen’s death was announced.

The vehicle slowed to a fast walking pace and mourners could clearly see the royal standard-draped coffin and the wreath featuring flowers from the Balmoral estate, including sweet peas – one of the Queen’s favourite flowers – dahlias, phlox, white heather and pine fir.

Elizabeth Taylor, from Aberdeen, had tears in her eyes as she considered what she had just seen.

She said: ‘It was very emotional. It was respectful and showed what they think of the Queen. She certainly gave service to this country, even up until a few days before her death.’

People gathered in Edinburgh to pay tribute to Her Majesty as her cortege passed through the Scottish capital yesterday

People gathered in Edinburgh to pay tribute to Her Majesty as her cortege passed through the Scottish capital yesterday

Thousands of people turned out as her coffin was transported from Balmoral Castle to the Palace at Holyroodhouse on Sunday afternoon

Thousands of people turned out as her coffin was transported from Balmoral Castle to the Palace at Holyroodhouse on Sunday afternoon

Royal fan Andrew Brown, 63, who watched the hearse as it travelled slowly down the Royal Mile said: ‘Up until now everything seemed so surreal but this has brought it all home. I think I had been in a bit of a state of shock and numbness but seeing the coffin and the cortege with my own eyes makes it more of a reality.’

Mr Scott, from Glasgow, added: ‘It’s a sad day but I’m glad I got an opportunity to say goodbye. The Queen loved Scotland and I think it is fitting that her last journey began at Balmoral.’

Hairdresser Ashley Coventry, who lives in Edinburgh, said: ‘It just feels weird. I think we all knew it was going to come. But it is the realisation of being here – it is a mark of history as well. I’m amazed by the number of people here. People have travelled from far, from all over the place.’

Ashley, who was with daughter Hannah, nine, and husband Scott, 39, added: ‘It’s just a constant stream of people. I’ve never seen anything like it.’ Scott said: ‘The Queen was much loved in our household and it’s a very sad day.’

Lynda Amos, 69, and her husband Richard, 67, told how they broke off from their holiday in the Scottish highlands to travel to Edinburgh to pay their respects. The couple live 50 miles south of the capital in Duns in the Scottish Borders.

Lynda said: ‘We came straight here. We’re devastated. It came as such a shock after we had seen pictures of her only a couple of days before when she met Liz Truss. It is so sad but it is the start of a new beginning as well. The Queen has always been part of their lives. My father was in the RAF and he was in Kenya where the Queen was on holiday when her father died. They all went to the airport and stood to attention when she flew back to Britain to become Queen.

‘We have been to garden parties here a couple of times. The Queen would come to host them on her way up to Balmoral each year. Everyone dressed up and she would really make an effort. She was delightful.’ 

Chartered surveyor Richard said: ‘Being here makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up.’

It comes after King Charles was greeted by thousands of well-wishers as he arrived at Buckingham Palace where he met with representatives from the Commonwealth.

Crowds lining the length of The Mall – including excited young children sat on top of the shoulders of parents trying to take photos with their phones – cheered and waved at Britain’s new monarch as he was driven in his state Rolls-Royce from Clarence House through the Palace gates at around 1pm, accompanied by a motorcade of four cars and four police motorbikes.

The King was followed shortly after arriving at Buckingham Palace by his wife Camilla, Queen Consort, who was also cheered by mourners.

Charles met Commonwealth general secretary Patricia Scotland in the 1844 Room at 2pm yesterday, before attending a reception with High Commissioners and their spouses from countries where he is head of state at the royal residence’s Bow Room. Then at 3.30pm, the King – who was formally proclaimed at St James’s Palace yesterday – received the Dean of Windsor. 

Guests included Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and the Commissioner for Antigua and Barbuda – whose republican Prime Minister is threatening a referendum on ditching the Crown – as well as representatives for Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, New Zealand, St Christopher and Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Honorary Consul of Tuvalu and the Acting High Commissioner for Australia.

Next week, the King and Queen will embark on a tour of the four home nations in the run-up to his late mother’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey and burial at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, following her death at Balmoral on Thursday aged 96.

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