The coffin with the body of Queen Elizabeth II arrived this Monday afternoon in procession to the Cathedral of Saint Egidio, in Edinburgh, where the public will be able to pay their last respects up close.
The coffin will be at rest for 24 hours and accessible to the public, waiting for hours in queues, over hundreds of meters.
The hearse with the coffin arrived in a procession from the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland and where the body had been since Sunday.
King Charles III accompanied the hearse on foot, along with his brothers Princess Anne and Princes Edward and Andrew, and a military guard, while the queen consort Camilla and other family members traveled by car.
Upon arrival at the cathedral, announced with the blast of trumpets, the coffin covered with the Scottish royal standard was deposited on a platform with the Crown of Scotland on top.
A Mass follows, whose program includes musical pieces by Bach, Purcell and contemporary Scottish composer James MacMillan, and Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon will give the first reading of biblical texts.
“We are gathered at this time as a nation in suffering, but gratefully remembering the long life and reign of your servant Elizabeth our Queen,” the Reverend Calum MacLeod will say, according to the order of service.
The coffin will have a permanent honor guard from the Royal Company of Archers, the official bodyguards of the British monarch in Scotland.
At the entrance, security checks will be carried out as in airports and only people with official access wristbands will be able to enter.
The tight rules dictate that they will always have to keep moving around the coffin and not be able to deposit flowers.
The use of cell phones or cameras is prohibited and only small bags can be transported.
People gathered along the route throughout the morning, many of them Spanish, Japanese, North American and European tourists, but also from other parts of the United Kingdom, such as Manchester and Belfast.
“We scheduled this visit to Edinburgh two weeks ago and then this happened. It’s something so important that we don’t want to miss it”, said Rico Myers, a tourist from the Netherlands, to Agência Lusa.
The opportunity to watch the procession in the front row by the road meant a five-hour wait, but her companion, Sanne Notermans, said: “We can go back to see the tourist attractions at any other time.”
Much of the trade took advantage of this occasion to do business, as was the case with Bob Singh, owner of a wool goods store.
“Sales increased by 50 percent. While they wait, people buy souvenirs or umbrellas and raincoats,” he told Lusa.
Singh takes the opportunity to show the photo on the profile of the social networks, a ‘selfie’ with the queen looking out of the car window, outside the Cathedral, a few years ago.
“It seems like it was on purpose. She was very sweet,” he said.
At 19:20, Charles III will return to the Cathedral of Sant’Egidio to participate in a vigil with other members of the royal family together with the coffin of Isabel II.
Queen Elizabeth II died last Thursday at the age of 96 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, after more than 70 years of the longest reign in UK history.
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born on 21 April 1926 in London and became Queen of England in 1952, aged 25, following the death of her father, George VI, who took over when her brother abdicated.
After the monarch’s death, her eldest son, aged 73, assumed the role of king as Charles III.
Source: Expresso by expresso.pt.
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