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Charles III visits parliament for the first time before vigil at Queen’s coffin tonight


King Charles will address Parliament for the first time today before flying to Scotland to accompany the Queen‘s coffin as her final and saddest journey continues. 

His Majesty will be in Westminster Hall this morning, 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.

Today, with the Queen’s coffin in Edinburgh lying in rest for the 24 hours, the King will hear tributes to his mother from MPs and peers before addressing them for the first time as monarch.

The Lord Speaker and the Commons Speaker will express their condolences to His Majesty in a ceremony in Westminster Hall. The King and his Queen Consort will then fly to Edinburgh as they tour the four nations ahead of the Queen’s state funeral.

This morning, Sir Lindsay Hoyle will present the King with a humble address that was agreed by MPs in a special sitting on Saturday. The Commons Speaker will declare that the Queen’s ‘unstinting dedication to the service of our great country… will always be held in affectionate and grateful remembrance’. He will also express loyalty to the King on behalf of the MPs, saying it is their ‘conviction that he will strive to uphold the liberties and to promote the happiness of the people in all his realms’.

In an address on behalf of peers, the Lord Speaker Lord McFall will pay tribute to the Queen’s ‘untiring endeavours for the welfare of her peoples and her fortitude in adversity’. The King will then give his reply.

Charles III during a reception with Realm High Commissioners and their spouses in the Bow Room at Buckingham Palace yesterday

Charles III during a reception with Realm High Commissioners and their spouses in the Bow Room at Buckingham Palace 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

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

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

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

King Charles and the Queen Consort will then fly into the Scottish capital and travel to the palace to inspect a guard of honour. 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.

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.

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.

Tomorrow, King Charles and Camilla, Queen Consort will visit Edinburgh and join his other siblings walking behind his late mother’s coffin when it is moved from the Palace to St Giles’ Cathedral. At 7.20pm, the monarch will hold a vigil at the late Queen’s coffin with other members of the Royal Family.

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.

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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