Royals hold silent vigil for Queen Elizabeth before trip to Belfast

There were no tears and no wailing. Only the sound of footsteps, then arms crossed and heads bowed.

or 10 minutes, as members of the public walked past Queen Elizabeth’s coffin, her four children stood guard in the most solemn duty imaginable.

King Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward had walked together up the aisle of St Giles’s Cathedral in Edinburgh in a well-practiced step, honed over a lifetime of shared public duties.

When they reached the coffin, they parted – each grabbing a side to honor their mother and show she was not alone.

Preferring not to hold swords, they stood with folded hands and downcast eyes, their backs to the coffin.

Members of the public, who had been queuing for more than 12 hours to pay their respects, stopped by, occasionally taking in the acceptance twice as they noticed members of the Royal Family in their midst, while Camilla, the Queen Consort, stood to one side sat and watched the nave.

It came at the end of an emotional day for the royal family, with the siblings walking up the Royal Mile behind their mother’s coffin.

To reflect the sense of duty so central to royal life, they reconvened at 7:40 p.m. in a silent, still dignified ceremony in a moving ceremony that few in the public have seen before.

The late Queen’s coffin was draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland, with a wreath of Balmoral flowers on it and the Crown of Scotland, guarded by the Royal Company of Archers. Anne, the Princess Royal, was the first woman to attend such a vigil to honor the mother she was so close to.

The late Queen will rest at St Giles’s Cathedral until 5pm today, with thousands of members of the public hoping to drop by to pay their respects before she leaves Scotland for the last time.

Once in London, the Queen’s body will be kept at Westminster Hall for four days, beginning at 5pm tomorrow. Already yesterday the citizens had started to form a queue. But mourners in the capital have been warned they may have to wait up to 30 hours as the ever-moving queue is expected to stretch more than three miles from Tower Bridge to Westminster.

As well-wishers will flock to London ahead of Monday’s funeral, a special train timetable will run through the night. Officials last night finalized plans for additional services to be set up to cope with demand, with train timetables due to be updated by operators in the coming days.

The government advised commuters in London to work from home to avoid overloading the city’s infrastructure. A spokesman for British Prime Minister Liz Truss said: “London will be busy. Some people might want to change their work patterns accordingly.”

Prince Andrew, who is no longer part of the working royal family, was not wearing his military uniform

At 5pm today the coffin of the late Queen will make the journey from Edinburgh to Buckingham Palace via RAF Northolt.

Princess Anne will accompany her mother on the RAF flight and then to the palace in a car, with mourners expected to line the route.

At the palace, the king and queen receive the coffin, accompanied by other members of the royal family.

The new Prince and Princess of Wales, William and Kate, will witness the arrival of the coffin but will not appear in public.

It is understood that other grandchildren and their spouses, including Harry and Meghan, are also hoping to be there.

Later this week, William, Harry and their cousins ​​are expected to join the processions behind the late Queen’s coffin as it is moved from the Palace to Westminster Hall for viewing.

During yesterday’s ceremonies, Prince Andrew, who is no longer part of the working royal family, did not wear his military uniform. Instead, he wore a morning suit while his siblings wore their ceremonial attire.

He is permitted to wear the uniform of a vice admiral in the Navy, the only military rank he still holds, on one occasion – a vigil at the late Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall – as a “last token of respect” for his mother.

Prince Harry is not allowed to wear a military uniform at the funeral or other events leading up to it.

He paid tribute to his grandmother’s “eternal grace” and “contagious smile” yesterday, saying that even in the depths of grief he “can smile knowing that you and grandpa are now reunited and both are at peace together.” .

His father, King Charles, spoke his own heartfelt words in the Houses of Parliament after hearing expressions of condolence from MPs and colleagues.

He vowed to “follow faithfully” his mother’s example, adding, “As Shakespeare says of the late Queen Elizabeth, she was ‘an example to all living princes.'”

In the afternoon he addressed the Scottish Parliament to tell Members he would “take on my new duties with gratitude for all that Scotland has given me, with a determination always to seek the welfare of our country and its people”.

He also described how the late Queen considered Scotland “a haven and a home”.

He said: “Throughout the years of her reign, the Queen, like so many generations of our family before her, found refuge and a home in the hills of this land and in the hearts of her people.

“My mother, like me, felt the greatest admiration of the Scottish people for their great achievements and indomitable spirit, and it was their greatest comfort to know in turn the true affection shown to her.

“The knowledge of this deep and abiding bond must be our comfort as we mourn the end of a life of peerless service.”

Today the King and Queen consorts will travel to Northern Ireland to hold audiences and receive a message of condolence from the Speaker of the Stormont Assembly.

They will attend a reflection service at St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast and engage with the public on a walking tour.

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022] Royals hold silent vigil for Queen Elizabeth before trip to Belfast

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