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The Queen Leaves Scotland for the Final Time and Returns to Buckingham Palace

The Queen Leaves Scotland for the Final Time and Returns to Buckingham Palace

Her Majesty The Queen left Scotland for the last time today.  

And returned to England.  

Today’s journey began in Edinburgh, as Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence returned to St. Giles’ Cathedral to accompany the coffin to the airport. This coincided with the conclusion of a Service of Reflection in Northern Ireland attended by the King and Queen Consort.(More on this towards the end of the post.)

The Princess Royal.   

From the BBC’s coverage

The late Queen’s coffin has been lying at rest in Edinburgh’s St Giles’ Cathedral since Monday afternoon – a gesture toward the distinctive character of Scotland’s historic nationhood. She’s now leaving Scotland for the last time.

The late Queen’s coffin as it was carried out of the cathedral.

The Princess Royal and Sir Tim follow the coffin.  

A lone piper played a lament. 

More about Princess Anne’s role from the BBC.

There is one great final duty that many children feel towards their parents: the duty to see them safely and peacefully to their last rest. And it’s emerged that Queen Elizabeth II wished that her only daughter – the Princess Royal, Princess Anne – should play the primary role in escorting her coffin in the days between her death and the state funeral.

More from the BBC piece. 

That wish reflects not just the practical burden such a task would be for King Charles, but also Princess Anne’s status as a family rock. The King’s days have so far been a whirlwind, requiring him to balance his personal grief with his duties towards the state as the new monarch.

So his sister has taken the lead in the very public role of being with the coffin on its journey so far. It’s a role that acknowledges her vital importance to her late mother and to her brother – but also her record as the busiest and hardest-working member of the Royal Family.

Crowds gathered outside St. Giles’.

The Telegraph reports “Applause rang out from the crowds packing both sides of the Royal Mile as the Queen’s coffin was led out of St Giles’ Cathedral…”. 

Princess Anne. 

The royal party at Edinburgh Airport, where the coffin was loaded onto a C-17 transport plane for the flight to RAF Northolt, outside London.

Two of the massive aircraft were flown to Edinburgh, in case one encountered technical problems.

The coffin is carried onto the plane by pallbearers from the Queen’s Colour Squadron of the Royal Air Force.

The national anthem was played as the plane took off. The flight’s callsign was Kittyhawk 01R.  

A video as the aircraft takes off. 

After the plane departed, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon offered a statement. 

Speaking after the plane carrying the Queen’s coffin had departed Edinburgh Airport, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Scotland has bid a final and poignant farewell to our much loved Elizabeth, Queen of Scots.

“Over these past few days we have seen just how much Her Majesty meant to the people of Scotland.

The Royal Family posted photos of HM in Scotland, with a quote from a speech made by the Queen in 2021 when she attended the Scottish Parliament’s opening ceremony.  

The flight took about an hour, landing shortly before 7pm.

Duroing the flight, the Royal Standard of Scotland was replaced with the Royal Standard.

Sir Tim Laurence, Princess Anne, and Station Commander Group Captain McPhaden

The coffin is in the State Hearse, a vehicle designed for this purpose by the royal household and Jaguar Land Rover; HM was also consulted. It was built with interior lighting so people may see the coffin and is done in Royal Claret, the color used on royal vehicles. 

A salute as the hearse leaves RAF Northolt. 

The hearse as it left the base. 

More from The Telegraph’s story

Few were willing to miss this moment of history. Here, roads heaved with humanity; members of the public scrambled up fences and climbed up walls to get a glimpse of the royal cortège, of the woman who wore the British Crown longer than anyone else.

The rain, relentless all afternoon, did little to quell the sheer numbers. Some even watched from their roofs. 

As the hearse carrying the coffin moved into view and prepared to pull onto the main road, there were sirens, and then there was silence. A silence so unlike the cheers that greeted the earlier arrival of King Charles III; a recognition that no amount of excitement for a new coronation can, truly, dull this sense of national loss. Not yet. 

Thousands of people lined the route to Buckingham Palace.

The drive from the RAF base to the palace is about 15 miles. This video shows some of the traffic as people stopped their vehicles,. many getting out of them, to watch the cortége. 

And a ground-level view. 

I believe this is approaching Wellington Arch.

More from The Telegraph’s coverage

Asked why she was braving the filthy weather to watch the Queen pass by, one woman said: “I would just like to see her before I can’t see her anymore.” Not only did this sum up the thoughts of many intent on paying their respects while the Queen lies in state in London this week, but it was tellingly intimate.

Despite all the pomp and circumstance, all the ritual and the heavy symbolism that could alienate the public if this were anyone else, it’s Her Majesty’s humanity that is at the heart of her appeal – and has us feeling her loss so viscerally.

The Queen’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren gathered at Buckingham Palace tonight to greet the hearse. You can’t see them inside the car, but this is the Prince and Princess of Wales as they arrived at the palace.

The scene at Buckingham Palace as the motorcade arrives.

Phones in the air.

From the BBC’s coverage

As she made her final homecoming, some of the thousands who’d gathered outside Buckingham Palace wiped away tears, as Queen Elizabeth returned to her official residence one last time.

For the family, an evening of private mourning. For the many gathered here, a poignant chapter as the nation says goodbye.

As vehicles arrived at the gates of Buckingham Palace, the outriders bowed their heads.

You can really see the rain in this photo.

One more photo.

We return to The Telegraph

Standing at the grand entrance, King Charles III and his Queen Consort were surrounded by the late monarch’s children and grandchildren and their partners, including the Prince and Princess of Wales and Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

For one night the coffin will lie at rest in the palace’s bow room before the monarch is handed to the nation to allow the public to pay their respects when she lies in state at the ancient Westminster Hall for four days.

As mentioned above, the Prince and Princess of Wales were at the Palace tonight with other members of the royal family. There are a few photos of them arriving, but unfortunately, I can’t license them. If photos do become available, I will update the post. You can see photos here.

Also in London, signs went up for the queue for those who want to see HM lying in state. 

There are already hundreds, if not thousands, of people in line. 

I have marveled at the enormous number of flowers and other items left at royal residences in honor of HM. In London’s Green Park, volunteers are now removing the plastic wrapping enclosing many of those floral tributes.

In addition to the volunteer efforts, Royal Park employees are working on the task. More from The Daily Mail’s story

A clean-up operation to remove plastic wrappings from floral tributes being laid for the late monarch is underway at Green Park in central London.

Royal Parks said their staff and contractors are ‘working around the clock’ to keep the park ‘looking its best’ for the thousands of people that arrive every day to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II.

It comes as the Royal Parks, which manages the official site for tributes in Green Park, asked mourners to only ‘lay organic or compostable material’ and remove any wrapping from the bouquets being left.

A look at some of the flowers. 

The park remained busy with people coming to bring their own flowers and view those left by others and brought from other locations.  

Chelsea Pensioners held a traditional drumhead service. 

From the Chelsea Pensioners site

The Queen has a special place in the hearts of the Chelsea Pensioners, all of whom are immensely proud to have served in her honour in the British Army and were deeply saddened to hear the news of her death. The Drumhead Service held today was an important moment of mourning and reflection for the Chelsea Pensioners.

in front of an altar of drums draped in the flag of the Royal Hospital in the iconic Figure Court.

The service was held in the Figure Court in front of an altar of drums draped in the flag of the Royal Hospital.


Also today, a statement from Princess Anne.

The full statement is viewable here

I was fortunate to share the last 24 hours of my dearest Mother’s life. It has been an honour and a privilege to accompany her on her final journeys. Witnessing the love and respect shown by so many on these journeys has been both humbling and uplifting.

We will all share unique memories. I offer my thanks to each and every one who share our sense of loss.

We may have been reminded how much of her presence and contribution to our national identity we took for granted. I am also so grateful for the support and understanding offered to my dear brother Charles as he accepts the added responsibilities of The Monarch.

To my mother, The Queen, thank you.


The King and Queen Consort started their day in Northern Ireland. Below, viewing the floral tributes left at Hillsborough Castle. 

They also did a walkabout, greeting those gathered in hopes of seeing the King and Queen Consort. From The Telegraph’s coverage

Crowds at Hillsborough Castle cheered and shouted ‘God save the King’ as the new King and Queen took time to speak to well-wishers.

A round of applause broke out as they inspected floral tributes to the late Queen before entering the grounds of the castle.

One woman brought her corgi named Connie to meet the royals. 

The King received the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and met representatives from political parties. He spoke after receiving an official message of condolence.

From his remarks: 

On behalf of all my family, I can only offer the most heartfelt thanks for your condolences. 

I am here today at a time of great personal sorrow as we mark the death of my beloved mother, after a life most faithfully dedicated to the duty to which she had been called. 

Through all those years, she never ceased to pray for the best of times for this place and for its people, whose stories she knew, whose sorrows our family had felt, and for whom she had a great affection and regard.

My mother felt deeply, I know, the significance of the role she herself played in bringing together those whom history had separated, and in extending a hand to make possible the healing of long-held hurts.

They then traveled to St. Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast, where they joined others for a Service of Reflection. 

Here you see the monarch greeting the President of Ireland, Michael Higgins, whom many of you may recognize from Prince and Princess of Wales’s visit to Ireland. 

Tomorrow’s schedule

  • The coffin will be borne on a Gun Carriage of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster, where The Queen will Lie-in-State in until the morning of the funeral. The procession is expected to begin at 2:22 pm BST (9:22am EDT).  The King and Royal Family members will walk behind the coffin, a distance expected to take 35 – 40 minutes to cover. 
  • The Procession is planned to take roughly 40 minutes. The route will travel via Queen’s Gardens, The Mall, Horse Guards and Horse Guards Arch, Whitehall, Parliament Street, Parliament Square, and New Palace Yard.
  • After the coffin arrives at Westminster Hall, the King and Royal Family members will attend a short service conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury assisted by The Very Reverend Dr. David Hoyle, Dean of Westminster. 
  • The Lying-in-State begins after the service, allowing members of the public to visit Westminster Hall and pay their respects to The Queen.

The BBC reports “The coffin will be adorned with the Imperial State Crown…The coffin will reach Westminster Hall at 15:00. Once there, it will rest on a raised platform. Each corner of the platform will be guarded 24 hours a day by soldiers from units that serve the Royal Household.” Rehearsals for tomorrow’s procession have been underway for days.

Those walking behind the coffin tomorrow: The King, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Prince William, Prince Harry, Peter Phillips, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke of Gloucester (the Queen’s cousin), and the Earl of Snowdon (Princess Margaret’s son, David Armstrong-Jones). The Queen Consort, the Princess of Wales, the Countess of Wessex, and the Duchess of Sussex will travel to Westminster Hall by car. All will attend a brief service led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and accompanied by the Dean of Westminster.  

These images are from the very early morning hours today.  

If you want to watch a live stream, here are a few links. 


Almost three minutes of video as the cars approach the palace. 

The Royal Family Channel’s coverage from St. Giles’ today. 
Coverage from Edinburgh Airport. 

And coverage of the flight arriving at RAF Northolt. 


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A Martini

Wednesday 14th of September 2022

Thank you for this excellent coverage. We appreciate your good work.

Adeline Antony

Wednesday 14th of September 2022

That moment was so poignant and filled me with sadness, the moment the motorcade turned into the Buckingham Palace gates! Those happy moments of Our Beloved Queen smiling and waving on the balcony immediately came into mind, as did those words of a mourner, "I would just like to see her , before I can't see her anymore". You were a constant in this everchanging world, You will forever live in our hearts, dear Queen! R I P!


Wednesday 14th of September 2022

What did me in last night was the outriders bowing their heads as the hearse entered the gate of the palace; that, and the Princess Royal's message and photo with her mother. Thank you, Susan, for your coverage.


Wednesday 14th of September 2022

@Melissa, those outriders and their positions of respect and sorrow at the end were incredibly moving. They did me in, too.


Wednesday 14th of September 2022

Do you have any idea why the women (except for Princess Anne) are not walking behind the coffin? And whether Beatrice and Eugene will be included in the car transport?

Mrs Cambridge

Wednesday 14th of September 2022

@Kathleen, because Princess Anne is the Queen's daughter, a direct and first-generation descendant of the Queen. Inlaws and females lower on the family tree are generally included in the official party though follow the caisson by car.


Wednesday 14th of September 2022

I can only imagine how Princess Anne must be feeling being the executer of her mum's last wishes. Like Princess Anne, my aunt (the only girl) was left executor on my gran's funeral after both my dad and she shared vigil over her bedside until she died. Anne must be very tired and yet she knows she has a lot more to do; you can tell by looking at her facial expressions.

Do you know if the children will be at her funeral?


Wednesday 14th of September 2022

We’ve not yet heard, but my expectation is probably not.

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