Saturday Dec 3, 2022
Saturday Dec 3, 2022

Casket of Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Buckingham Palace


Nepalnews
2022 Sep 14, 10:06, LONDON
The State Hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II at RAF Northolt in London, to be taken to Buckingham Palace, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022. (AP Photo)

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II returned to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday evening, making its way through a drizzly London as crowds lined the route for a glimpse of the hearse and to bid her a final farewell.

People parked their cars along a normally busy road, got out and waved as the hearse, with lights inside illuminating the flag-draped coffin, made its way into London. In the city, people pressed in on the road and held their phones aloft as it passed.

Thousands outside the palace cheered, shouted “God save the queen!” and clapped as the hearse swung around a roundabout in front of the queen’s official London residence and through the wrought iron gates. Her son, King Charles III, and other immediate family members waited inside.

The coffin traveled to London from Edinburgh, where 33,000 people filed silently past it in the 24 hours at St. Giles’ Cathedral after it had been brought there from her cherished summer retreat, Balmoral. The queen — the only monarch many in the United Kingdom have ever known — died there Sept. 8 at age 96 after 70 years on the throne.

The military C-17 Globemaster carrying the casket touched down at RAF Northolt, an air force base in the west of London, about an hour after it left Edinburgh. U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and a military honor guard were among those at the base for the arrival.

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is carried off a plane by the Queen's Colour Squadron at RAF Northolt in London, to be taken to Buckingham Palace, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022. (AP Photo)
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is carried off a plane by the Queen's Colour Squadron at RAF Northolt in London, to be taken to Buckingham Palace, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022. (AP Photo)

The coffin will be taken by horse-drawn gun carriage Wednesday to the Houses of Parliament to lie in state for four days before Monday’s funeral at Westminster Abbey.

Charles had returned to London from Northern Ireland, where his visit drew a rare moment of unity from politicians in a region with a contested British and Irish identity that is deeply divided over the monarchy.

The new king is making his own journey this week, visiting the four nations of the U.K. – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Hundreds gathered around Hillsborough Castle near Belfast, the royal family’s official residence in Northern Ireland, in the latest outpouring of affection following the queen’s death. The area in front of the gates to the castle was carpeted with hundreds of floral tributes.

Charles and his wife Camilla, the Queen Consort, got out of their car to wave to the crowd and sometimes used both hands to reach out to villagers, including schoolchildren in bright blue uniforms. Charles even petted a corgi — famously his late mother’s favorite breed of dog — held up by one person, and some chanted “God save the king!”

While there was a warm welcome in Hillsborough, the British monarchy draws mixed emotions in Northern Ireland, where there are two main communities: mostly Protestant unionists who consider themselves British and largely Roman Catholic nationalists who see themselves as Irish.

That split fueled three decades of violence known as “the Troubles” involving paramilitary groups on both sides and U.K. security forces, in which 3,600 people died. The royal family was touched personally by the violence: Lord Louis Mountbatten, a cousin of the queen and a much-loved mentor to Charles, was killed by an Irish Republican Army bomb in 1979.

A deep sectarian divide remains, a quarter century after Northern Ireland’s 1998 peace agreement.

Before being flown to London, the queen’s oak coffin was carried from St. Giles’ Cathedral to the strain of bagpipes. Crowds lining the Royal Mile through the historic heart of Edinburgh broke into applause as the coffin, accompanied by the queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, was driven to Edinburgh Airport.

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Casket Queen Elizabeth II final farewell returned to Buckingham Palace glimpse of the hearse horse-drawn gun carriage floral tributes
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