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Queen Elizabeth Reposes in Edinburgh

The hearse carrying the coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland, Sept. 11, 2022.

The coffin carrying Queen Elizabeth II arrived on Sunday at Holyroodhouse Palace in Edinburgh, the monarch's official Scottish residence, completing the first leg of her somber final journey. The cortege had left Balmoral Castle, where the queen died on Thursday aged 96, just after 0900 GMT.

Wherever the cortege went as it wound its way through picturesque countryside, villages, small towns and cities, people lined the road or stopped their cars to get out and watch. At one point, it passed a guard of honor formed by dozens of tractors lined up in adjacent fields by farmers.

Many watched silently in bright sunshine. Some threw flowers into the road. For others, the emotion of the moment moved them to tears.

Crowds, fifteen deep in places, massed in the center of Edinburgh to greet the cortege, which included the queen's daughter, Princess Anne, as it made it way to the Palace of Holyroodhouse where it was met by a military guard of honor.

The coffin was draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland with a wreath on top made of flowers taken from the Balmoral estate including sweet peas, one of Elizabeth's favorites.

Soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland then carried the coffin to the throne room of the palace where it will remain overnight.

"There was no way I could miss this. I would regret it for the rest of my life," said Eilidh Mackintosh, 62, who left her home at 6 a.m. to be sure of a good view on Edinburgh's famous Royal Mile where large crowds were gathering.

"She never let us down and I didn’t want to let her down either. Now she has gone there is a big hole in the heart of the nation."

Many thousands are continuing to gather at other royal palaces across Britain, and large piles of flowers are massing as people visit to pay their respects.

Charles became king immediately after his mother's death and was officially proclaimed the new monarch at a ceremony on Saturday, full of pageantry and centuries-old traditions

Similar proclamations are following across the United Kingdom and the other 14 realms of which Charles is now head of state, including Australia, Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. read more

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said parliament would be recalled on Thursday to allow members to pay tribute.

The day of Elizabeth's funeral will be a public holiday in Britain, officials have announced. U.S. President Joe Biden said he would be there, although full details of the event and the attendees have not yet been released.

Before that, her coffin will be flown to London and there will be a sombre procession when it is later moved from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall where it will lie in state for four days.

"It goes without saying that we can expect large numbers of people," a spokesperson for Prime Minister Liz Truss told reporters.

This report was prepared with information from Agence France-Presse and Reuters.