Queen’s coffin travelling from Balmoral to Edinburgh

Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin left her Scottish estate Balmoral Castle on Sunday as the monarch began her last journey back to London for a state funeral.Gamekeepers from Balmoral, the summer retreat where the queen died on Thursday, carried the late sovereign’s oak coffin from the castle’s ballroom to a hearse to begin a six-hour, 280km (175-mile) journey through Scottish towns to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

 Crowds lined parts of the route as the nation mourned its longest-reigning monarch, the only one most Britons have ever known. Early Sunday flowers and other tributes were piled up outside the gates of Balmoral.

Elizabeth Alexander, aged 69 and born on the day the queen was crowned in 1953, was waiting in the nearby village of Ballater to see the coffin go by.The queen came to the throne following the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952, when she was just 25. Her coronation took place a year later.

The queen’s coffin will take a circuitous journey back to the capital. On Monday, it will be taken from Holyroodhouse to nearby St Giles’ Cathedral, where it will remain until Tuesday, when it will be flown to London.The coffin will be moved from Buckingham Palace on Wednesday to the Houses of Parliament to lie in state until the funeral at Westminster Abbey on September 19.

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