The queen's funeral procession traveled through Aberdeen and Dundee as it proceeded to Edinburgh, where throngs of mourners gathered.
EDINBURGH, Scotland — For three days, many in Britain have mourned, reflected on and adjusted to the absence of Queen Elizabeth II. On Sunday, their shared grief gained physical form as the world got a first glimpse of her oak coffin.
The monarch of seven decades undertook her final journey from Balmoral, the Scottish castle where she died, to Holyroodhouse, her official palace in Edinburgh. The funeral procession will continue on Tuesday to Buckingham Palace in London and eventually arrive at Westminster Abbey, where her state funeral will take place on Sept. 19.
It's a winding, circuitous route worthy of any of her royal tours.
The coffin left Balmoral Castle Sunday morning, draped in the royal standard and adorned with a wreath of flowers. Castle guards gave the late queen her last royal salute before the hearse embarked on a 176-mile, approximately six-hour trip to Edinburgh, the Scottish capital.
The procession traveled via Aberdeen and Dundee, and along the way crowds lined highways and filled overpasses as cars stopped along the roadside.
The coffin was greeted in Edinburgh by thousands flanking the famed Royal Mile, where people climbed telephone boxes and leaned out of windows and balconies to catch a glimpse. At Holyroodhouse, it will be met by members of the royal family in the throne room.
Mourners can see the coffin as it lies in state for 24 hours in St. Giles’ Cathedral, before it is moved to London.
“The mood is one of sadness, but also of community and shared grief,” said Alec Peck, 50, who runs the Dr. Who’s coffee kiosk on the Royal Mile. “Whether they are die-hard monarchists or not, everyone here realizes it’s a moment of history.”
Around midday on Sunday outside St. Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, King Charles III was officially proclaimed king in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. After a hushed moment following the fanfare and proclamation, crowds along the cobblestone street shouted “God save the king!” and sang the national anthem.
For millions globally, seeing her coffin underscores a reality that until now may not have sunk in.
“I cried when I saw it,” said Margory Young, 57, a nurse who traveled from the Scottish city of Glasgow to pay her respects. “We have never known life without her, so it was a moment in history and we had to see it.”
Many of the messages left outside Holyroodhouse hailed from around the world. A Portuguese flag bore a message commending the queen and another note said, “Canada loves you forever.”
Fiona Herries, 36, and Alex Herries, 38, were laying down flowers with their two