More than one million mourning Britons will say their final goodbyes to Queen Elizabeth II as her coffin lies in state in Scotland and London this week.
Her Majesty’s coffin will lie in rest at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh for 24 hours, beginning Monday at 5pm. Those wishing to pay their respects can turn up at the church.
Officials say a queuing system and security checks will be in place. Mourners should expect to stand in the queue for a number of hours. Mobile phone use will be restricted and photography and recording will be strictly prohibited.
Members of the Royal Family, including King Charles III, will guard the coffin as it lies in state from 7.20pm on Monday in a tradition known as the Vigil of the Princes.
Brits can also pay their respects to the Queen at Westminster Hall in London beginning on Wednesday where her coffin will arrive at 3pm. Her Majesty will lie in state for ‘four clear days’ in Westminster Hall until the morning of her funeral on Monday, September 19.
Her coffin will be under continuous vigil and mourners can attend any time during daylight hours.
Police and Whitehall sources say specific details on how to attend will be released in the coming days, but it is expected to be on a first come, first served basis.
Queen Elizabeth, aged 96, died peacefully at Balmoral Castle on Thursday surrounded by her family. Her death sparked an immediate and huge outpouring of emotion, with thousands of mourners gathering outside the gates of Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle to leave flowers and displays of well-wishes for the Royal Family.
More than one million mourning Britons will say their final goodbyes to Queen Elizabeth II (pictured in June 2022) as her coffin lays on display in Scotland and London this week
Queen Elizabeth II’s casket will lie in state for 24 hours at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh. Officials are pictured outside the church on Saturday as they prepared for the procession transporting her body
Soldiers will guard the coffin around the clock during visitation. Members of the Royal Family are also expected to take turns standing guard, a tradition known as the Vigil of the Princes. Princes Edward and Charles (pictured) both guarded the Queen Mother’s coffin in 2002
Brits can also visit the Queen at Westminster Hall (pictured) in London beginning on Wednesday. Her Majesty will lie in state for ‘four clear days’ in Westminster Hall until the morning of her funeral on Monday, September 19
The Queen ‘s oak coffin was today seen leaving Balmoral Castle on its way to Edinburgh in a black Mercedes Benz
The coffin is draped in the Royal Standard for Scotland, which has been used by generations of Scottish monarchs
Where can I pay my respects to the Queen?
The Queen will lie in state in Edinburgh and London
Her Majesty’s coffin will lie in rest at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh for 24 hours, beginning on Monday at 5pm. Those wishing to pay their respects can simply attend the church.
Mourners can also pay their respects to the Queen at Westminster Hall in London from Wednesday.
Her Majesty will lie in state for ‘four clear days’ until the morning of her funeral on Monday, September 19.
Her oak coffin will be under continuous vigil and mourners can attend any time during daylight hours.
Observe the cortege
Mourners can stand safely by as the Queen’s coffin makes its six-hour journey from Balmoral to Edinburgh on Sunday.
The cortege will travel a 175-mile route, processing through Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen, Angus and Tayside along the way.
Leave flowers at royal residences throughout the UK
Buckingham Palace: Mourners can leave flowers and other tributes to Her Majesty at designated sites in Green Park and Hyde Park.
Windsor Castle: Memorials can be left at Cambridge Gate along the Long Walk. They can also be left at the Norwich Gates at the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.
Balmoral Castle: Mourners can leave flowers at the Main Gate of Balmoral Castle, where the Queen passed away.
Authorities have requested mourners not to drive to the castle. Road access is currently closed. They are advised to use park and ride services in Braemar and Ballater.
Hillsborough Castle: Mourners can leave flowers on the Castle Forecourt in front of the main gates.
Sign a book of condolence
Mourners can leave heartfelt messages in books of condolence that have been set up in libraries, town halls and other civic buildings across the UK.
Click here to find your local authority. Visit your authority’s website to find a book of condolence on display near you.
Mourners can also sign an online book of condolence on the Royal Family website.
The Queen’s coffin – which is lying in the ballroom at Balmoral Castle – will be taken by road to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh this morning, on a six-hour journey by hearse, covering 175 miles.
The procession will travel from Balmoral to Aberdeen on the A93 and reached Ballater for a tribute in Aberdeenshire around 10.12am today.
The tribute was attended by the Lord Lieutenants of Aberdeenshire, as well as senior officers and councillors.
The cortege left Aberdeen at around 11am. Another tribute – led by the Lord Provost of Aberdeen and other civic dignitaries – took place at Great Southern Road by Duthie Park, The Telegraph reported.
The public was invited to pay their respects at the ceremony or on a footpath along the procession route.
The cortege will then follow the A90 to Dundee, arriving around 2pm for another tribute. Civic dignitaries from Tayside and Fife will stand on a dais as the cortege leaves the city.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the ‘poignant’ journey would give the public a chance to come together to ‘mark our country’s shared loss’.
Well-wishers are expected to gather along the route and Ms Sturgeon and other party leaders in Scotland are expected to watch the coffin as it goes past the Scottish Parliament.
The coffin will be taken to St Giles’ Cathedral where it will be guarded by Vigils from The Royal Company of Archers, to allow the people of Scotland to pay their respects and will lie in rest until Tuesday.
The Crown of Scotland will be placed on top of the Queen’s coffin while it rests at the cathedral.
Mourners will be able to begin viewing the coffin around 5pm Monday, the City of Edinburgh Council confirmed to Edinburgh Evening News.
Visitors will go through an official queuing system that will feature security checks.
King Charles will stand beside the coffin from 7.20pm as part of the Vigil of the Princes – a longstanding tradition where male members of the Royal Family stand guard as their relatives lie in state.
Prince Edward and Charles both guarded the Queen Mother’s coffin in 2002.
After lying in state for 24 hours, Her Majesty’s coffin will then be flown from Edinburgh to RAF Northolt on Tuesday, accompanied by her daughter Princess Anne which is expected to arrive shortly before 7pm.
The casket will then be driven to Buckingham Palace on Wednesday ahead of a processional through the streets on London to Westminster Hall.
The procession will see her coffin carried on a gun carriage of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, and will be accompanied by a military parade as well as members of the Royal Family.
King Charles will lead the procession behind the carriage, which will be draped in the Royal Standard.
Crowds will be able to watch as it makes the journey along Queen’s Gardens, The Mall, Horse Guards and Horse Guards Arch, Whitehall, Parliament Street, Parliament Square and New Palace Yard.
The journey is expected to last around 40 minutes.
There will also be large television screens set up for the occasion in the capital’s Royal Parks.
The Queen’s coffin is expected to arrive at Westminster Hall at 3pm and will lie in state until the morning of the funeral.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will conduct a short service attended by King Charles and other members of the Royal Family, before the Hall is opened to the public.
A million mourners – included several foreign dignitaries – are expected to visit the coffin while it is lying-in-state and officials estimate two million people will gather in the streets every day until Her Majesty is laid to rest.
‘We will open the queue and control it through the normal way,’ a senior Whitehall source told The Sunday Times. ‘It is like trying to organise something on a similar scale to the London Olympics in a matter of days.’
A police source echoed: ‘It will be like the Notting Hill carnival every day.’
Nadhim Zahawi, the chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, is reportedly chairing daily meetings to oversee the viewings as officials try to ensure ‘as many people as possible’ can see the Queen.
Soldiers will guard the coffin around the clock during visitation. Members of the Royal Family are also expected to take turns standing guard.
The body of King George VI is pictured lying in state in Westminster Hall, London, in February 1952 before being taken to St George’s Chapel, Windsor, for burial
King George VI’s coffin lies in state in Westminster Hall in 1952
People wait for the hearse carrying the body of Britain’s late Queen Elizabeth II on its way to Edinburgh, in Balmoral, Scotland
Police stand next to flowers left in tribute to Britain’s late Queen Elizabeth II outside Balmoral Castle, Scotland
A visitor leaves a floral tribute at the Palace of Holyroodhouse for the late Queen Elizabeth II on September 11, 2022 in Edinburgh, Scotland
The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland, passes through Ballater
Princess Anne (pictured), her husband Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the minister of Crathie Kirk and a representative of the Lord chamberlain’s Office are in the convoy following the Queen’s coffin
The Queen’s coffin – which is lying in the Ballroom at Balmoral Castle – will be taken by road to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on Sunday September 11, on a six-hour journey by hearse
King Charles will be at the front of the royal party heading from the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh and up the Royal Mile to St Giles’ Cathedral
After the ceremonies in Edinburgh, the coffin will be flown to RAF Northolt and from there will be taken by road to Buckingham Palace
When her coffin arrives in Edinburgh it will be taken to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen in Scotland, before a service is held at St Giles’ Cathedral on Tuesday
King Charles will lead the nation in mourning on Monday as he walks at the head of a procession of the Queen’s coffin through the streets of Edinburgh.
He will be at the front of the royal party heading from the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh and up the Royal Mile to St Giles’ Cathedral, it has been announced.
The King and Queen Consort will fly to Edinburgh with Prince William and other members of the Royal Family to lead the procession. Some members of the family will follow in cars, with others walking.
The Queen’s children and Vice-Admiral Sir Tim Laurence will join King Charles in the the procession in Scotland.
A spokesperson confirmed that Charles is still in ‘discussions’ about arrangements for his mother’s state funeral.
‘I think what the family are genuinely focusing on is the death of Her Majesty the Queen and are united on that,’ the spokesman told the Times. ‘They are trying to get through this period by honouring the Queen as best as possible.’
Prime Minister Liz Truss will also accompany the King on a tour around Britain this week.
Members of the public line the streets in Ballater, Scotland, as the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II passes through
The Royal Marines march down the Royal Mile during an Accession Proclamation Ceremony at Mercat Cross, Edinburgh
Well-wishers who had waited patiently for the opportunity to pay their respects bowed their heads while others saluted as the hearse drove slowly by
People line the street waiting for the funeral cortege carrying Britain’s Queen Elizabeth in the village of Ballater, near Balmoral, Scotland, on Sunday
Police close a road in Edinburgh as they prepare for the arrival of Queen Elizabeth’s coffin from Balmoral Castle
Police prepare the streets on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh on Sunday, ahead of the arrival of the coffin of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II
King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla arrive at Bucking Palace on Friday after mourners laid flowers outside the royal estate
Prince Harry,the Duchess of Sussex, Prince William and Princess Kate look at floral tributes laid by members of the public on the Long walk at Windsor Castle on Saturday
A view of floral tributes left outside Buckingham Palace on Saturday
Officers from the Household Cavalry stand in vigil at the coffin of Britain’s Queen Mother as it lies in state April 5, 2002 in Westminster Hall
Lying in state is a formality in which the closed coffin is placed on view, allowing the public to pay their respects before the funeral ceremony.
The two operations for the Queen’s lying in state
Operation Marquee covers the four days of the Queen’s lying in state, focusing on the arrangements inside Westminster Hall, including ceremonial aspects, services and vigils.
Operation Feather deals with logistics outside Westminster Hall, including arrangements for the public. Thousands of people will queue in the streets as they wait to see the monarch’s coffin on its catafalque.
It is traditionally reserved for the Sovereign, current or past Queen Consorts, and occasionally other distinguished figures, such as former prime ministers.
During this time, the coffin rests on a raised platform – known as a catafalque – in the middle of Westminster Hall, where it is guarded 24 hours a day.
For a royal lying in state, the coffin is draped in a royal flag – usually a personal standard. A crown and other regalia are traditionally placed on top.
The tradition stretches back to the 17th century, when Stuart sovereigns lay in state for a number of days.
The last person to lie in state in the UK was the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother when 200,000 people filed past her coffin.
The man in charge of the huge funeral operation, the Earl Marshall the Duke of Norfolk, said the King’s main focus will be leading the royal family and nation in mourning over the coming days.
‘Whilst, in the next few days, the King will carry out all the necessary state duties, his main focus will be leading the Royal Family, the nation, the Realms and the Commonwealth in mourning Her Majesty The Queen. This will include meeting members of the public, to share in their grief,’ he told Mail Online on Saturday.
The Duke of Norfolk said he and other staff were carrying out their task ‘with a heavy heart’.
He said: ‘As the person with overall responsibility for delivering the funeral, let me end by saying that, together with so many colleagues from within The Royal Household, the Armed Forces, the Police, and other institutions of Church and State, we will carry out our duty over the coming days with the heaviest of hearts.
‘But also, with the firmest of resolve to ensure a fitting farewell to one of the defining figures of our times; a monarch whom we were truly privileged to have had as the Head of State of our country and the Realms, and Head of the wider Commonwealth.
‘While His Majesty The King was speaking about his family, I think it applies to us all when he said in his broadcast yesterday that: ‘We owe her the most heartfelt debt.’ I think we can, in some way, repay that debt by carrying out her last wishes in delivering Her Majesty The Queen’s Funeral.’