Scottish friends queue up in Edinburgh to visit Queen’s coffin | UK News

Two friends and former members of public service lined up in Edinburgh today to pay their respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Seeing the Queen’s coffin was a momentous occasion and for the two friends, it was a blessing to get up early to be the first to pay tribute to the Queen.

Former soldier George Higgins was first in line down The Meadows in Edinburgh – about a 15-minute walk from St Giles’ Church, where the king’s coffin can be viewed from 5pm today.

Mr Higgins, 62, arrived at 6:45am after working the night shift at the Royal Infirmary.

He told Sky News he “wouldn’t miss it for the whole world”.

“We are privileged to be able to do this in Scotland, where if she had gone to England we wouldn’t have. I’m from Edinburgh, my home city, and she’s in St Giles’, I will not miss for the world.

“I had to go to pay my respects to my old boss,” the former soldier added.

At around 10am, he was joined by friend Sheila Purvis, who knew she would be lining up soon after learning the Queen’s coffin was coming to the Scottish capital.

The 72-year-old said the Queen means “all” to her.

Mr Higgins added: “What she has done for this country, for the UK, and for us is incomprehensible.”

Long queues at The Meadows, Edinburgh to pay their respects to the Queen
Long queues form at The Meadows, Edinburgh for people to pay their respects to the Queen

As for King Charles III, he said that letting him be the reigning monarch “will get some people used to it”.

Read more about the Queen:
Prince Harry pays tribute to ‘grandmother’
Who will attend the Queen’s funeral (and who won’t)
King Charles says he feels ‘the weight of history surrounds us’ in his first speech to parliament as monarch

Wearing a Northern Ireland General Service medal, a Gulf War I medal and a Queen’s Gold medal, Mr Higgins recalls marching for the Queen in 1983 as a young soldier.

“I can’t believe I’m actually saying it… it was probably one of the best times of my life and one of my proudest moments,” he said.

Ms. Purvis also wore her uncle’s medal and her own Jubilee Silver medal and Royal Service medal for 26 years of civilian service.

“I met her twice, once at the Key Ceremony at Holyroodhouse and then I got to see her in 2009 because she was wearing a new shirt for the Royal Scottish Regiment.

“I noticed her skin looked so soft, it looked lovely, I thought this old lady had the skin of a 21-year-old,” she added.

The couple said they wanted to send their “deepest condolences” to the Royal Family.

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