Grieving Princess Anne comforted by Sophie Wessex as Queen's coffin arrives in Edinburgh ahead of first public visits

11 September 2022, 10:06 | Updated: 12 September 2022, 10:10

Princess Anne is comforted by Sophie Wessex as Queen's coffin arrives in Edinburgh ahead of the first public visits on Monday
Princess Anne is comforted by Sophie Wessex as Queen's coffin arrives in Edinburgh ahead of the first public visits on Monday. Picture: Alamy

By Lauren Lewis

Princess Anne was comforted by Sophie, Countess of Wessex as her mother Queen Elizabeth's coffin arrived in Edinburgh on Sunday, in a touching scene ahead of the first public viewing of the late Queen on Monday.

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The Queen's cortege completed its six hour journey from Balmoral Castle just before 4:30pm on Sunday and was greeted by crowds of mourners who quietly applauded.

Princess Anne - the Princess Royal - and her sister in law the Countess of Wessex, who is married to Prince Edward, were among the group meeting the Queen as her coffin arrived in Edinburgh.

Princess Anne and her husband had followed the Queen all along the 180-mile journey from Balmoral.

Tens of thousands of mourners had lined the streets of Edinburgh as the Queen's coffin arrived at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

The Countess of Wessex comforts Princess Anne
The Countess of Wessex comforts Princess Anne. Picture: Alamy

Her Majesty will lie in the Throne Room until Monday afternoon when the coffin will be transported just under two miles to St Giles' Cathedral, where she will rest until early on Tuesday morning.

BRITAIN-ROYALS-QUEEN-DEATH
BRITAIN-ROYALS-QUEEN-DEATH. Picture: Getty

King Charles and Camilla, his Queen Consort, will travel to Edinburgh from London on Monday to take part in the procession from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to the cathedral.

Queen Elizabeth's coffin will be taken into the cathedral at 2.55pm on Monday, bearing the Crown of Scotland on top - a symbol of her Scottish reign.

Read more: Sea of flowers for the Queen: Green Park transformed as tens of thousands of mourners pay tribute

She will lie in the cathedral for the rest of the day. People will be able to visit from 5pm, although officials have warned they may face a long wait - perhaps several hours.

Photos and videos are not allowed, and anyone who comes into the cathedral will undergo a security check.

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It came after the first part of her Scottish journey from Balmoral on Sunday saw crowds line the roads all along the route.

People in Aberdeen and in rural parts earlier glimpsed of the late monarch's coffin and paid their respects to the sovereign, the longest-reigning monarch in British history.

And thousands huddled on the A90 and roads throughout Dundee as the procession arrived in that city before 2.30pm. Onlookers were mostly silent as the cortege passed through, with some breaking out in applause.

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Her Majesty's coffin was this morning carried out of Balmoral Castle by six gamekeepers and put on a hearse to make the journey down to Edinburgh.

The oak coffin was covered with the Royal Standard of Scotland.

The wreath on the coffin was made up of flowers from the Balmoral estate including sweet peas - one of the Queen's favourite flowers - dhalias, phlox, white heather and pine fir.

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The Princess Royal, her husband Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the minister of Crathie Kirk and a representative of the Lord chamberlain's Office were in the convoy following the Queen's coffin.

The coffin had been at rest in the ballroom of her beloved Balmoral estate so staff there could say their goodbyes.

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The Queen's coffin arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh
The Queen's coffin arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. Picture: Alamy
Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, watch as the Queen's coffin arrives in Edinburgh
Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, watch as the Queen's coffin arrives in Edinburgh. Picture: Alamy
The Queen's cortege crossed the Forth River en route to Edinburgh
The Queen's cortege crossed the Forth River en route to Edinburgh. Picture: Alamy
The route the Queen's coffin will take from Balmoral to Edinburgh
The route the Queen's coffin will take from Balmoral to Edinburgh. Picture: Google Maps
The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, and her husband Admiral Sir Tim Laurence accompany the Queen's coffin as it leaves Balmoral
The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, and her husband Admiral Sir Tim Laurence accompany the Queen's coffin as it leaves Balmoral. Picture: Getty

Read more: Live updates: Thousands to line the streets as Queen's coffin begins journey from Balmoral

The cortege followed the A93 to Aberdeen, following North Deeside Road and then travelling through Cults.

It proceeded along Great Western Road, Holburn Street and Great Southern Road passing Duthie Park.

Members of the public were invited to pay their respects at the ceremony at Great Southern Road by Duthie Park or on a footpath along the route.

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The cortege then followed the A90 to Dundee before proceeding west on the Kingsway to the Swallow roundabout.

Public viewing areas were set up along the A90 Forfar Road and Kingsway, where there are numerous safe standing areas along both sides of the road.

Read more: King Charles approves bank holiday for Queen's funeral in one of his first acts as monarch

The Queen's coffin passes through Aberdeen
The Queen's coffin passes through Aberdeen. Picture: Alamy
The wreath on the coffin is made up of flowers from the Balmoral estate including sweet peas - one of the Queen's favourite flowers - dhalias, phlox, white heather and pine fir.
The wreath on the coffin is made up of flowers from the Balmoral estate including sweet peas - one of the Queen's favourite flowers - dhalias, phlox, white heather and pine fir. Picture: Alamy
Members of the public pay their respects as the Queen's coffin is driven through Ballater, Aberdeenshire
Members of the public pay their respects as the Queen's coffin is driven through Ballater, Aberdeenshire. Picture: Getty
The coffin carrying the Queen leaves the gates of Balmoral
The coffin carrying the Queen leaves the gates of Balmoral. Picture: Getty
Well wishers gather in Ballater, Aberdeenshire, to watch as the Queen's coffin travels from Balmoral to Edinburgh
Well wishers gather in Ballater, Aberdeenshire, to watch as the Queen's coffin travels from Balmoral to Edinburgh. Picture: Getty

The First Minister of Scotland called the Queen an "extraordinary" woman as the latter's coffin left Balmoral and started its journey to Edinburgh.

In a tweet, Nicola Sturgeon said: "A sad and poignant moment as Her Majesty, The Queen leaves her beloved Balmoral for the final time.

"Today, as she makes her journey to Edinburgh, Scotland will pay tribute to an extraordinary woman."

The Queen's coffin drives past a sea of floral tributes outside the gates of Balmoral
The Queen's coffin drives past a sea of floral tributes outside the gates of Balmoral. Picture: Alamy
Members of the royal regiment of Scotland react outside of the St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh
Members of the royal regiment of Scotland react outside of the St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh. Picture: Getty

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