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LONDON — Thousands of mourners lined up through the night to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II in Edinburgh, Scotland, as the United Kingdom continued a week of pageantry to mark the death of its longest-serving monarch.
The queen's coffin arrived at London's Buckingham Palace on Tuesday night. More than a day before, a line began forming there of those who want a chance to bid farewell to the queen when she lies in state at Parliament later this week.
Meanwhile, her eldest son, King Charles III, is already undertaking the task of shoring up the monarchy throughout the U.K. He traveled to Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Tuesday to meet political leaders, receive condolences and attend a prayer service.
In a sign of how far the territory has come since the height of the "troubles," representatives of Sinn Fein — the Irish nationalist party with historical links to the Irish Republican Army — met the king and attended the memorial events for a queen whose rule they sought to cast off.
Here’s what to know for Tuesday:
- Members of the public viewed the queen's coffin as she lay at rest in Edinburgh's St. Giles' Cathedral.
- The coffin was taken by car to Edinburgh Airport before it was flown to RAF Northolt near London.
- A state hearse took the queen's coffin to Buckingham Palace, where mourners have continued to gather to pay their respects.
- The king met dignitaries in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he was due to attend a prayer service at St. Anne's Cathedral before he returns to London.
- A 4-mile queue route was announced for mourners to line up to pay their respects to the queen at the Palace of Westminster from Wednesday evening to Monday morning.
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London expecting more than 500 foreign dignitaries for funeral
LONDON — British officials say some 500 foreign dignitaries will attend Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral, but invitations have not been sent to the leaders of Russia, Belarus or Myanmar.
Officials said the funeral next Monday, to be held at London’s Westminster Abbey, will be the biggest international event Britain has hosted in decades.
U.S. President Joe Biden was among the first to announce that he would be flying in with his wife, Jill Biden. The leaders of most Commonwealth countries, including Australia, New Zealand and Canada, are also expected to attend.
France’s Emmanuel Macron, Germany’s Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Italy’s Sergio Mattarella, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro are among the presidents attending.
Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and Spain’s King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, as well as former Spanish monarch Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia, are also due to travel to London for the occasion.
Canada makes queen's funeral day a holiday for federal employees
TORONTO — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday that Sept. 19 will be a holiday so federal employees can mourn Queen Elizabeth II on the day of her state funeral.
Trudeau also said he’s working with the provinces on a possible public holiday for other workers, but Ontario and Quebec, Canada’s two most populous provinces, declined to make it a holiday.
“Ontario will mark September 19, 2022 as a provincial Day of Mourning in lieu of a provincial holiday. The people of Ontario may observe a moment of silence at 1:00 p.m. on that day,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said in a statement.
Quebec Premier François Legault said Monday also would be a day of commemoration but not a public holiday in the French-speaking province.
However, the province of Prince Edward Island said that it will treat Monday like other statutory holidays for all provincially regulated employees and that provincial government offices and public schools will be closed. New Brunswick also said that it will observe the national day of mourning by closing schools and government offices but that the holiday will be optional for private-sector businesses and employers.
The late queen was the head of state for 45% of Canada’s existence, and she visited the country 22 times as monarch.
King Charles III was officially proclaimed Canada’s monarch Saturday in a ceremony in Ottawa attended by Trudeau and Governor General Mary Simon, who is the representative of the British monarch as head of state, a mostly ceremonial and symbolic position.
London flight and hotel fares surge ahead of funeral
Hotel prices in London and airfares to the British capital are soaring as hundreds of thousands of people flock there ahead of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral Monday, potentially providing some respite to the city’s tourism business amid economic woes.
Since the announcement of her death, the average rate for a hotel in London increased to $384 per night from $244 per night, according to Hayley Berg, lead economist at travel startup Hopper.
The rush for accommodation comes as members of the public visit the capital to pay their respects and foreign delegations arrive for the funeral Monday, with authorities preparing for a huge turnout.
High-end hotels — Claridge’s, the Connaught, The Dorchester and the Berkeley in the upmarket Mayfair district — were sold out for Sunday night, their websites showed.
Rates had topped 1,200 pounds ($1,388) for a five-star hotel Monday and were expected to double in the next five days as the city’s hotel system reaches 95% occupancy levels, HotelPlanner said.
More than 60% of travelers were foreign visitors, it added.
Standard hotel chains have also been inundated. More than a dozen hotels operated by Premier Inn owner Whitbread in the city center were booked, a Reuters search showed.
Average prices for a return flight from the U.S. to London leaving Thursday, Friday and Saturday were $1,120, $1,054 and $967, respectively, Hopper’s data showed. That compares with an average price for a trans-Atlantic round trip of $710.
Prince Harry and Prince William will walk in procession to Westminster Hall
Prince Harry and Prince William will walk together Wednesday in a procession carrying Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin to Westminster Hall, where she will lie in state.
The procession will leave Buckingham Palace at 2:22 p.m. and arrive at Westminster at 3 p.m.
Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex; Camila, the queen consort; and Catherine, the Princess of Wales, will travel by car.
The Archbishop of Canterbury will lead a 20-minute service at Westminster before the queen is left to lie in state for four days.
Queue route announced for mourners paying their respects at the Palace of Westminster
Thousands of mourners are expected to line up Wednesday to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, who will lie in state at Westminster Hall in the Palace of Westminster until Monday.
A queue route was announced for the approximately 4-mile line, which will start at the Albert Embankment on the south side of the River Thames and continue all the way to Southwark Park, according to the U.K.'s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, or DCMS.
Once mourners have passed through the start of the line, they'll be led across Lambeth Bridge into Victoria Tower Gardens, where they'll be put through airport-style security before they enter the palace. There will also be a separate accessible route for those who need it.
"Once inside the Palace of Westminster, people will be able to walk past the Coffin which will be raised on a catafalque and draped in the Royal Standard, with the Orb and Sceptre placed on top," DCMS said in a news release. "It will be guarded around the clock by a vigil of units from the Sovereign’s Bodyguard, the Household Division or Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London."
The state viewing will open to the public Wednesday at 5 p.m. (12 p.m. ET), and it will be open 24 hours a day until 6:30 a.m. Monday, when her funeral is expected to take place in Westminster Abbey.
Those planning to attend the viewing, especially those with medical conditions, "are encouraged to check the guidance, plan accordingly and be prepared for significant wait times, including possibly overnight." Over 1,000 volunteers and Metropolitan Police officers will be on the ground to assist mourners and keep them safe, DCMS said.
London's Metropolitan Police welcome hundreds of officers to assist with large crowds
"Hundreds of police officers" from other forces have joined London's Metropolitan Police to assist in the policing operation after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the department said in a statement.
"This is welcomed as it enables us to continue a highly visibly policing presence in central London as well as maintaining neighbourhood policing and response in other London boroughs," Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy said.
The Metropolitan Police have been implementing "a well-planned policing operation" since the queen's death "to keep all those who are visiting London and attending events safe."
The department expects large crowds of people to come to pay their respects, and it will have officers in areas where people are lining up to ensure their safety.
Speaking of potential protesters, Cundy said, "People have a right to freedom of expression and we must balance the rights of protesters with those of others who wish to grieve and reflect."
London's Heathrow Airport announces flight disruptions for Wednesday
London's Heathrow Airport tweeted that some flights Wednesday will be disrupted to ensure silence during Queen Elizabeth II's ceremonial procession.
On Wednesday, a ceremonial procession will take place to transport the queen’s coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, where Elizabeth will lie in state.
Flights from 1:50 p.m. to 3:40 p.m. local time Wednesday are expected to be disrupted, and airlines will notify passengers of flight changes, the statement said.
"We anticipate further changes to the Heathrow operation on Mon 19 Sept, when Her Majesty’s funeral is due to take place," the airport said, apologizing for the disruption. "We will communicate more details over the coming days."
Queen's coffin arrives at Buckingham Palace
The late British monarch’s coffin was flown from Edinburgh, Scotland, back to London on Tuesday and was then driven in a state hearse to her official home, Buckingham Palace — six days before her state funeral at Westminster Abbey.
A massive crowd was assembled at the palace Tuesday evening ahead of the hearse’s arrival. A light rain was falling as the crowd looked on in near silence, with some seen tracking the coffin’s movements on their phones.
People craned their necks, hoping to catch a glimpse of the vehicle, saying they were there to bear witness to what they believe was a once-in-a-lifetime moment, regardless of how they feel about the queen and the monarchy.
Anne, Princess Royal, was with Queen Elizabeth II on her final day
Anne, the Princess Royal, spent her mother's final hours with her, she said in a statement.
"I was fortunate to share the last 24 hours of my dearest Mother’s life," she said about Queen Elizabeth II. "It has been an honour and a privilege to accompany her on her final journeys."
Anne also offered her thanks to those sharing in her family's loss, adding that it's "both humbling and uplifting" "witnessing the love and respect shown by so many."
"We may have been reminded how much of her presence and contribution to our national identity we took for granted," she said.
Anne also said she was grateful for the support her elder brother, King Charles III, has received as he's stepped up in his new role as monarch.
"To my mother, The Queen, thank you," Anne ended the statement.
Millions track final flight of queen's coffin
Nearly 6 million people logged on to Flightradar24's real-time map to follow the aircraft carrying Queen Elizabeth II's coffin as it traveled Tuesday from Edinburgh, Scotland, to London.
The flight tracking service said the number of viewers — roughly the same as the population of Scotland — was so high it caused disruption to its platform.
Plane with queen's coffin lands in London
The plane carrying Queen Elizabeth II's coffin landed Tuesday evening at RAF Northolt, a Royal Air Force station near London.
The queen's coffin will be driven to London's Buckingham Palace, where it will stay until Wednesday. Elizabeth will then be taken to the Palace of Westminster, where she will lie in state until her funeral Monday at Westminster Abbey.
King Charles and Camilla arrive at Buckingham Palace
King Charles III and his wife, Camilla, the Queen Consort, reached Buckingham Palace in London on Tuesday evening, ahead of the expected 8 p.m. (3 p.m. ET) arrival of the queen's coffin.
Queen’s coffin loaded onto plane headed for London
Queen Elizabeth II's coffin has been loaded onto a plane headed for London.
The queen’s coffin is due to arrive at London’s Buckingham Palace on Tuesday evening at 8 p.m. (3 p.m. ET). A line has already begun forming for those who hope to bid farewell to the queen when she lies in state at Parliament later this week.
Anne, Princess Royal, and her husband, Timothy Laurence, are accompanying the queen on the flight back to London.
King appears annoyed at leaky pen during signing ceremony
King Charles III appeared frustrated at a leaky pen during a signing ceremony in Northern Ireland on Tuesday, saying he couldn't "bear this bloody thing."
The king was signing a visitors' book at Hillsborough Castle near Belfast as cameras rolled after ink appeared to leak onto his hand.
“Oh, God, I hate this,” Charles said as he stood up and handed it over to his wife, Camilla, so she could sign the book.
“I can’t bear this bloody thing ... every stinking time,” he said, before walking off.
Queen's coffin carried onto plane bound for London
Pallbearers from the Queen’s Color Squadron of the Royal Air Force could be seen carrying Queen Elizabeth II's coffin, draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland, onto a RAF C17 aircraft at Edinburgh airport Tuesday.
The coffin will now be moved to Buckingham Palace in London.
Queen's coffin leaves cathedral in Edinburgh to head to London
The body of Queen Elizabeth II was carried from St. Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Tuesday to begin the journey back to London.
The crowds along the way were largely silent, although occasionally clapping erupted as the coffin was transported by hearse to Edinburgh Airport.
It will then be flown to RAF Northolt near London, and then driven to Buckingham Palace.
On Wednesday, it will be transported to the Palace of Westminster where Elizabeth will lie in state until her funeral Monday in Westminster Abbey.
Royal family shares poet laureate's poem honoring the queen
The royal family's Twitter account shared a poem Tuesday written by Britain's poet laureate, Simon Armitage, in memory of the queen.
The poem spells out the late monarch's name acrostically, with the first letter of each line coming together to spell "Elizabeth."
Armitage was appointed national poet laureate in 2019, according to his website.
King and the queen consort arrive at St. Anne's Cathedral in Belfast
The king and the queen consort arrived at St. Anne's Cathedral in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to take part in a memorial service for the late queen.
Their arrival was met by cheers from crowds outside the cathedral, with Charles waving to mourners.
The royals are expected to later take a walkabout at Writers' Square, near the cathedral, before departing Belfast, a release from the British government said.
Tiny tributes to Queen Elizabeth II
Some of Queen Elizabeth's youngest subjects left heartfelt, hand-drawn tributes to the late monarch at Green Park near Buckingham Palace on Monday.
Tony Blair on how the queen handled the death of Princess Diana
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said, despite the many times people asked him, he didn’t know what the queen’s personal politics were. “She was above it, above politics,” he told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie.
Blair also talked about discussing the death of Princess Diana with the queen. “She was trying to balance what she had to do as a queen and what she had to do as a grandmother,” he said. “In the end, she understood, because always her duty came first, that she had to respond to this extraordinary outpouring of grief about Princess Diana.”
On the future of the monarchy, Blair predicted that King Charles III will be a “great monarch” and called him a “very caring person.”
Queen 'never ceased to pray for best of times' for Northern Ireland, king says
Queen Elizabeth "never ceased to pray for the best of times" for Northern Ireland, King Charles said, speaking at Hillsborough Castle after receiving messages of condolence from officials.
Acknowledging the "troubles" in his address, the king said: "In the years since she began her long life of public service, my mother saw Northern Ireland pass through momentous and historic changes."
"Through all those years, she never ceased to pray for the best of times for this place and its people, whose stories she knew, whose sorrows our family had felt, and for whom she had great affection and regard," he said.
After the end of the "troubles" — the three decades in which pro-British loyalists and unionists clashed with Irish nationalists who wanted Northern Ireland to break free from the U.K. — the queen traveled to the Republic of Ireland in 2011, becoming the first British monarch in a century to do so.
The king said his mother knew the significance of the role she herself played in "bringing together those whom history had separated and in extending a hand to make possible the healing of long-held hurts." He vowed to follow her "shining example."
Saudi authorities arrest man who made Mecca pilgrimage for the queen
Authorities in Saudi Arabia have arrested a Yemeni man after he unfurled a banner in the Grand Mosque in Mecca saying he performed a pilgrimage to the holy city on behalf of the queen.
A viral video circulating on social media showed the man unfurling a white banner with words that read “Umrah for the soul of Queen Elizabeth II, we ask God to enter heaven, and from the righteous.”
The special forces for the security of the Grand Mosque arrested the man for "violating the regulations and instructions of Umrah," the Emirate of Makkah and Saudi Arabia's public security forces said in separate tweets on Tuesday. Only Muslims are allowed into the holy city of Mecca.
An Umrah is a visit to the Grand Mosque in Mecca that can be performed at any time, as opposed to the Hajj which draws millions of Muslims from across the world once a year.
Line outside St. Giles' Cathedral closes after more than 26,000 pay respects
The line outside St. Giles' Cathedral is now closed to mourners who want to file past the queen's coffin Tuesday, the Scottish Government said.
“We’re doing everything we can to ensure that those currently queuing can do so before 3pm (10 a.m. ET) when the Lying at Rest will end,” it said, adding that more than 26,000 had already paid their respects.
King arrives at Hillsborough Castle
A 21-gun salute began as the king and the queen consort arrived at Hillsborough Castle on Tuesday.
The king is expected to hold a private audience with the secretary of state for Northern Ireland and will meet with representatives from political parties, the British government said in a release.
They will also receive a message of condolence delivered on behalf of the people of Northern Ireland, the release said.
Charles and Camilla are also expected to take part in a reception where they will "have the opportunity to meet representatives drawn from a diverse range of Northern Ireland life," it said.
Representatives for Sinn Fein, the Irish nationalist party with historic links to the IRA, are also expected to meet the king and attend the memorial events for the queen.
Corgi greets king in Belfast
King Charles III appeared to take an extra beat to greet a pet corgi while meeting mourners in Belfast.
The new king could be seen gesturing toward the pup before patting the corgi on the head.
The moment broadcast on national television brought a smile to Charles' face amid a difficult time for the royal family. For its part, Connie the corgi wiggled and licked the monarch's hand.
King and the queen consort meet crowds in Belfast
King Charles and Camilla, the Queen Consort, could be seen getting out of a vehicle Tuesday to meet with crowds who gathered as the couple arrived in Belfast.
The couple could be seen shaking hands with children who reached over a barrier to meet the new king in a territory that has an often fraught relationship with the British crown.
Crowds cheered as Charles and Camilla passed by, with the king scheduled to meet dignitaries and attend a prayer service at St. Anne's Cathedral before returning to London.
King Charles lands in Northern Ireland
King Charles and Camilla, the Queen Consort, have arrived in Belfast for their visit to Northern Ireland.
The trip marks Charles' first to Northern Ireland as king. He will meet with representatives of Sinn Fein, the Irish nationalist party with historic links to the Irish Republican Army, in a mark of how far relations have come since the height of the "troubles."
Members of the public could be seen lining streets in Belfast and outside Hillsborough Castle awaiting the king's arrival.
Mourners in Northern Ireland await King Charles
Crowds of people lined the streets of Belfast and outside Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland on Tuesday morning as they waited for King Charles and Camilla, the Queen Consort, to arrive.
Charles will visit Northern Ireland for the first time since ascending the throne following the queen’s death. He is expected to meet political leaders, receive condolences and attend a prayer service during the visit.
What will happen to floral tributes after queen's funeral?
Mourners hoping to leave flower tributes for the queen are being asked to remove all packaging and place them at allocated gardens in Green Park and Hyde Park, according to the Royal Parks, the charity which manages royal parkland in London.
Flowers left outside of the allotted zones, such as at the gates of Buckingham Palace, will be relocated to the specified area if they are in good condition, the charity said. Tributes that have deteriorated will be moved to the Hyde Park nursery to be processed for composting, according to its website.
The tribute zones will remain until all ceremonial proceedings have taken place, and are expected to be removed within 14 days of the funeral next Monday.
'It doesn’t matter if you’re a royalist or not,' mourners say
Brothers Cameron and Reece Wilkins, and their cousin Calvin Wilkins, all joiners working at a site nearby, were undeterred by the prospect of waiting for hours to pay their respects to the queen.
“We’re supposed to be working, but we wanted to come and see this piece of history,” said Calvin Wilkins, 25. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a royalist or not, she was the longest-serving monarch, so it’s something you’ve got to see.”
'Succession' creator Jesse Armstrong gets mixed response after joke at Emmys about Charles' ascension
Writer for the hit HBO series "Succession" Jesse Armstrong appeared to joke about the ascension of King Charles during his Emmys acceptance speech Monday.
"Big week for successions, new king in the U.K., this for us. Evidently a little bit more voting involved in our winning than Prince Charles,” Armstrong, who is British, said to a mixture of laughs, boos and cheers.
Scottish actor Brian Cox, who was also onstage, could be heard saying, “keep it royalist” following the writer's comments. Armstrong then appeared to backtrack on his comments. “I’m not saying we’re more legitimate in our position... we’ll leave that to other people.”
"Succession" won best drama series at Monday's Emmys Awards.
'It was a nice atmosphere,' mourner says of 5-hour wait to pay respects to queen
Mandy Mitchell lined up for five hours Monday night, finally seeing the queen's coffin at 1:30 a.m. (8:30 p.m. ET Monday).
“One steward told us it was going to be 12 hours, so in that respect it wasn’t too bad,” said Mitchell, who came with her husband from St. Andrews.
“It was a nice atmosphere, everyone was chatting, getting coffees from a Salvation Army stall that had been set up,” she added, referring to the Christian charity. “There were portaloos and later on we got some chips from the kebab shop.”
'Actually seeing her in there just makes it ... so real,' mourner says
Charlotte Morrison was one of a few mourners exiting St. Giles' Cathedral wiping away tears.
“I have been sad about it but actually seeing her in there just makes it so… real,” said Morrison, 20, who is from Aberdeen but studies at college in Edinburgh.
“I wasn’t sure whether to come down but my mum phoned me and said it didn’t look too busy on TV and urged me to go. I didn’t think I’d get emotional, sorry,” she added through more tears. “I just feel like we all knew her.”
Inside St. Giles' Cathedral, an ethereal stillness as crowd files through
Inside the cathedral there was an ethereal stillness, its high vaulted ceilings bathed in a soft, golden light from the stain glass windows of this building dating to the 14th century.
Only around two dozen visitors were allowed in at any one time, the only sounds being the echoes of their slow footsteps on the building’s flagstone floor, occasionally punctuated by the bleep of a security guard’s radio.
Unlike outside, where all police and security wear high-visibility jackets, in here they all wear black jackets and ties, the closest officers to the coffin wearing white gloves.
The casket itself was draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland, and had placed upon it a Balmoral wreath and the Crown of Scotland.
Around it were four members of the Royal Company of Archers, the monarch’s ceremonial bodyguard in Scotland. They faced away from the coffin, their heads bowed and both hands on their longbows.
Papua New Guinea proclaims King Charles head of state
Papua New Guinea pronounced King Charles as its head of state on Tuesday, in a ceremony that also honored the late queen in its capital Port Moresby.
“In reflection of the life she lived, the exemplary performance of duties as the head of the state of Papua New Guinea, it is in this connection that we all gather here this morning to acknowledge her passing and to acknowledge and witness the ascension of the throne of King Charles III,” Prime Minister James Marape said.
Marape is expected to meet the King along with other world leaders on Friday, according to local media. The British crown is also the head of five other Pacific states: Australia, New Zealand, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.
Crowds continue to line up in Edinburgh to pay final respects
Under clear, crisp fall skies, crowds began to line up once again Tuesday morning outside Edinburgh’s St. Giles’ Cathedral to pay their final respects to the queen, who is lying at rest there for 24 hours.
Just after 8:30 a.m. (3:30 a.m. ET) the scene was less busy than Monday evening, when some people reported waiting for six hours in lines of more than a mile long. However, the line still stretched across blocks, with one steward saying some mourners could face a nearly two-hour wait.
“It’s a historic opportunity,” said Jeremy Maiden, 60, who had just seen the coffin with his wife Jessica, also 60. “It was very quiet, very peaceful. I would urge anyone to go now before it gets busy — this won’t happen again.”
Queen's coffin to be moved to Buckingham Palace
Queen Elizabeth’s coffin will be transported from St. Giles’ Cathedral by car to Edinburgh Airport before being flown to London on Tuesday.
A state hearse will then take the queen’s coffin to Buckingham Palace, where mourners have continued to gather to pay their respects.
Meanwhile, the king is will visit Belfast, Northern Ireland, to meet dignitaries and attend a prayer service at St. Anne’s Cathedral before returning to London.