Huge queue in Edinburgh as mourners rush to see Queen's coffin (2023)

Queen's final journey: Mourners throw flowers at motorcade

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Her late Majesty is lying in state at St Giles' Cathedral and was watched over by her children the Princess Royal, King Charles III, the Earl of Wessex and the Duke of York, who was dressed in civilian clothing with his medals pinned to his lapel. Thousands of mourners watched in near silence as the Queen's children, led by King Charles III, walked behind their mother's hearse as it drove down from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles' Cathedral.

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The siblings carried out the traditional Vigil of the Princes around the coffin of their late mother at the cathedral in Edinburgh earlier this evening.

The symbolic move sees four people position themselves at each side of the coffin to stand guard for a short time - today's event lasted 10 minutes.

A service of remembrance was held in the cathedral where the Queen will lie at rest until Tuesday afternoon, allowing members of the public to pay their last respects before the oak coffin is transported to London by air. The queue for entry into the cathedral stretched more than a mile to the city's Meadows park.

The coffin will remain at the cathedral until 5pm on Tuesday and will then be moved to the city's airport where it will beflown to RAF Northolt in west London at 6pm.

Huge queue in Edinburgh as mourners rush to see Queen's coffin (3)

Mourners have been seen lining the streets (Image: Sky / Getty)

(Video) Huge queue in Edinburgh as mourners rush to see Queen's coffin

The coffin is expected to arrive in London at 7pm, and will then travel to Buckingham Palace, where it will be met by King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort.

There was a respectful silence from the crowd, which was 10 deep in places, as the procession took place on Monday afternoon.

Amid the silence was an echo of ceremonial gunshots which were fired from Edinburgh Castle every minute.

All four of the Queen's children - King Charles, Princess Anne and Princes Andrew and Edward - walked behind the hearse, along with Princess Anne's husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence. A car behind them carried Camilla, the Queen Consort, and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, Prince Edward's wife.

William MacDonald, 63, from Edinburgh, told the BBC he was "extremely moved" by the experience of finally getting to pay his respects.

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Huge queue in Edinburgh as mourners rush to see Queen's coffin (7)

Mourners were able to pay their respects this evening (Image: Getty)

(Video) Edinburgh sees huge queues flock to view late Queen Elizabeth's coffin in St Giles' Cathedral

Huge queue in Edinburgh as mourners rush to see Queen's coffin (8)

King Charles was joined by his siblings (Image: Getty)

He added: "It was beautiful. Everything was done so well. I will never forget it. It was mind-blowing. She has been the best Briton ever, along with Winston Churchill.

"I am a bit star-struck."Rodney Matthews, a retired Baptist minister and member of Old Saint Paul's, a Scottish Episcopal Church in the heart of Edinburgh, said there was a sense of serenity about the event. He said: "You were able to move very slowly through, there was no rush at all.

'There’s a moment where you can actually stand there and take it all in, the dignity of the whole place. It was very well done, very well organised once you go through security and get that feeling of space."

Hundreds held up their phones to capture the moment on camera as cries of "she's here" were heard in the crowd. During the procession, a lone heckler shouted abuse at the Duke of York and was subsequently removed by police.

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Huge queue in Edinburgh as mourners rush to see Queen's coffin (10)

Mourners watched in near silence as the hearse made its way to the cathedral (Image: Getty)

Mourners will be allowed to file past the late Queen's coffinon Monday evening until 3pm on Tuesday. Armed forces veteran George Higgins has waited some 12 hours to pay his respects to the Queen in Edinburgh today.

The worker at the Royal Infirmary hospital in the Scottish capital was the first to join the queue at 6.45am.

Hetold Sky News: "This is happening in my city. She's lying in St Giles and I wouldn't miss it for the world. I have to go and pay my respects to my old boss."

After 10 minutes, the vigil came to an end and King Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Prince Andrew returned to their cars to applause from crowds outside the cathedral.

(Video) Thousands queue for hours to see the Queen's coffin

Huge queue in Edinburgh as mourners rush to see Queen's coffin (11)

Alison Evans from Derbyshire (in a wheelchair) and Sharon Baum wait in a queue to see the coffin (Image: Reuters)

The Princess Royal's appearance makes her the first woman to be part of the vigil, which has until now been carried out by male-only members of the Royal Family.

Well-wishers are expected to continue queuing to see the vigil until midnight.

The Scottish Government warned of "very long waits" with waiting times stretching past midnight on Monday evening.

A spokesman told mourners to "come prepared and dressed for the weather" as "temperatures will drop overnight".

Members of the public have been seen queuing outside St Giles' Cathedral into the early hours of the morning.

9News Australia's Europe correspondent Carrie Greenbank wrote on Twitter: "1am in Edinburgh and people are still queuing to file past the Queen’s coffin in St Giles' Cathedral.

"Some had been warned to expect 8-10 hour delays."

Sky News presenter Anna Botting shared similar footage of the scenes in the Scottish capital from just after midnight.

She said: "Extraordinary scenes in Edinburgh overnight, as people snake their way through a park, to queue to see the coffin of the Queen in St Giles Cathedral.

"One couple from Perth cheerfully told us 'the queue was 8 to 10 hours long, revised down from 15'."

(Video) Thousands queue to see Queen's coffin as King Charles III visits Northern Ireland

Huge queue in Edinburgh as mourners rush to see Queen's coffin (13)

Mourners are waiting in the rain (Image: Getty)

Huge queue in Edinburgh as mourners rush to see Queen's coffin (14)

The Queen will lie in rest at St Pauls' Cathedral (Image: Getty)


    It is estimated that 20,000 people are in a mile-long queue to pay their last respects. Mourners have been pictured crying as they view the coffin that will be flown back to London on Tuesday evening.

    Even more crowds are expected tomorrow when the coffin arrives back in London following the flight from Edinburgh. The primary concern for the police and security services over the coming days is public order rather than a terrorist threat.

    (Video) People queue to pay respects to Queen Elizabeth II in Edinburgh | AFP

    The Metropolitan Police is said to be leading on this, working closely with Police Scotland and the security service, MI5. Reports suggest they have rehearsed extensively for this week.

    Mourners began queuing in the afternoon. Brits were able to collect wristbands in The Meadows park earlier on before getting in line and queueing through the main University of Edinburgh area of the city to reach the cathedral.

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    How long is the queue to see the Queen's coffin in Edinburgh? ›

    With people from all across the UK travelling to Edinburgh to see the coffin, there were significant queues. According to the Scottish Government, more than 26,000 people passed by the Queen to pay their respects, with wait times of up to 10 hours.

    Are people still queueing to see Queens coffin? ›

    The accessible queue remains permanently closed. During the Lying-in-State period, Her Majesty The Queen's closed coffin rests on a raised platform, which is called a catafalque, inside Westminster Hall in the Palace of Westminster (also known as the Houses of Parliament).

    How many people queued to see the Queen in Edinburgh? ›

    The public viewing of the Queen's coffin in Edinburgh has ended. About 33,000 people filed through St Giles' Cathedral where Her Majesty lay at rest for 24 hours.

    How many people saw the coffin in Edinburgh? ›

    How many people went to see the Queen lie in state at St Giles' Cathedral? Approximately 33,000 people filed past the Queen's coffin at the ancient and historic Edinburgh cathedral.

    How big is the queue to see the Queen's coffin? ›

    Epic queue for Queen Elizabeth II's coffin had more than 250,000 people. LONDON — About a quarter of a million people saw Queen Elizabeth II's coffin as she lay in state for four days at Westminster Hall in central London, according to preliminary figures released by the British government.

    What time is the coffin leaving Edinburgh? ›

    What is the procession route? The Queen's coffin will leave Holyroodhouse at 2.35pm, and travel down Edinburgh's Royal Mile.


    1. Thousands queue to pay respects as Queen’s coffin travels to lie in state
    (Channel 4 News)
    2. Royal family walk behind Queen's coffin in Edinburgh procession
    (Guardian News)
    3. ‘Extraordinary’: Line of mourners waiting to see Queen’s coffin stretching for ‘miles’
    (Sky News Australia)
    4. In full: Queen’s coffin is driven from Balmoral to Edinburgh
    (Sky News)
    5. Long queue of mourners pay respects to Queen
    (AP Archive)
    6. 'Andrew, you're a sick man': police drag heckler from crowd during Queen's procession
    (Guardian News)
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