King Charles III leads procession through Edinburgh as Queen Elizabeth II is laid to rest for 24 hours

Packed crowds of mourners stood in solemn silence this afternoon as King Charles III led a moving procession through the streets of Edinburgh behind the coffin of his late mother Queen Elizabeth II.

The procession began just hours after King Charles delivered a poignant address to Westminster Hall in his first visit to Parliament as sovereign, where he spoke of the “weight of history” behind his mother’s death.

During his moving address, the new king quoted William Shakespeare while speaking about his mother, telling MPs: “As Shakespeare says of the earlier Queen Elizabeth, she was ‘a pattern to all princes living’.”

Queen Elizabeth’s coffin being carried out of the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Image credit: BBC screenshot

Speaking about the importance of the address, he added: “As I stand before you today, I cannot help but feel the weight of history which surrounds us.

“And which reminds us of the vital parliamentary traditions to which members of both Houses dedicate yourselves with such personal commitment, for the betterment of us all.”

Following the address, King Charles left Westminster for RAF Northolt in north London to take the Royal flight to Edinburgh, with the national mourning switching to the Scottish capital alongside the new king.

The Queen’s coffin being carried into St Giles’ Cathedral

After arriving in Scotland early in the afternoon, he made his way to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, before travelling behind the late monarch’s coffin, which was made for her 30 years ago, through the streets of Edinburgh to the nearby St Giles’ Cathedral.

Crowds of mourners, many of which had been in tents since last night, lined the streets as the procession moved towards the cathedral.

A majority of mourners stood in silence, as some waved Union Flags and applauded, while the occasional shouts of “God bless the Queen” could be heard alongside a 21 gun salute as the new king and his siblings made the short journey on foot.

Although the crowd was mainly silent, a 22-year-old man was arrested for heckling Prince Andrew, who joined King Charles during the procession.

King Charles III outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Image credit: BBC screenshot

King Charles was welcomed with a guard of honour as he arrived at St Giles’ Cathedral for a service of ‘prayer and reflection’ for Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Thursday at the age of 96.

The service was conducted by Reverend Calum Macleod, the minister of St Giles’, with a congregation including ‘all areas’ of Scottish society, before Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin was laid to rest, where it will remain for the next 24 hours.

During the service, Reverend Macleod welcomed the congregation by saying: “We gather to bid Scotland’s farewell to our late monarch, whose life of service to the nation and the world we celebrate, and whose love for Scotland was legendary.”

King Charles III outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Image credit: BBC screenshot

King Charles was joined at the service by prime minister, Liz Truss and Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, the latter of which read a passage from the Bible, Ecclesiastes 3: 1-15.

A rendition of the national anthem was sung by all in attendance before King Charles alongside his family left the cathedral under a guard of honour.

Continuous vigils will take place over the next day allowing the public to mourn its Forever Queen and the king will be joined by other senior royals at 7:20pm today, with the full list of those attending that session not yet released to the public.

After the Queen has been laid to rest for 24 hours, her coffin will be transported down to London where on Wednesday a period of lying in state will begin until her funeral on Monday September 19 at Westminster Hall.

King Charles III in St Giles’ Cathedral. Image credit: BBC Screenshot

This afternoon’s events took place just more than 48 hours after King Charles was formally declared king during an Accession Council ceremony at St James’s Palace on Saturday morning.

During the historic event, the new king made his personal declaration and read a 116-word oath relating to the security of the Church in Scotland, first taken by George I in 1714.

He told the 200 privy councillors, including the current and several former prime ministers: “It is my most sorrowful duty to announce the death of my beloved mother the Queen, I know how deeply the whole world sympathises with me in the irreparable loss we’ve all suffered.

“My mother gave an example of lifelong love and of selfless service, her reign was unequalled in its duration, dedication and devotion.

The Queen’s coffin in St Giles’ Cathedral. Image credit: BBC screenshot

“Even as we grieve, we give thanks for this most faithful life. I am deeply aware of this deep inheritance and of the grave duties and responsibilities which are now passed to me.

“I shall strive to follow the inspiring example I’ve been set in uphold contest government.

“I know I shall be upheld by the affections and loyalty of the peoples who’s sovereign I’ve been called upon to be. In all this I’m profoundly encouraged by the constant support of my beloved wife.”

(Featured image credit: Screenshot of BBC News)

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