Ms. Madgwick survived, her leg broken by a dislodged radiator. Her sister and brother, Marilyn and Carl, both died.

The scale of the disaster quickly made it a moment of national introspection and trauma, and the queen soon decided to visit.

One of the biggest regrets of her reign was that she did not go sooner, a leading aide later said, and some villagers say the eight-day delay rankled the community at the time. But today, the residents largely remember her arrival as a moving gesture of solidarity from someone they never expected to lay eyes on.

research published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Other wings of the British state angered the village by refusing to prosecute any coal industry officials for negligence. Successive governments also declined to cover the whole cost of removing other dangerous slurry tips near the village, forcing villagers to dip into donations intended for survivors, until they were finally fully reimbursed in 2007.

But the queen’s concern for Aberfan meant that she was seen as separate from the state’s indifference, despite being its titular head.

Elsewhere in Britain, people have debated whether the queen could really ever rise beyond politics, given the monarch’s interest in maintaining her own role in Britain’s political system. But in Aberfan, there was less doubt.

“There’s no political agenda there,” said Jeff Edwards, 64, the last child to be rescued from the rubble. “The queen is above all that.”

In Aberfan, most people expressed sympathy for her family and respect for her sense of duty. But there are those, particularly among young generations, who have had a more ambivalent response to the queen’s death.

For some, the accession of King Charles III — as well as the abrupt appointment of his son William to his former role of Prince of Wales — is more problematic.

“I should be Prince of Wales, I’m more Welsh than Charles or William,” said Darren Martin, 47, a gardener in the village, with a laugh. Of the queen, he said: “Don’t get me wrong, I admire the woman. But I do think the time has come for us in Wales to be ruled by our own people.”

The abruptness of the queen’s death was a psychological jolt that has prompted, in some, a rethinking of long-held norms and doctrines.

“If things can change drastically like that, why can’t things change here?” asked Jordan McCarthy, 21, another gardener in Aberfan. “I would like Welsh independence.”

Of a monarchy, he added: “Only if they’re born and raised in Wales — that’s the only king or queen I’ll accept.”

Generally, though, the mood in Aberfan has been one of quiet mourning and deference. The local library opened a book of condolence. Villagers gathered in the pub to watch the new king’s speeches and processions. Some left bouquets beside the tree planted by the queen.

On Monday night, a men’s choir, founded by grieving relatives half a century ago, gathered for their biweekly practice. Proud Welshmen, they were preparing for their next performance — singing songs and hymns, some of them in Welsh, on the sidelines of the Welsh rugby team’s upcoming game.

But halfway through, the choir’s president, Steve Beasley, stood up.

“We all know about the queen,” Mr. Beasley said. “Please stand up for a minute’s silence.”

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Queue For Queen’s Coffin ‘Paused’ As Wait Hits 14 Hours

By Associated Press

and Laura Makin-Isherwood
September 16, 2022

The line stretched 5 miles from Parliament to Southwark Park in south London and then around the park.

The flood of grief from the death of Queen Elizabeth II forced the British government to call a temporary halt to people joining a miles-long line to file past her coffin as it lay in state Friday, hours before King Charles III and his siblings were to stand vigil in the historic Westminster Hall.

A live tracker of the queue said it was “at capacity” and entry was being “paused” for six hours as waiting times reached 14 hours and the line stretched 5 miles from Parliament to Southwark Park in south London and then around the park.

Caroline Quilty of London said that she got to the line around 4 a.m. Friday.

“I think it is a moment in history, and if I did not come and celebrate it and see it and be part of it, I think I would really regret it,” she said.

Meanwhile, a delegation of Chinese officials reportedly was barred from visiting the historic hall in the Houses of Parliament where the late queen’s coffin is lying in state, as geopolitics cast a shadow over the solemn pageantry surrounding the monarch’s death.

The Chinese ambassador to the U.K. has been banned from Parliament for a year after Beijing sanctioned seven British legislators last year for speaking out against China’s treatment of its Uyghur minority in the far-west Xinjiang region.

The office of House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle declined to comment Friday on a report by American news outlet Politico saying the Chinese delegation would not be allowed into Westminster Hall.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said she had not seen the Politico report but that as host of the queen’s funeral, the U.K. government should “follow the diplomatic protocols and proper manners to receive guests.”

A Chinese delegation is expected to attend the queen’s Monday funeral, which is in Westminster Abbey church and not Parliament. Organizers of the funeral have not published a guest list, and it was unclear who from China might attend.

The sanctioned British legislators wrote to officials this week to express concerns about the Chinese government having been invited to send representatives to the queen’s state funeral.

Conservative lawmaker Tim Loughton told the BBC that the invitation to China should be rescinded, citing the country’s human rights abuses and treatment of Uyghurs.

After a day out of the public eye Thursday, King Charles III was traveling to Wales on Friday on the final leg of his tour of the nations that make up the United Kingdom in the aftermath of the death of his mother last week after 70 years on the throne.

Charles, who for decades before his accession to the throne was the Prince of Wales, visits Llandaff in Cardiff for a service of prayer and reflection in honor of his late mother and will receive condolences from the Welsh parliament, the Senedd.

Charles returns to London later Friday and will briefly stand vigil at his mother’s coffin in the evening with his siblings, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

A day later, all eight of Queen Elizabeth II’s grandchildren are expected to stand vigil beside her coffin for 15 minutes.

Charles’ sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, will attend the vigil along with Princess Anne’s children, Zara Tindall and Peter Philips; Prince Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, and the children of Prince Edward – Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn.

William, who after his grandmother’s death and his father becoming king is now the heir to the throne, is set to stand at the head of the coffin and Harry at the foot. Both princes, who are military veterans, will be in uniform.

Most senior royals hold honorary military roles and have worn uniforms at events to commemorate the queen. Harry, who served in Afghanistan as a British army officer, wore civilian clothes during the procession of the queen’s coffin from Buckingham Palace because he’s no longer a working member of the royal family. He and his wife Meghan quit royal duties and moved to the United States in 2020.

The king requested both William and Harry wear uniforms at the Westminster Hall vigil.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Younger Britons Are Less Likely To Support The Continued Monarchy

By Luke Hanrahan
September 15, 2022

There is a generational divide in Britain when it comes to views of the monarchy.

A poll conducted during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee earlier in 2022 showed the vast majority of respondents over the age of 65 believe the monarchy should continue.

But only a third of those 18-24 support the institution. 

Some see the end of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign as an opportunity to evaluate the necessity of the monarchy in Britain.

Source: newsy.com

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Disgraced Prince Andrew, back in the spotlight but still out in the cold

Britain’s Prince Andrew and Prince Edward march during a procession where the coffin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth is transported from Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament for her lying in state, in London, Britain, September 14, 2022. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

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  • Presence at funeral events a reminder of his fall
  • Barred from wearing uniform, heckled in Edinburgh
  • Still eighth in the line of succession to throne

LONDON, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Amid the displays of emotion and deference since the death of Queen Elizabeth, the presence of one figure has added a discordant note to the solemn rituals leading up to her funeral – that of her disgraced son Prince Andrew.

Reputedly the queen’s favourite son, Andrew was stripped of most of his titles and removed from royal duties due to a scandal over his friendship with U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender, and a related sex assault allegation.

He has not been charged with any criminal offence and has denied any wrongdoing.

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After a period where he has been out of the public eye, the sight of Andrew, 62, in the global spotlight following his mother’s death has served as a reminder of his fall from grace.

A Royal Navy veteran of the Falklands War, he has not been allowed to wear a military uniform during two solemn processions, one in Edinburgh and one in London, when he and his three siblings walked behind the queen’s coffin.

King Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Edward wore full dress uniforms while Andrew was in a morning suit, drawing attention to his peculiar status. He will be allowed to wear uniform as a special mark of respect for the queen during a final vigil the siblings will hold as her body lies in state.

In Edinburgh on Monday, one heckler shouted out: “Andrew, you’re a sick old man”.

The man was bundled away and has been charged with a breach of the peace. But if that was a rare instance of loud public protest, the sentiment seems to be more widely shared.

“There’s no place for Andrew in the future of the family or country, but I think the queen did right to sideline him. He’s brought shame, but I think his family knows what the British people think of him,” said Mary Burke, a 47-year-old from the south coast town of Brighton, as she waited in the long line to view the queen’s coffin in London’s Westminster Hall.

Andrew has not taken part in events at which royals have greeted members of the public, other than a brief appearance outside Balmoral Castle two days after the queen’s death.

Eyebrows have been raised over his continued position as a Counsellor of State, a formal position.

“If this isn’t changed, the monarchy is going to lose many who currently might support them,” wrote Sheila Le Mottee in a comment on an article in the pro-independence Scottish newspaper The National.

“The only reason he is tolerated just now is because he is a son who has just lost his mother.”

PLAYBOY PRINCE TO PARIAH

Once upon a time, Andrew was a popular figure.

Tabloids nicknamed him the “Playboy Prince” as they cheerfully reported on his love life, and he won respect for his service as a helicopter pilot in the Falklands.

His marriage in 1986 to Sarah Ferguson was seen at the time as bringing a breath of fresh air to a stuffy institution.

It all went wrong gradually and then suddenly.

As a roving trade ambassador, he gained the nickname “Air Miles Andy” for his frequent travels, which often involved rounds of golf. His marriage ended in divorce in 1996. The media criticised him for what was described as high-handed behaviour and an overly lavish lifestyle.

But it was the Epstein affair that brought true ignominy upon Andrew.

He stayed at Epstein’s various homes and one video from 2010 showed him inside Epstein’s New York townhouse, waving to a woman from the door. Epstein had been jailed in 2008 for child sex offences.

A photograph circulated picturing him with his arm around a young woman named Virginia Roberts – who accused Epstein of grooming her as a “sex slave”. Also in the picture is socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who in June this year was sentenced by a U.S. court to 20 years imprisonment for child sex trafficking.

Roberts, now called Virginia Giuffre, said as a teenager she had been forced to have sex with Andrew in London, New York and on a private Caribbean island between 1999 and 2002.

In an effort to clear the air, Andrew sat down for an interview with the BBC in November 2019.

He said he did not regret his friendship with Epstein, denied having sex with Roberts and said he had no recollection of even meeting her.

But his justifications, for example saying that her account of dancing with him in a nightclub where he sweated profusely could not be true because he was unable to sweat following an overdose of adrenalin during the Falklands War, were widely ridiculed.

Giuffre eventually sued Andrew alleging he sexually assaulted her when she was aged 17. In March this year, he settled the suit without admitting any liability. The settlement included an undisclosed payment.

Andrew remains eighth in the order of succession to the throne, and British media have speculated that he may still hold the hope of making a full return to public life.

But royal observers think that is highly unlikely, not least as Charles has already spoken of having a slimmed-down monarchy with fewer working royals.

Andrew has, however, assumed one new role. A spokesperson said he would take over care of his late mother’s two corgi dogs.

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Additional reporting by Humza Jilani; Editing by Estelle Shirbon and Andrew Heavens

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Debate On Monarchy’s Ties To Commonwealth Reignited After Queen Death

By Luke Hanrahan
September 15, 2022

Fourteen countries retain the British sovereign as their head of state. Should the country begin a process of constitutional change?

During Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, British soldiers committed widespread atrocities against Kenyans at the height of the Mau Mau uprising between 1952 and 1960. Roughly 1.5 million people were forced into concentration camps, subjected to torture, rape and other violation. 

It’s little wonder that on the streets of Nairobi, people’s memories of colonial Britain — an empire fundamentally connected to monarchy — are not often positive.  

“I remember the Mau Mau struggle with a lot of bitterness,” Nairobi resident Max Kahindi said. “One: I was young. But even as young as I was, we suffered a lot. Our fathers, our uncles, our relatives — they either were in detention or they were killed. It is a lot of bitter memories.”

Unlike Kenya, which declared independence in 1963, there are 14 countries that retain the British sovereign as their head of state.  

On Saturday, the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda announced plans to hold a referendum on becoming a republic. And debates that have rumbled on for years about ties to the monarchy have been reignited across the Commonwealth, from Australia to Canada to the Caribbean.   

“I think mainly out of respect for Elizabeth II, these discussions were not taking place,” historian Ed Owens said. “There was, I think, an anticipation that these conversations would start when the new king came to the throne, and that’s what we’re seeing.”

The recent visit of Prince William and Kate to Jamaica earlier this year triggered debates about Britain’s colonial past.

From the photos of Will and Kate shaking hands with Jamaican children through a wire fence, to the military parade in which the pair stood dressed in white in an open top Land Rover — the optics were described as a throwback.

As the trumpets rang out amidst the pomp and ceremony of centuries old tradition, few inside the 900-year-old Westminster Hall would have questioned the existence of monarchy in Britain in 2022.

But for Race on The Agenda Chief Executive Maurice McLeod, who is the son of South African and Jamaican immigrants to the U.K., the royal family and its connection to democratic constitution needs a complete rethink. 

“If we’re talking about a world of freedom and inclusivity and equality, it just doesn’t tally,” he said. “They are the symbol of Britain’s history and that’s what they’re held up as … But if you’re doing that, you also have to take the bad. They’re also the symbol of the Mau Maus, the symbol of all that slavery and oppression. You can’t unpick those two things. And I think that’s what’s so difficult, especially in the Commonwealth.”   

Queen Elizabeth II was the living embodiment of an institution, which, for some, bears no rational justification whatsoever; in fact, a hereditary position that harks back to an era in which atrocities, genocides even were committed in the name of the crown all over the globe. Should this country now begin a process of constitutional change?

“I think looking at what certain countries have done recently to reject the royal family, to remove them from state — it’s time to move on, I think,” said Feliks Mathur, the son of an Indian immigrant.

“They’re going to have to change all the pound coins and that sort of thing. The queen’s image is synonymous with Britain,” said Kemi Akinola, the daughter of Nigerian and Granadian immigrants. “We might be looking at how this relationship will develop and what the modern-day monarch will look like to the U.K. moving forward, and now is a good time to start doing that.”

“I don’t really think, to be honest with you, that it has any great relevance. We have moved on,” Jamaican immigrant to the U.K. Noel Taylor said. “And as far as I’m concerned, coming from an African-Caribbean background, I don’t see monarchy has played any definitive role in advancing our way of life.”  

The death of the queen brings the constitutional role of monarchy in 21st century Britain and 14 other Commonwealth countries into sharp focus.

Source: newsy.com

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Casket Of Queen Elizabeth Ii Arrives At Buckingham Palace

The coffin will be taken by horse-drawn gun carriage Wednesday to the Houses of Parliament to lie in state for four days.

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II returned to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday evening, making its way through a drizzly London as crowds lined the route for a glimpse of the hearse and to bid her a final farewell.

People parked their cars along a normally busy road, got out and waved as the hearse, with lights inside illuminating the flag-draped coffin, made its way into London. In the city, people pressed in on the road and held their phones aloft as it passed.

Thousands outside the palace cheered, shouted “God save the queen!” and clapped as the hearse swung around a roundabout in front of the queen’s official London residence and through the wrought iron gates. Her son, King Charles III, and other immediate family members waited inside.

The coffin traveled to London from Edinburgh, where 33,000 people filed silently past it in the 24 hours at St. Giles’ Cathedral after it had been brought there from her cherished summer retreat, Balmoral. The queen — the only monarch many in the United Kingdom have ever known — died there Sept. 8 at age 96 after 70 years on the throne.

The military C-17 Globemaster carrying the casket touched down at RAF Northolt, an air force base in the west of London, about an hour after it left Edinburgh. U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and a military honor guard were among those at the base for the arrival.

One who stood in the rain waiting for the hearse to pass, retired bus driver David Stringer, 82, recalled watching the queen’s coronation on a newsreel as a boy.

“It’s a great shame,” he said. “I mean, I didn’t think about her every day, but I always knew she was there, and my life’s coming to a close now and her time has finished.”

The coffin will be taken by horse-drawn gun carriage Wednesday to the Houses of Parliament to lie in state for four days before Monday’s funeral at Westminster Abbey.

“Scotland has now bid our Queen of Scots a sad, but fond farewell,” said Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. “We will not see her like again.”

Charles had returned to London from Northern Ireland, where his visit drew a rare moment of unity from politicians in a region with a contested British and Irish identity that is deeply divided over the monarchy.

The new king is making his own journey this week, visiting the four nations of the U.K. – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Hundreds gathered around Hillsborough Castle near Belfast, the royal family’s official residence in Northern Ireland, in the latest outpouring of affection following the queen’s death. The area in front of the gates to the castle was carpeted with hundreds of floral tributes.

Charles and his wife Camilla, the Queen Consort, got out of their car to wave to the crowd and sometimes used both hands to reach out to villagers, including schoolchildren in bright blue uniforms. Charles even petted a corgi — famously his late mother’s favorite breed of dog — held up by one person, and some chanted “God save the king!”

“Today means so much to me and my family, just to be present in my home village with my children to witness the arrival of the new king is a truly historic moment for us all,” said Hillsborough resident Robin Campbell.

While there was a warm welcome in Hillsborough, the British monarchy draws mixed emotions in Northern Ireland, where there are two main communities: mostly Protestant unionists who consider themselves British and largely Roman Catholic nationalists who see themselves as Irish.

That split fueled three decades of violence known as “the Troubles” involving paramilitary groups on both sides and U.K. security forces, in which 3,600 people died. The royal family was touched personally by the violence: Lord Louis Mountbatten, a cousin of the queen and a much-loved mentor to Charles, was killed by an Irish Republican Army bomb in 1979.

A deep sectarian divide remains, a quarter century after Northern Ireland’s 1998 peace agreement.

For some Irish nationalists, the monarch represents an oppressive foreign power. But others acknowledge the queen’s role in forging peace. On a visit to Northern Ireland in 2012, she shook hands with Sinn Fein deputy leader Martin McGuinness, a former IRA commander — a once-unthinkable moment of reconciliation. On Tuesday the new king shook hands with Sinn Fein Vice President Michelle O’Neill.

In a sign of how far Northern Ireland has come on the road to peace, representatives of Sinn Fein attended commemorative events for the queen and meeting the king on Tuesday.

Alex Maskey, a Sinn Fein politician who is speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, said the queen had “demonstrated how individual acts of positive leadership can help break down barriers and encourage reconciliation.”

Charles responded that she had tried to play a role “in bringing together those whom history had separated, and in extending a hand to make possible the healing of long-held hurts.”

He said he would draw on his mother’s “shining example” and “seek the welfare of all the inhabitants of Northern Ireland.”

Still, not everyone was welcoming the new king.

On the Falls Road in Belfast, a nationalist stronghold, several walls are decorated with murals of Bobby Sands, an IRA member who died while on a hunger strike in prison in 1981, and others killed in the Troubles.

“No, he’s not our king. Bobby Sands was our king here,” said 52-year-old Bobby Jones. “Queen never done nothing for us. Never did. None of the royals do.”

Irish leaders attended a service of reflection at St. Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast despite tense relations between Dublin and London over Brexit. Since Britain left the European Union in 2020, the U.K. and the EU have been wrangling over trade rules for Northern Ireland, the only part of the U.K. that shares a border with a member of the bloc.

Before being flown to London, the queen’s oak coffin was carried from St. Giles’ Cathedral to the strain of bagpipes. Crowds lining the Royal Mile through the historic heart of Edinburgh broke into applause as the coffin, accompanied by the queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, was driven to Edinburgh Airport.

“I was fortunate to share the last 24 hours of my dearest mother’s life,” Princess Anne said in a statement. “It has been an honour and a privilege to accompany her on her final journeys. Witnessing the love and respect shown by so many on these journeys has been both humbling and uplifting.”

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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King Charles III In Belfast, Queen’s Coffin To Return To London

By Associated Press
September 13, 2022

Charles and his siblings, Anne, Andrew and Edward, briefly stood vigil around their mother’s flag-draped coffin in St. Giles’ Cathedral.

King Charles III flew to Northern Ireland on Tuesday on the latest leg of his tour of the four parts of the United Kingdom, where crowds of well wishers gathered to greet him in a region with a contested British and Irish identity that is deeply divided over the British monarchy.

In the latest outpouring of affection since Queen Elizabeth II’s death last Thursday, hundreds of people were lining the street leading to Hillsborough Castle, the royal family’s official residence in Northern Ireland, just outside Belfast. The area in front of the gates to the castle was carpeted with hundreds of floral tributes.

On Monday night, Charles and his siblings, Anne, Andrew and Edward, their heads bowed, briefly stood vigil around their mother’s flag-draped coffin in St. Giles’ Cathedral as members of the public filed past.

Earlier, a man wearing a suit adorned with medals stood silently, bowed his head and moved on. A woman dabbed away tears with a handkerchief. Another woman with two young children in their school uniforms walked slowly past the coffin.

In the line of mourners outside St. Giles’ Cathedral in the historic heart of Edinburgh, Sheila McLeay called the queen “a wonderful ambassador for our country.”

“She was such an example for every single one of us. She was dignified. She was just, she was beautiful inside and out. And I have known her all of my life. And I miss her very much,” she added.

Scotland, where the queen died Thursday at her beloved Balmoral estate in the Highlands after a 70-year reign, has been almost universal in its praise for the queen.

The British monarchy draws more mixed emotions in Northern Ireland, where there are two main communities: mostly Protestant unionists who consider themselves British and largely Roman Catholic nationalists who see themselves as Irish.

That split fueled three decades of violence known as “the Troubles” involving paramilitary groups on both sides and U.K. security forces, in which 3,600 people died. The royal family was touched personally by the violence: Lord Louis Mountbatten, a cousin of the queen and a much-loved mentor to Charles, was killed by an Irish Republican Army bomb in 1979.

A deep sectarian divide remains, a quarter century after Northern Ireland’s 1998 peace agreement.

But in a sign of how far Northern Ireland has come on the road to peace, representatives of Sinn Fein — the main Irish nationalist party, linked during the Troubles to the IRA — are attending commemorative events for the queen and meeting the king on Tuesday.

Sinn Fein’s president, Mary Lou McDonald, paid tribute to the 96-year-old monarch following her death last Thursday, calling her “a powerful advocate and ally of those who believe in peace and reconciliation.”

The president and prime minister of the neighboring Republic of Ireland are also due to attend the memorial service in Belfast, despite tense relations between Dublin and London over Brexit. Since Britain left the European Union in 2020, the U.K. and the EU have been wrangling over trade rules for Northern Ireland, the only part of the U.K. that shares a border with a member of the bloc.

After lying in the cathedral through most of Tuesday, the queen’s coffin will be flown back to London and driven to her official London home, Buckingham Palace.

The Royal Air Force C-17 Globemaster plane that will carry the coffin has in the past been used to evacuate people from Afghanistan and to take humanitarian aid and weapons to Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, U.K. Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston said.

In the early hours of Tuesday, scores of workers were seen cleaning litter and weeds from the road between the air force base where the plane carrying the queen’s coffin will land and central London.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Queen Elizabeth II’s Coffin Makes Journey Through Scotland

The hearse drove past piles of bouquets and other tributes as it led a seven-car cortege from Balmoral, where the queen died.

Queen Elizabeth II’s flag-draped coffin is passing through the rugged Scottish countryside Sunday on a final journey from her beloved summer estate Balmoral Castle to London, with mourners quietly lining roads and some tossing flowers to honor the monarch who died after 70 years on the throne.

The hearse drove past piles of bouquets and other tributes as it led a seven-car cortege from Balmoral, where the queen died Thursday, for a six-hour trip through Scottish towns to Holyroodhouse palace in Edinburgh. The late queen’s coffin was draped in the Royal Standard for Scotland and topped with a wreath made of flowers from the estate, including sweet peas, one of the queen’s favorites.

“A sad and poignant moment as Her Majesty, The Queen leaves her beloved Balmoral for the final time,” the first minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon tweeted. “Today, as she makes her journey to Edinburgh, Scotland will pay tribute to an extraordinary woman.”

Crowds lined parts of the route as the nation mourns its longest-reigning monarch, the only one most Britons have ever known. In the Scottish village of Ballater, where residents regard the royal family as neighbors, hundreds of people watched in silence and some threw flowers in front of the hearse as it passed.

“She meant such a lot to people in this area. People were crying, it was amazing to see,” said Victoria Pacheco, a guest house manager.

In each town and village the cars drove through, they were met with similar muted scenes of respect. People stood mostly in silence; some clapped politely, others pointed their phone cameras at the passing cars.

Before reaching the Scottish capital, the cortege is traveling down what is effectively a royal memory lane — passing through locations laden with House of Windsor history including Dyce, where in 1975 the queen formally opened the U.K.’s first North Sea oil pipeline, and Fife near St. Andrews University, where her grandson William, now the Prince of Wales, studied and met his future wife, Catherine.

Sunday’s solemn drive through Scotland came as the queen’s eldest son was formally proclaimed the new monarch — King Charles III — in the rest of the nations of the United Kingdom: Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It came a day after a pomp-filled accession ceremony in England steeped in ancient tradition and political symbolism.

“I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of sovereignty, which have now passed to me,” Charles said Saturday.

Just before the proclamation was read Sunday in Edinburgh, a protester appeared with a sign condemning imperialism and urging leaders to “abolish the monarchy,” getting taken away soon afterward by police. The crowd applauded.

One man shouted, “Let her go! It’s free speech!” while others shouted: “Have some respect.”

It’s a sign of how some, including the former British Empire colonies, are struggling with the legacy of the monarchy. Earlier, proclamations were read in other parts of the Commonwealth countries, including Australia and New Zealand.

Charles, even as he mourned his late mother, was getting to work at Buckingham Palace, meeting with the secretary-general and other representatives of the Commonwealth, nations grappling with affection for the queen and lingering bitterness over their colonial legacies, ranging from slavery to corporal punishment in African schools to looted artifacts held in British institutions.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who had started laying the groundwork for an Australian republic after elections in May, said Sunday that now was the time not for a change but for paying tribute to the late queen.

India, a former British colony, observed a day of state mourning, with flags lowered to half-staff on all government buildings throughout the country.

Amid the grief enveloping the House of Windsor, there were hints of a possible family reconciliation. Prince William and his brother Harry, together with their respective wives, Catherine, Princess of Wales, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, delighted mourners near Windsor Castle with a surprise joint appearance Saturday.

The queen’s coffin will take a circuitous journey back to the capital. On Monday, it will be taken from Holyroodhouse to nearby St. Giles’ Cathedral, where it will remain until Tuesday, when it will be flown to London. The coffin will be moved from Buckingham Palace on Wednesday to the Houses of Parliament to lie in state until a state funeral at Westminster Abbey on Sept. 19.

In Ballater, the Rev. David Barr said locals consider the royals as “neighbors” and try to treat them as locals when they spend summers in the Scottish Highlands.

“When she comes up here, and she goes through those gates, I believe the royal part of her stays mostly outside,” he said. “And as she goes in, she was able to be a wife, a loving wife, a loving mum, a loving gran and then later on a loving great-gran — and aunty — and be normal.”

Elizabeth Taylor, from Aberdeen, had tears in her eyes after the hearse carrying the queen’s coffin passed through Ballater.

“It was very emotional. It was respectful and showed what they think of the queen,” she said. “She certainly gave service to this country even up until a few days before her death.”

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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