King Charles heads to N.Ireland, queen’s coffin to be flown to London

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King Charles heads to Northern Ireland on Tuesday, leading the mourning for Queen Elizabeth in the four parts of the United Kingdom before his mother’s coffin is flown to London ahead of four days of lying in state.

After a silent vigil attended by Charles, his sister Anne and brothers Andrew and Edward at St Giles’ Cathedral in the Scottish capital Edinburgh on Monday, people queued overnight to file past the queen’s coffin, some with sleeping children.

Charles, 73, is travelling to the four parts of the United Kingdom before the queen’s funeral on Sept. 19. In Northern Ireland, people started to line the streets at Hillsborough Castle, the monarch’s official residence, ahead of his visit.

“We came out to pay our respects to Queen Elizabeth because she was a fantastic queen and very loyal to Northern Ireland and we wanted to be here to welcome the new king,” said Heather Paul, 61, holding flowers and a small Union Flag.

We think Charles will be a fantastic king, he’s had a very long apprenticeship and I think he will follow on in the queen’s footsteps,” said Paul, who travelled 50 miles (80 km) to pay her respects.

He is due to arrive later on Tuesday from Scotland, where he followed the queen’s coffin up Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and was joined by his siblings for a 10-minute vigil at St Giles’ Cathedral. They stood, heads bowed, at the four sides of the coffin while members of the public filed past.

People queued overnight to pay their respects, many wearing winter jackets, scarves and woollen hats to keep out the cold.

“We were desperate to be here to show our respects.” said Will Brehme, an engineer from Edinburgh, who arrived in the early hours of the morning with his partner and 20-month-old daughter sleeping in a baby carrier.

“It is a moment that will live with us forever. When you think that she worked all of her life for us it is the least we could do.”

Elizabeth died on Thursday in her holiday home at Balmoral Castle, in the Scottish Highlands, at the age of 96 after a 70-year reign, plunging the nation into mourning.

via Reuters

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