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Casket of Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Buckingham Palace

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LONDON — The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II returned to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday night, making its means via a drizzly London as crowds lined the route for a glimpse of the hearse and to bid her a last farewell.

Individuals parked their vehicles alongside a usually busy highway, received out and waved because the hearse, with lights inside illuminating the flag-draped coffin, made its means into London. Within the metropolis, folks pressed in on the highway and held their telephones aloft because it handed.

Hundreds outdoors the palace cheered, shouted “God save the queen!” and clapped because the hearse swung round a roundabout in entrance of the queen’s official London residence and thru the wrought iron gates. Her son, King Charles III, and different rapid relations waited inside.

The coffin traveled to London from Edinburgh, the place 33,000 folks filed silently previous it within the 24 hours at St. Giles’ Cathedral after it had been introduced there from her cherished summer time retreat, Balmoral. The queen — the one monarch many in the UK have ever recognized — died there Sept. 8 at age 96 after 70 years on the throne.

The navy C-17 Globemaster carrying the casket touched down at RAF Northolt, an air pressure base within the west of London, about an hour after it left Edinburgh. U.Okay. Prime Minister Liz Truss, Protection Secretary Ben Wallace and a navy honor guard have been amongst these on the base for the arrival.

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

“It’s a fantastic disgrace,” he mentioned. “I imply, I didn’t take into consideration her daily, however I all the time knew she was there, and my life’s coming to a detailed now and her time has completed.”

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The coffin will probably be taken by horse-drawn gun carriage Wednesday to the Homes of Parliament to lie in state for 4 days earlier than Monday’s funeral at Westminster Abbey.

“Scotland has now bid our Queen of Scots a tragic, however fond farewell,” mentioned Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. “We is not going to see her like once more.”

Charles had returned to London from Northern Eire, the place his go to drew a uncommon second of unity from politicians in a area with a contested British and Irish identification that’s deeply divided over the monarchy.

The brand new king is making his personal journey this week, visiting the 4 nations of the U.Okay. – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Eire.

Tons of gathered round Hillsborough Citadel close to Belfast, the royal household’s official residence in Northern Eire, within the newest outpouring of affection following the queen’s demise. The realm in entrance of the gates to the citadel was carpeted with a whole lot of floral tributes.

Charles and his spouse Camilla, the Queen Consort, received out of their automotive to wave to the group and generally used each palms to succeed in out to villagers, together with schoolchildren in vibrant blue uniforms. Charles even petted a corgi — famously his late mom’s favourite breed of canine — held up by one individual, and a few chanted “God save the king!”

“In the present day means a lot to me and my household, simply to be current in my dwelling village with my kids to witness the arrival of the brand new king is a really historic second for us all,” mentioned Hillsborough resident Robin Campbell.

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Whereas there was a heat welcome in Hillsborough, the British monarchy attracts blended feelings in Northern Eire, the place there are two predominant communities: principally Protestant unionists who think about themselves British and largely Roman Catholic nationalists who see themselves as Irish.

That break up fueled three many years of violence generally known as “the Troubles” involving paramilitary teams on each side and U.Okay. safety forces, during which 3,600 folks died. The royal household 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 Military bomb in 1979.

A deep sectarian divide stays, 1 / 4 century after Northern Eire’s 1998 peace settlement.

For some Irish nationalists, the monarch represents an oppressive overseas energy. However others acknowledge the queen’s position in forging peace. On a go to to Northern Eire in 2012, she shook palms with Sinn Fein deputy chief Martin McGuinness, a former IRA commander — a once-unthinkable second of reconciliation. On Tuesday the brand new king shook palms with Sinn Fein Vice President Michelle O’Neill.

In an indication of how far Northern Eire has come on the highway to peace, representatives of Sinn Fein attended commemorative occasions for the queen and assembly the king on Tuesday.

Alex Maskey, a Sinn Fein politician who’s speaker of the Northern Eire Meeting, mentioned the queen had “demonstrated how particular person acts of optimistic management can assist break down limitations and encourage reconciliation.”

Charles responded that she had tried to play a task “in bringing collectively these whom historical past had separated, and in extending a hand to make doable the therapeutic of long-held hurts.”

He mentioned he would draw on his mom’s “shining instance” and “search the welfare of all of the inhabitants of Northern Eire.”

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Nonetheless, not everybody was welcoming the brand new king.

On the Falls Street in Belfast, a nationalist stronghold, a number of partitions are adorned with murals of Bobby Sands, an IRA member who died whereas on a starvation strike in jail in 1981, and others killed within the Troubles.

“No, he’s not our king. Bobby Sands was our king right here,” mentioned 52-year-old Bobby Jones. “Queen by no means completed nothing for us. By no means did. Not one of the royals do.”

Irish leaders attended a service of reflection at St. Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast regardless of tense relations between Dublin and London over Brexit. Since Britain left the European Union in 2020, the U.Okay. and the EU have been wrangling over commerce guidelines for Northern Eire, the one a part of the U.Okay. that shares a border with a member of the bloc.

Earlier than being flown to London, the queen’s oak coffin was carried from St. Giles’ Cathedral to the pressure of bagpipes. Crowds lining the Royal Mile via the historic coronary heart of Edinburgh broke into applause because the coffin, accompanied by the queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, was pushed to Edinburgh Airport.

“I used to be lucky to share the final 24 hours of my dearest mom’s life,” Princess Anne mentioned in a press release. “It has been an honour and a privilege to accompany her on her last journeys. Witnessing the love and respect proven by so many on these journeys has been each humbling and uplifting.”

Observe AP tales on the demise of Queen Elizabeth II and Britain’s royal household at https://apnews.com/hub/queen-elizabeth-ii

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