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Thousands welcome King Charles III to Buckingham Palace

A tearful King Charles III was greeted by thousands of well-wishers as he arrived at Buckingham Palace today where he will meet with representatives from the Commonwealth – while his mother Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin embarks on the historic final journey from Balmoral to Edinburgh, then onto Westminster Abbey for her state funeral.

Crowds lining the length of The Mall – including children sat on top of parents’ shoulders – cheered and waved at Britain’s new monarch as the emotional sovereign was driven in his state Rolls-Royce through the Palace gates, flanked by a motorcade of four cars and four police motorbikes.

At 2pm this afternoon, Charles will receive Commonwealth general secretary Patricia Scotland in the 1844 Room, before attending a reception with High Commissioners and their spouses from countries where he is head of state at the royal residence’s Bow Room. Then at 3.30pm, the King – who was formally proclaimed at St James’s Palace yesterday – receives the Dean of Windsor. 

Guests will include Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and High Commissioners for Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, New Zealand, St Christopher and Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Honorary Consul of Tuvalu and the Acting High Commissioner for Australia.

The King and Camilla, Queen Consort will hear condolences from the four home nations when the new monarch tours the UK in the run-up to the Queen’s state funeral.

Charles will visit Edinburgh, Belfast and Wales in the coming days with Camilla, and the Prime Minister, to hear condolences from politicians and respond to their words of sympathy.

The King will begin his visit to legislators at London’s Westminster Hall tomorrow, where both Houses of Parliament will express their condolences to the new monarch and his wife – and the King will give his reply. Later that day, Charles and Camilla will fly to Edinburgh where the King will inspect the Guard of Honour at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, before attending the ceremony of the Keys on the forecourt.

During the day, the King will join his other siblings – the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex, the Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence – walking behind the Queen’s coffin when it is moved from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles’ Cathedral where it will lie for 24 hours so the public can pay their respects.

King Charles III waving at well-wishers as he arrives at Buckingham Palace in London

King Charles III waving at well-wishers as he arrives at Buckingham Palace in London

Members of the public gather to watch King Charles III arrive by car at Buckingham Palace

Members of the public gather to watch King Charles III arrive by car at Buckingham Palace

Members of the public gather to watch King Charles III arrive by car at Buckingham Palace

King Charles is driven to Buckingham Palace, following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II

King Charles is driven to Buckingham Palace, following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II

King Charles is driven to Buckingham Palace, following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II

King Charles III waves to waiting members of the public as he arrives by car at Buckingham Palace

King Charles III waves to waiting members of the public as he arrives by car at Buckingham Palace

King Charles III waves to waiting members of the public as he arrives by car at Buckingham Palace

The monarch was accompanied by a motorcade of four cars and four police motorbikes

The monarch was accompanied by a motorcade of four cars and four police motorbikes

The monarch was accompanied by a motorcade of four cars and four police motorbikes

Camilla and other members of the family will travel by car and all the royals will attend a service of thanksgiving for the life of the Queen.

At the Palace, the King will hold audiences with the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, followed by an audience with Alison Johnstone, the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament. Words of sympathy will be expressed by the Scottish Parliament when Charles and Camilla attend to receive a motion of condolence, with the King replying.

That evening, the monarch will hold a vigil at the Queen’s coffin with other members of the royal family.

Belfast is the next stop with the royal couple flying to Ulster on Tuesday to visit Hillsborough Castle, where they will view an exhibition about the late Queen’s long association with Northern Ireland. The King will then meet the Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris and party leaders and receive a message of condolence led by the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, again making his reply.

After a short reception at Hillsborough, the King and Queen Consort will travel to St Anne’s Cathedral for a service of prayer and reflection and before the event Charles will meet leaders from all the major faiths in Northern Ireland, and later the royal couple will return to London.

In a tribute to his late mother, the King will lead Wednesday’s procession behind the gun carriage carrying her coffin to Westminster Hall, where the lying in state will begin before her state funeral on September 19.

The planned trip to Wales is scheduled for Friday, with details to be released at a later date.

It comes as floral tributes were thrown into the path of Queen’s coffin as thousands of people turned out to pay their respects as the monarch began the journey to her final resting place at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, alongside her beloved husband the Duke of Edinburgh.

Her oak coffin, draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland with a wreath of Balmoral flowers on top, began its six-hour trip from the Queen’s summer sanctuary in the Highlands to Edinburgh.

The former monarch did not travel alone – the Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence were in a limousine as part of a procession directly behind her.

A single motorbike police outrider led the way as the hearse, followed by six vehicles, travelled at a stately pace through the Aberdeenshire countryside.

Proclamations of the new King were read to large crowds at Mercat Cross in Edinburgh, at Cardiff Castle, in Wales, and at Hillsborough Castle, in Northern Ireland.

The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, paid tribute to the Queen, calling her ‘extraordinary’. In a tweet, she said: ‘A sad and poignant moment as Her Majesty, The Queen leaves her beloved Balmoral for the final time. Today, as she makes her journey to Edinburgh, Scotland will pay tribute to an extraordinary woman.’

Hundreds lined the main street as the Queen’s coffin was driven slowly through Ballater, the village closest to the Balmoral estate, where locals considered her a neighbour.

The Queen and her family were often seen in the village in Royal Deeside, which she had visited since childhood and where the royal family have space to be themselves. Many shops in the picturesque Victorian village had photographs of the Queen in their windows.

The hearse passed Glenmuick Church, where the Rev David Barr rang the church bells 70 times after the Queen’s death was announced.

Flowers were thrown into the hearse’s path by well-wishers on both sides of the road in Ballater, which was sombre and silent. The hearse slowed to a fast walking pace and mourners could clearly see the royal standard-draped coffin and the wreath featuring flowers from the Balmoral estate, including sweet peas – one of the Queen’s favourite flowers – dahlias, phlox, white heather and pine fir.

Elizabeth Taylor, from Aberdeen, had tears in her eyes as she considered what she had just seen.

She said: ‘It was very emotional. It was respectful and showed what they think of the Queen. She certainly gave service to this country, even up until a few days before her death.’

Earlier, the Queen’s oak coffin was carried to the hearse by six Balmoral estate gamekeepers tasked with the symbolic gesture. It had been at rest in the Balmoral ballroom so the monarch’s estate workers could say their goodbyes. The hearse is making a journey of around 180 miles from Balmoral to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

Some distance from the main cortege was a large number of support vehicles, including police vans and cars, an ambulance and what appeared to be a back-up hearse.

Richard Gledson, factor of the Balmoral estate, managed the event supported by Rev Kenneth MacKenzie, minister of Balmoral’s Crathie Church where the Queen worshipped.

Rev Mackenzie travelled in a vehicle with the main procession, as did a representative of the Lord Chamberlain’s Office, a department responsible for organising ceremonial or public-facing events in the monarch’s diary.

Source: Dailymail

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