Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin has arrived at Buckingham Palace after being driven from RAF Northholt air base in west London.
The Queen’s family received the coffin when they arrived at the palace, and will rest tonight in Branka’s Hall.
The coffin was flown from Edinburgh earlier on Tuesday in a C-17 Globemaster transport plane, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston told Sky News in an on-camera interview on Tuesday.
“It’s a well-used plane that carried most of the 15,000 people we evacuated from Kabul last summer,” Wigston said.
“And since then, the humanitarian aid and non-lethal aid node has been involved in the flights to help Ukraine,” he added.
Princess Anne accompanied the Queen on her last flight. The late monarch’s only daughter, Anne, was also the only one of the Queen’s four children to accompany her coffin from Balmoral Castle to Edinburgh on Monday.
In a statement, Anne said it was “an honor and a privilege” to support her mother on her final journeys.
“Being witness to the love and respect shown by many during these trips has been humbling and uplifting,” he added.
“We will all share special memories. I thank everyone who shares our sense of loss.”
Monday evening in Edinburgh St. Mourners lined up outside Giles Cathedral to pay their last respects. The Scottish Government said more than 26,000 people managed to get past the Queen.
Tuesday was Charles’ first trip to Northern Ireland as the UK’s new monarch, following in the footsteps of his mother, who was seen as a symbol of unity and a key figure in the Northern Ireland peace process.
During the historic visit, the King arrived at the royal residence, Hillsborough Castle, where he greeted the public and saw floral tributes. There he met with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Chris Heaton-Harris, and the leaders of Northern Ireland’s largest political parties.
Charles and Camilla received a message of condolence from the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Alex Maskey, to which the King responded: “In the years since her long life in public service, my mother has seen Northern Ireland go through important and historic changes. In all those years, he never stopped praying for better times for this place and its people.’
He added that King Charles would follow his mother’s example “to dedicate himself to his country and his people and to maintain the principles of constitutional government.”
After the reception at the castle, the King and Queen Consort arrived at St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast for an evening service of prayer and reflection. They will feature faith and community leaders from across Northern Ireland. More than 800 people are expected to attend the service, which was also attended by UK Prime Minister Liz Truss.
His visit comes at an uneasy time for Northern Ireland, where political tensions are high and key Brexit issues remain unresolved.
While the country’s majority voted to remain in the European Union in a 2016 referendum, the UK’s ruling Conservative Party signed a Brexit deal that created new customs barriers between Northern Ireland and mainland Britain.
Elizabeth was the monarch for 70 years of Northern Ireland’s 101 year history.
She was Queen during the 30 years of bloody violence known as “The Troubles”, which pitted UK Unionists against Irish nationalists, with the British Crown emblematic of many dividing the province.
Unionists are loyal to the Crown and the traditional British values it embodies. For Irish nationalists, it is a symbol of the British forces that subjugated their ancestors and reclaimed their land.
Louis Mountbatten, the last British Viceroy of India and Charles’ favorite great-uncle, was assassinated along with his grandchildren by Irish republicans in 1979.
The Queen publicly set aside those differences during a visit to Northern Ireland in 2012, shaking hands with Martin McGuinness, one of the republicans most associated with past violence.
Charles also shook hands with Gerry Adams in 2015, seen as another milestone in the fragile peace process because Adams was linked to the Irish Republican Army (IRA), once considered the armed wing of Sinn Fein, now the largest party in the North. Ireland
The King and Queen Consort are back in London on their way back from Belfast.
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