King Charles Leads His Siblings to Hold Silent Vigil Beside Queens Coffin in Edinburgh Cathedral
The new British monarch is joined by Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward to stand guard beside Queen Elizabeth’s coffin following a short procession.
AceShowbiz -The Queen’s four children got together for an evening vigil, gathering around her coffin inside St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh. King Charles III was joined by Anne, the Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward after a short procession as they each stood at one of the four corners of the monarch’s English oak, lead-lined casket on Monday evening (12.09.22) with their heads bowed in a ceremony known as the Vigil of the Princes.
Previously curtseying to her mother’s oak coffin on Sunday (11.09.22) as it arrived at Holyroodhouse from Balmoral where the monarch died on September 8 aged 96, the Princess Royal Anne became the first woman to take part in the ceremony. They all chose not to be armed with swords while mourners clapped the Queen’s children as they left St Giles.
Earlier, they walked behind their mother’s coffin during a procession through Edinburgh on day three – known as D+3 – of the 10-day Operation London Bridge mourning plan for the Queen. The Vigil of the Princes tradition began in 1936 when the then King Edward VIII and his three brothers, Princes Albert, Henry and George, wore full military uniforms to stand guard at the coffin of their late father, King George V in Westminster Hall.
Prince Andrew kept his eyes closed for some of the 20-minute guard while the Princess Royal and Earl of Wessex had their eyes fixed towards the floor. Charles kept his hands joined and also looked towards the floor as members of the public filed past.
They stood alongside four suited members of the Royal Company of Archers, dressed in long-feathered hats and armed with arrows and quivers, while Camilla, Queen Consort, watched on from a distance.
The Scottish crown had been placed on top of Her Majesty’s coffin, draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland, during an earlier service of thanksgiving at St Giles’. Opening the service, the Rev Calum MacLeod hailed the Queen’s “love for Scotland” as “legendary.”
It followed a procession through Scotland’s capital as the king led the coffin past tens of thousands of well-wishers. The 1.1-mile journey from Holyroodhouse to St Giles Cathedral echoed the same route taken by the Queen after her coronation.
Lord Lieutenant of Edinburgh, Robert Aldridge, said, “Scotland can take real pride that Her Majesty cherished her time here and now the eyes of the world will be upon the Capital as we unite in national mourning and herald our new King.”
“This is a time for our communities to stand together and for people to reflect on our shared history. The outpouring of grief from citizens and visitors is touching and demonstrates the special relationship the city shared with the Queen.”
The Queen’s coffin is set to be flown at 6pm tomorrow from Edinburgh airport to RAF Northolt, west London. Her casket will then be transported by hearse to Buckingham Palace so a procession can take it to Westminster Hall on Wednesday (14.09.22), where the Queen will then lie in state 6.30am on Monday September 19, the day of her funeral, which has been declared a UK bank holiday.
Mourners face waits of 12 hours each if they want to see the coffin, officials expect. Wait times during the five-night vigil, which will see Westminster Hall stay open 24 hours a day, are set to be so long as queues are predicted to snake for up to three miles. The visitor numbers are also expected to be close to the two million pilgrims who travelled to the Vatican to view Pope John Paul II when he lay in state in 2005.
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