VIDEO: Casket of Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Buckingham Palace
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II returned to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday evening, making its way through a drizzly London as crowds lined the route for a glimpse of the hearse and to bid her a final farewell.
People parked their cars along a normally busy road, got out and waved as the hearse, with lights inside illuminating the flag-draped coffin, made its way into London. In the city, people pressed in on the road and held their phones aloft as it passed.
Thousands outside the palace cheered, shouted "God save the Queen!” and clapped as the hearse swung around a roundabout in front of the Queen's official London residence and through the wrought iron gates. Her son, King Charles III, and other immediate family members waited inside.
A plane carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II landed in London. The military C-17 Globemaster touched down on Tuesday evening at RAF Northolt, an air force base in the west of the city, about an hour after it left Edinburgh in Scotland.
UK Prime Minister Liz Truss, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and a military honor guard were among those awaiting the arrival of the coffin at the base.
The Queen’s body is making a final journey from Balmoral Castle in northern Scotland, where the monarch died Thursday at age 96 after 70 years on the throne.
It will be driven past thousands of people who gathered in the rain along roadsides to pay their last respects. King Charles III and other members of the late Queen’s close family will meet the coffin at Buckingham Palace.
Her son, King Charles III, returned to London from Northern Ireland, where his visit drew a rare moment of unity from politicians in a region with a contested British and Irish identity that is deeply divided over the monarchy.
He is to meet the casket at Buckingham Palace, where it will spend the night at the Queen's London home. It will be taken on a horse-drawn gun carriage Wednesday to the Houses of Parliament to lie in state for four days before Monday’s funeral at Westminster Abbey.
As a bagpiper played, the flag-draped oak coffin was carried from St. Giles’ Cathedral. Crowds lining the Royal Mile through the historic heart of Edinburgh broke into applause as the coffin, accompanied by the Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, was driven to Edinburgh Airport.
Over the past 24 hours, thousands of people filed silently past the coffin after it was brought to Edinburgh from Balmoral Estate, where she died Sept. 8 at age 96, ending her 70-year reign.