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Charles proclaimed King of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as queen’s coffin travels to Edinburgh

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A fanfare of trumpets sounded as proclamation ceremonies took place in the capital cities of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland Sunday, officially declaring Charles king of the nations that, along with England, form the United Kingdom.

Thousands of people gathered at Edinburgh Castle, Cardiff Castle and Belfast’s Hillsborough Castle to hear the official announcement, although Charles officially became king when Queen Elizabeth II died Thursday.

The ceremonies took place as the late monarch’s coffin began the journey from Balmoral Castle to Edinburgh on Sunday. Crowds also lined the roads in tribute to the queen as the funeral procession slowly winds its way through tiny villages and small towns from the remote castle in the Scottish Highlands.

Draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland and with a wreath of flowers on top, it had remained at rest in the castle’s ballroom so the late monarch’s loyal Balmoral estate workers can say their last goodbyes.

The oak coffin was lifted into a hearse on Sunday at 10am (UK time) by six of the estate’s gamekeepers, who were tasked with the symbolic gesture, ready for a six-hour journey to Edinburgh.

Well-wishers have gathered along the route the cortege will take as it travels from Balmoral to the Scottish capital – which is expected to take about six hours.

It first passed through the nearby town of Ballater at approximately 10.20am. There was an “overwhelming emotion” when the Queen’s coffin passed through the Aberdeenshire village, where many local people knew her, the local minister said.

The cortege passed out of Ballater and on to Aboyne, Banchory and Drumoak where well wishes also lined the streets waiting for the Queen’s coffin to pass.

The fleet of cars slowed down, to around walking speed, where there were crowds.

Arriving in Aberdeen, the streets were lined with thousands of people waiting to pay their respects to the late Queen.

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.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the “poignant” journey, which will see the Queen’s coffin transported to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, would give the public a chance to come together to “mark our country’s shared loss”.

On Saturday, the royal family received the condolences of well-wishers when they viewed floral tributes left in memory of the late Queen at her homes of Balmoral and Windsor Castle.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Prince and Princess of Wales were united in grief when they went on a walkabout meeting the public close to the Berkshire castle.

Earlier that day, King Charles III had been formally confirmed as the nation’s new monarch during a meeting of the Accession Council.

–Agencies

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