King Charles III arrives in Scotland in first visit as new monarch

(Update 3: adds start of procession in Scotland)

London, Sep 12 (EFE) .- King Charles III arrived in Scotland on Monday for the first time since he became the sovereign of the United Kingdom and 14 Commonwealth realms following his mother Queen Elizebeth II’s death.

The King was joined by the Queen Consort Camilla in his visit to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh for the Ceremony of the Keys.

The ancient ceremony is a symbolic act in which the sovereign receives the keys of the city on a velvet cushion ahead of his visit. The King then hands back the keys, entrusting their safekeeping to the city officials.

Shortly after, the Queen’s coffin left the Palace of Holyroodhouse in a procession to St Giles Cathedral where a service will be held and attended by members of the royal family, including the King and Queen Consort.

The coffin will remain in the cathedral for public viewing for 24 hours so residents can pay their respects to the late monarch, who passed away on September, 8 aged 96.

During his visit to Scotland, the monarch will also have an audience with first minister Nicola Sturgeon and then visit the Scottish Parliament to receive a motion of condolence.

Earlier Monday, King Charles III visited Westminster where, together with Queen Consort Camilla, visited the House of Commons and the House of Lords to hear their condolences.

“My Lords and members of the House of Commons, we gather today in remembrance of the remarkable span of the Queen’s dedicated service to her nations and peoples,” the King said.

“As I stand before you today, I cannot help but feel the weight of history which surrounds us, and which reminds us of the vital parliamentary traditions to which members of both houses dedicate yourselves with such personal commitment to the betterment of us all,” the monarch added.

Charles honored his mother’s service saying she set “an example of selfless duty which, with God’s help and your counsel, I am resolved faithfully to follow.”

Before his first parliamentary address the King listened to the condolences from both the lower and upper houses of parliament.

Lord Speaker Lord McFall of Alcluith welcomed the monarchs on behalf of the House of Lords and said that “we all feel a sense of loss beyond measure”.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle added that the loss of the Queen has reverberated around the world, adding that as “deep as our grief is, we know yours is deeper.”

Meanwhile, Downing Street announced a national minute’s silence to be held on September 17 at 8pm London time.

“The silence can be marked privately at home on your own or with friends and neighbors, out on your doorstep or street with neighbors, or at any locally arranged community events and vigils,” Downing Street said in a statement.

“The shared national moment of reflection is an opportunity for everyone across the UK to mark the death of Her Majesty and we will set out details of where the Prime Minister will mark it closer to that time,” it added.

On Tuesday, the Queen’s coffin will be transferred to the British capital in a Royal Air Force (RAF) plane for a state funeral slated for September 19 in Westminster Abbey.

Britons will be able to pay their respects to Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch in British history, on the day of the funeral which has been declared a Bank Holiday.

Charles III was officially proclaimed King by the Accession Council on Saturday in a historic ceremony.EFE

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