London, Sep 13 (EFE).- The casket bearing the remains of Queen Elizabeth on Tuesday was brought to Buckingham Palace, which was her official residence during the seven decades she sat on the British throne.
The casket will remain overnight in the Bow Room there until the funeral procession through the streets of London on Wednesday after which it will lie in a funeral chapel at the Palace of Westminster until the official state funeral service next Monday.
The coffin of the queen, who died last Thursday at age 96 at her residence at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, was transported in a Royal Air Force jet from Edinburgh to the Northolt military base outside London, from where it was brought in a state hearse in a drizzling rain the 25 kilometers (15 miles) to the central part of London.
The coffin, covered with the royal standard, was unloaded by eight dress-uniformed members of the British military from the Boeing C-17A Globemaster that brought it from Scotland, the same type of huge aircraft used in recent months to evacuate people from Afghanistan and to deliver weapons to Ukraine.
Under the somber gaze of Princess Anne, Elizabeth’s only daughter, who accompanied her mother’s mortal remains on the flight to London, as well as British Prime Minister Liz Truss and Defense Minister Ben Wallace, the coffin was placed within a Jaguar Land Rover hearse specially designed for the occasion, with the Royal Palace and the queen herself having participated in its preparation.
In a communique released while the aircraft was still in the air, Anne said: “I was fortunate to share the last 24 hours of my dearest Mother’s life. It has been an honour and a privilege to accompany her on her final journeys. Witnessing the love and respect shown by so many on these journeys has been both humbling and uplifting.”
She also expressed gratitude for the support and understanding the public has shown for her older brother Charles in accepting the responsibilities and duties of the king, after he automatically and as per longstanding monarchical protocol ascended to the British throne upon his mother’s death.
Starting in the early afternoon, thousands of people stationed themselves along the route to be taken by the hearse through downtown London so that they could view the casket – which was illuminated within the specially designed hearse – as it passed by.
On Wednesday morning, there will be a solemn funeral procession through London as the queen’s casket is transported from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster.
King Charles III and other members of the royal family will walk behind the coffin, which will be placed in the British Parliament at 3 pm, guarded 24 hours a day by soldiers belonging to units assigned to the Royal Palace.
Starting at 5 pm, the funeral chapel at Westminster will be opened to the public, and some 400,000 people are expected to pass by the queen’s coffin there between Wednesday and next Monday, when the state funeral is scheduled.