Scotland pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in procession, memorial

(Update 4: changes headline, lede, adds detail)

London, Sep 12 (EFE) .- Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin was taken along the city of Edinburgh on Monday in a procession to pay tribute to the United Kingdom’s longest-reigning monarch, who passed away on September 8 aged 96.

The procession, from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles’ Cathedral, was followed by King Charles III and his siblings Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex.

A thanksgiving service was held at St Giles’ Cathedral in which Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields paid tribute to the Queen.

“Committed to the role she assumed in 1952 upon the death of her beloved father, she has been a constant in all of our lives for over 70 years,” he said.

“She understood the breadth of world affairs and also cared about what happened to all of her people,” he added.

Britain’s prime minister Liz Truss and Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon were among those who attended the service.

The coffin of Elizebeth II will remain in the cathedral for public viewing for 24 hours so residents can pay their respects to the late monarch.

It is King Charles III’s first visit to Scotland since he became the sovereign of the UK and 14 Commonwealth realms following his mother’s death.

His visit started with the Ceremony of the Key in Edinburgh.

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.

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, pointing out 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.

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