Home / World News / Crowds gather for Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin procession from Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament

Crowds gather for Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin procession from Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament

Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin left Buckingham Palace amid somber pageantry on a horse-drawn gun carriage past crowds of mourners to the Houses of Parliament, where the late monarch will lie in state for four days.

Troops from the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, military bands and mounted police led the procession of Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall. The coffin was on a gun carriage from the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and flanked by 10 pallbearers and Grenadier Guards.

Walking behind the gun carriage bearing Queen Elizabeth II’s oak coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall were her children: King Charles III, the country’s new sovereign, with Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

The second row was made up of Charles’ two sons: Prince William, the Prince of Wales, and Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex. To Harry’s left is Anne’s son, Peter Phillips.

Behind them was the Earl of Snowdon, the Duke of Gloucester and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, who is Princess Anne’s husband.

Behind the royals were four key members of Charles’ staff: the Master of the Household, the Principal Private Secretary, the Equerry and the Treasurer. Prince William’s equerry walked behind them.

King Charles III and Princess Anne, Princess Royal walk behind the coffin during the procession for the Lying-in State of Queen Elizabeth II on September 14, 2022 in London, England.
Camera IconKing Charles III and Princess Anne, Princess Royal walk behind the coffin during the procession for the Lying-in State of Queen Elizabeth II on September 14, 2022 in London, England. Credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images
David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, Prince William, Prince of Wales, King Charles III, Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Anne, Princess Royal and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex walk behind the coffin during the procession for the Lying-in State of Queen Elizabeth II on September 14, 2022 in London, England.
Camera IconDavid Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, Prince William, Prince of Wales, King Charles III, Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Anne, Princess Royal and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex walk behind the coffin during the procession for the Lying-in State of Queen Elizabeth II on September 14, 2022 in London, England. Credit: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images
Britain's Prince William, left, and Prince Harry, second left, follow the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II during a procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall in London, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022.
Camera IconBritain’s Prince William, left, and Prince Harry, second left, follow the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II during a procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall in London, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. Credit: Vadim Ghirda/AP

The coffin was draped with the royal standard and adorned with the Imperial State Crown, which the queen wore for her coronation 70 years ago, resting on a velvet cushion and a wreath of flowers.

The flowers included white roses, dahlias, pine from the gardens at the queen’s Balmoral estate in Scotland, and lavender and rosemary from the gardens at Windsor Castle.

Meanwhile, a Guard of Honor was in position at Parliament Square near Westminster Hall. The guards were accompanied by a Royal Marines Band which had their drums draped and muffled.

The coffin carrying Queen Elizabeth II makes its way along The Mall during the procession for the Lying-in State of Queen Elizabeth II on September 14, 2022 in London, England.
Camera IconThe coffin carrying Queen Elizabeth II makes its way along The Mall during the procession for the Lying-in State of Queen Elizabeth II on September 14, 2022 in London, England. Credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images
David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, Prince William, Prince of Wales, King Charles III, Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Sir Timothy Laurence, Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Mr Peter Phillips walk behind the coffin during the procession for the Lying-in State of Queen Elizabeth II on September 14, 2022 in London, England.
Camera IconDavid Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, Prince William, Prince of Wales, King Charles III, Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Sir Timothy Laurence, Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Mr Peter Phillips walk behind the coffin during the procession for the Lying-in State of Queen Elizabeth II on September 14, 2022 in London, England. Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is transported from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall in London, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022.
Camera IconThe coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is transported from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall in London, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. Credit: Vadim Ghirda/AP
The coffin carrying Queen Elizabeth II makes its way along The Mall during the procession for the Lying-in State of Queen Elizabeth II on September 14, 2022 in London, England.
Camera IconThe coffin carrying Queen Elizabeth II makes its way along The Mall during the procession for the Lying-in State of Queen Elizabeth II on September 14, 2022 in London, England. Credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images
The Imperial State Crown is seen on the coffin carrying Queen Elizabeth II into Westminster Hall for the Lying-in State on September 14, 2022 in London, England.
Camera IconThe Imperial State Crown is seen on the coffin carrying Queen Elizabeth II into Westminster Hall for the Lying-in State on September 14, 2022 in London, England. Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Huge crowds gathered early for Queen’s final journey

Crowds began massing early along the flag-lined road outside the palace for the procession from the monarch’s official London residence to the historic Westminster Hall at Parliament.

Thousands of people gathered on The Mall outside Buckingham Palace and along the banks of the River Thames hours before to watch the coffin procession.

About a half-hour before the procession was due to start, the gun carriage passed through the palace’s wrought iron gates.

King Charles III drives from Clarence House to Buckingham Palace on September 14, 2022 in London, United Kingdom.
Camera IconKing Charles III drives from Clarence House to Buckingham Palace on September 14, 2022 in London, United Kingdom. Credit: Carl Court/Getty Images
Crowds gather along the Mall ahead of the ceremonial procession of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, London, Wednesday Sept. 14, 2022.
Camera IconCrowds gather along the Mall ahead of the ceremonial procession of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, London, Wednesday Sept. 14, 2022. Credit: Aaron Chown/AP
King Charles III drives from Clarence House to Buckingham Palace on September 14, 2022 in London, United Kingdom.
Camera IconKing Charles III drives from Clarence House to Buckingham Palace on September 14, 2022 in London, United Kingdom. Credit: WPA Pool/Getty Images

Joan Bucklehurst, a 50-year-old retail worker from Cheshire in northwestern England, said the queen “meant so much for everybody.”

“She was amazing, yeah,” she added, choking up with emotion. “So, we had to be here. We’ve been here a few times when there have been special occasions, but this one, I couldn’t miss this.”

The crowds were the latest manifestation of a nationwide outpouring of grief and respect for the only monarch most Britons have ever known, who died at her beloved Balmoral summer retreat on Thursday at age 96, ending a 70-year reign.

“It’s a very sad day, but it’s our last opportunity to do our duty for the queen and it’s our first opportunity to do it for the king, and that makes us all very proud,” said Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika, of the Household division, who is responsible for organizing the ceremonial aspects of the queen’s funeral.

London’s Heathrow Airport said it was adjusting timetables to prevent overhead planes disturbing the procession. British Airways canceled 16 flights as a result of the changes.

The airport said in a statement that the changes would “ensure silence over central London as the ceremonial procession moves from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall.”

Queen Elizabeth II's coffin is taken in procession on a Gun Carriage of The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall where she will lay in state until the early morning of her funeral.
Camera IconQueen Elizabeth II’s coffin is taken in procession on a Gun Carriage of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall where she will lay in state until the early morning of her funeral. Credit: WPA Pool/Getty Images

Troops involved in the procession had been preparing since the queen died. So have the horses of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

Sgt. Tom Jenks, from the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, said that the horses have undergone special training, including how to handle weeping mourners, as well as flowers and flags being thrown onto streets as the procession passes by.

People stood behind metal barriers or sat on folding chairs, umbrellas at the ready, takeout coffees in hand under gray skies hours before the coffin was scheduled to leave the landmark palace at 2.22 pm local time.

Crowds have lined the route of the queen’s coffin whenever it has been moved in its long journey from Scotland back to London.

London’s Heathrow Airport said it was adjusting timetables to prevent overhead planes disturbing the procession. British Airways canceled 16 flights as a result of the changes.

People gather along Whitehall ahead of the procession of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, London, Wednesday Sept. 14, 2022.
Camera IconPeople gather along Whitehall ahead of the procession of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, London, Wednesday Sept. 14, 2022. Credit: John Sibley/AP
Crowds are gathering in London to watch the Queen's coffin pass.
Camera IconCrowds are gathering in London for the procession taking the Queen’s coffin to Westminster Hall. Credit: AP

The airport said in a statement that the changes would “ensure silence over central London as the ceremonial procession moves from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall.”

Troops involved in the procession have been preparing since the queen died. So have the horses of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

Sgt. Tom Jenks, from the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, said that the horses have undergone special training, including how to handle weeping mourners, as well as flowers and flags being thrown onto streets as the procession passes by.

People stood behind metal barriers or sat on folding chairs, umbrellas at the ready, takeout coffees in hand under gray skies hours before the coffin was scheduled to leave the landmark palace at 2:22 p.m. (1322 GMT).

Crowds have lined the route of the queen’s coffin whenever it has been moved in its long journey from Scotland back to London.

On Tuesday night, thousands braved a typical London drizzle as the state hearse, with interior lights illuminating the sovereign’s flag-draped casket, drove slowly from a military air base into the heart of London.

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