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Sophie Wessex comforts Princess Anne as they watch the Queen’s coffin arriving in Edinburgh

The Countess of Wessex was pictured comforting Princess Anne today as members of the royal family watched Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin arrive in Edinburgh to lie in rest at the Palace of Holyroodhouse overnight.

Sophie, 57, the wife of the Queen’s youngest son Prince Edward, 58, was seen placing her hand on the Princess Royal’s back in a supportive gesture after the coffin made the journey from Balmoral to the Scottish city.

The Queen’s children and their spouses – Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex – watched as soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland carried the coffin into the Palace. 

In a touching moment, deference to the monarch was still observed, with the royal women curtseying and the men bowing their heads. 

Her Majesty did not travel alone during her 180-mile journey, Anne and her husband were in a limousine as part of a procession directly behind her. 

The Queen will stay at the palace overnight before being moved to St Giles’ Cathedral tomorrow afternoon – where earlier a large crowd had gathered to witness the midday proclamation of King Charles as head of state.

Yesterday, both Princess Anne and Sophie appeared teary-eyed as they looked at floral tributes to the Queen left at Balmoral, alongside other members of the royal family.

Meanwhile, Scottish mourners paid tribute to Her Majesty by lining the route of her coffin procession in their thousands as she left Balmoral for the last time.

Silent, sombre and respectful, well-wishers gathered beside country roads, bridges and in village and city centres to say goodbye to the woman who was never more at home than when in Scotland.  

The Countess of Wessex was pictured comforting Princess Anne today as members of the royal family watched Queen Elizabeth II's coffin arrive in Edinburgh to lie in rest at the Palace of Holyroodhouse overnight

The Countess of Wessex was pictured comforting Princess Anne today as members of the royal family watched Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin arrive in Edinburgh to lie in rest at the Palace of Holyroodhouse overnight

In a touching gesture, deference to the monarch was still observed, with the royal women curtseying and the men bowing their heads

In a touching gesture, deference to the monarch was still observed, with the royal women curtseying and the men bowing their heads

In a touching gesture, deference to the monarch was still observed, with the royal women curtseying and the men bowing their heads

Sophie, 57, the wife of the Queen's youngest son Prince Edward, 58, was seen placing her hand on the Princess Royal's back in a supportive gesture after the coffin made the journey from Balmoral to the Scottish city

Sophie, 57, the wife of the Queen's youngest son Prince Edward, 58, was seen placing her hand on the Princess Royal's back in a supportive gesture after the coffin made the journey from Balmoral to the Scottish city

Sophie, 57, the wife of the Queen’s youngest son Prince Edward, 58, was seen placing her hand on the Princess Royal’s back in a supportive gesture after the coffin made the journey from Balmoral to the Scottish city

Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, the Duke of York, the Princess Royal, the Countess of Wessex and the Earl of Wessex at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, awaiting the Queen's coffin

Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, the Duke of York, the Princess Royal, the Countess of Wessex and the Earl of Wessex at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, awaiting the Queen's coffin

Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, the Duke of York, the Princess Royal, the Countess of Wessex and the Earl of Wessex at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, awaiting the Queen’s coffin

On arrival at Holyroodhouse she was met by three of her children and other family members. Pictured here from left to right is Prince Andrew, the Countess of Wessex and the Earl of Wessex

On arrival at Holyroodhouse she was met by three of her children and other family members. Pictured here from left to right is Prince Andrew, the Countess of Wessex and the Earl of Wessex

On arrival at Holyroodhouse she was met by three of her children and other family members. Pictured here from left to right is Prince Andrew, the Countess of Wessex and the Earl of Wessex

By the time the procession reached its destination of Edinburgh’s Palace of Holyroodhouse, after more than six hours, the crowds were 10 deep in places on the famous Royal Mile, a famous thoroughfare the Queen knew well.

As the procession neared its end, flowers were thrown in front of the hearse – from William Purvis, a family run funeral directors based in Scotland – and spontaneous applause broke out from sections of the crowds in the Royal Mile.

At one point, as the cortege travelled through Dundee, a lone long-stemmed flower could be seen on the hearse windscreen and in a rural part of the route farmers paid homage to the Queen with tractors lined up in a field.

Tomorrow, King Charles and Camilla, Queen Consort will visit Edinburgh and join his other siblings walking behind his late mother’s coffin when it is moved from the Palace to St Giles’ Cathedral. At 7.20pm, the monarch will hold a vigil at the late Queen’s coffin with other members of the Royal Family.

Earlier today, a single motorbike police outrider led the way as the hearse travelled at a stately pace through the Aberdeenshire countryside. At one point, as the cortege travelled through Dundee, a lone long-stemmed flower could be seen on the hearse windscreen and in a rural part of the route farmers paid homage to the monarch with tractors lined up in a field.

Hundreds lined the main street of Ballater, the picturesque Victorian village closest to the Balmoral estate, where locals considered her a neighbour, as the Queen’s coffin was driven slowly through. Her Majesty and her family were often seen in the village in Royal Deeside, which she had visited since childhood and where the Royal Family have space to be themselves.

The hearse passed Glenmuick Church, where the Rev David Barr rang the church bells 70 times after the Queen’s death was announced.

Flowers were thrown into the hearse’s path by well-wishers on both sides of the road in Ballater, which was sombre and silent. The hearse slowed to a fast walking pace and mourners could clearly see the royal standard-draped coffin and the wreath featuring flowers from the Balmoral estate, including sweet peas – one of the Queen’s favourite flowers – dahlias, phlox, white heather and pine fir.

In other developments today: 

  • An emotional King Charles was greeted by well-wishers as he arrived at Buckingham Palace where he met with representatives from the Commonwealth;
  • Prince William vowed to serve Wales with ‘humility’ – after he paid tribute to his ‘extraordinary Grannie’ in a heartbreaking statement yesterday; 
  • The Prince and Princess of Wales yesterday reunited with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, for a historic walkabout at Windsor; 
  • Church services took place around the UK today to remember Her Majesty on first Sunday after her death; 
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby told his congregation that this was an ‘unexpectedly extraordinary Sunday’ as he paid tribute to the later monarch; 
  • The Sussexes’ children Archie and Lilibet continued to be listed as ‘Master’ and ‘Miss’ on the new order of succession; 
  • First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, paid tribute to the late Queen in a tweet; 
  • Former Prime Minister David Cameron described how he had to apologise to Her Majesty after revealing details of private phone call. He also revealed that he help Charles prepare for becoming King by holding ‘practice’ audiences.
The Duke of York, the Countess of Wessex, and the Earl of Wessex outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

The Duke of York, the Countess of Wessex, and the Earl of Wessex outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

The Duke of York, the Countess of Wessex, and the Earl of Wessex outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

Princess Anne watches as the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

Princess Anne watches as the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

Princess Anne watches as the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, paid tribute to the Queen when her final journey through the Scottish Highlands began just after 10am.

Ms Sturgeon said in a tweet: ‘A sad and poignant moment as Her Majesty, The Queen leaves her beloved Balmoral for the final time.

‘Today, as she makes her journey to Edinburgh, Scotland will pay tribute to an extraordinary woman.’

The Queen’s oak coffin, draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland with a wreath of Balmoral flowers on top, began its journey from the Queen’s summer sanctuary in the Highlands and the first settlement it reached was Ballater.

Locals from Ballater considered the Queen a neighbour with the monarch and her family often seen in the village in Royal Deeside, which she had visited since childhood and where the monarchy have space to be themselves.

Yesterday, both Princess Anne and Sophie (pictured today) appeared teary-eyed as they looked at floral tributes to the Queen left at Balmoral, alongside other members of the royal family

Yesterday, both Princess Anne and Sophie (pictured today) appeared teary-eyed as they looked at floral tributes to the Queen left at Balmoral, alongside other members of the royal family

Yesterday, both Princess Anne and Sophie (pictured today) appeared teary-eyed as they looked at floral tributes to the Queen left at Balmoral, alongside other members of the royal family

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh 

The death of the Queen became a stark reality for tens of thousands who took to the streets to witness the first stage of her final journey today. 

Many had travelled through the night to secure their place along the route after Her Majesty left her beloved Balmoral for the last time. 

There was a solemn mood as the Queen’s oak coffin draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland reached the climax of the journey to the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. 

Hundreds lined the village’s main street as the Queen’s coffin was driven slowly past, and behind the well-wishers many shops displayed photographs of the monarch as a mark of respect.

The hearse passed Glenmuick Church, where the Rev David Barr rang the church bells 70 times after the Queen’s death was announced.

The vehicle slowed to a fast walking pace and mourners could clearly see the royal standard-draped coffin and the wreath featuring flowers from the Balmoral estate, including sweet peas – one of the Queen’s favourite flowers – dahlias, phlox, white heather and pine fir.

Elizabeth Taylor, from Aberdeen, had tears in her eyes as she considered what she had just seen.

She said: ‘It was very emotional. It was respectful and showed what they think of the Queen. She certainly gave service to this country, even up until a few days before her death.’

Royal fan Andrew Brown, 63, who watched the hearse as it travelled slowly down the Royal Mile said: ‘Up until now everything seemed so surreal but this has brought it all home.

‘I think I had been in a bit of a state of shock and numbness but seeing the coffin and the cortege with my own eyes makes it more of a reality.’

Mr Scott, from Glasgow, added: ‘It’s a sad day but I’m glad I got an opportunity to say goodbye. The Queen loved Scotland and I think it is fitting that her last journey began at Balmoral.’

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth as the hearse arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth as the hearse arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as the hearse arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

People gathered in Edinburgh to pay tribute to Her Majesty as her cortege passed through the Scottish capital earlier today

People gathered in Edinburgh to pay tribute to Her Majesty as her cortege passed through the Scottish capital earlier today

People gathered in Edinburgh to pay tribute to Her Majesty as her cortege passed through the Scottish capital earlier today

Thousands of people turned out as her coffin was transported from Balmoral Castle to the Palace at Holyroodhouse on Sunday afternoon

Thousands of people turned out as her coffin was transported from Balmoral Castle to the Palace at Holyroodhouse on Sunday afternoon

Thousands of people turned out as her coffin was transported from Balmoral Castle to the Palace at Holyroodhouse on Sunday afternoon

Hairdresser Ashley Coventry, who lives in Edinburgh, said: ‘It just feels weird. I think we all knew it was going to come. But it is the realisation of being here – it is a mark of history as well. I’m amazed by the number of people here. People have travelled from far, from all over the place.’

Ashley, who was with daughter Hannah, nine, and husband Scott, 39, added: ‘It’s just a constant stream of people. I’ve never seen anything like it.’

Scott said: ‘The Queen was much loved in our household and it’s a very sad day.’

Lynda Amos, 69, and her husband Richard, 67, told how they broke off from their holiday in the Scottish highlands to travel to Edinburgh to pay their respects. The couple live 50 miles south of the capital in Duns in the Scottish Borders.

Lynda said: ‘We came straight here. We’re devastated. It came as such a shock after we had seen pictures of her only a couple of days before when she met Liz Truss. It is so sad but it is the start of a new beginning as well. The Queen has always been part of their lives. My father was in the RAF and he was in Kenya where the Queen was on holiday when her father died. They all went to the airport and stood to attention when she flew back to Britain to become Queen.

‘We have been to garden parties here a couple of times. The Queen would come to host them on her way up to Balmoral each year. Everyone dressed up and she would really make an effort. She was delightful.’

Chartered surveyor Richard said: ‘Being here makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up.’

It comes after King Charles was greeted by thousands of well-wishers as he arrived at Buckingham Palace where he met with representatives from the Commonwealth.

Crowds lining the length of The Mall – including excited young children sat on top of the shoulders of parents trying to take photos with their phones – cheered and waved at Britain’s new monarch as he was driven in his state Rolls-Royce from Clarence House through the Palace gates at around 1pm, accompanied by a motorcade of four cars and four police motorbikes.

The King was followed shortly after arriving at Buckingham Palace by his wife Camilla, Queen Consort, who was also cheered by mourners.

Charles met Commonwealth general secretary Patricia Scotland in the 1844 Room at 2pm today, before attending a reception with High Commissioners and their spouses from countries where he is head of state at the royal residence’s Bow Room. Then at 3.30pm, the King – who was formally proclaimed at St James’s Palace yesterday – received the Dean of Windsor. 

Guests included Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and the Commissioner for Antigua and Barbuda – whose republican Prime Minister is threatening a referendum on ditching the Crown – as well as representatives for Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, New Zealand, St Christopher and Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Honorary Consul of Tuvalu and the Acting High Commissioner for Australia.

Next week, the King and Queen will embark on a tour of the four home nations in the run-up to his late mother’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey and burial at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, following her death at Balmoral on Thursday aged 96.

Keeping up with tradition: Moving moment Princess Anne maintains royal protocol with a deep curtsey as the Queen’s coffin is brought to the Palace of Holyroodhouse – after escorting hearse from Balmoral to Edinburgh

By Jamie Phillips for MailOnline 

This is the poignant moment Princess Anne maintained royal protocol with a deep curtsey towards the Queen as her mother’s coffin was brought into the Palace of Holyroodhouse. 

The Princess Royal, 71, performed the moving tribute as the coffin was carried into the palace, having travelled with the cortege from Balmoral to Edinburgh today.

Anne was visibly emotional as she lined up alongside the Queen’s children and their spouses – Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Prince Andrew and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

Sophie was seen reaching out to console Anne, who was at her mother’s bedside during her final hours at Balmoral on Thursday.

Being the Queen’s only daughter, the pair shared a special bond that was highlighted today as Anne made the six-hour journey from her mother’s beloved Balmoral to Edinburgh in a vehicle behind the hearse. 

The Queen’s coffin, draped in the Royal Standard for Scotland with a wreath of Balmoral flowers on top, crossed the River Forth via the Queensferry Crossing at around 4pm.

Thousands of mourners had gathered along the Royal Mile as the procession arrived, falling silent in respect as the convoy carrying Anne and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence arrived.

Princess Anne curtseys towards her mother's coffin as it brought into Holyrood House in Edinburgh, where it will stay overnight

Princess Anne curtseys towards her mother's coffin as it brought into Holyrood House in Edinburgh, where it will stay overnight

Princess Anne curtseys towards her mother’s coffin as it brought into Holyrood House in Edinburgh, where it will stay overnight

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, reaches out to console Anne as the coffin was brought in this afternoon

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, reaches out to console Anne as the coffin was brought in this afternoon

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, reaches out to console Anne as the coffin was brought in this afternoon

Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, Prince Andrew, Princess Anne, Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex lined up outside the palace today

Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, Prince Andrew, Princess Anne, Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex lined up outside the palace today

Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, Prince Andrew, Princess Anne, Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex lined up outside the palace today

A round of applause then broke out, before the coffin received a guard of honour by the King’s Bodyguard for Scotland as it was carried out of the hearse by pallbearers and into the palace.

The Queen will stay at the palace overnight before being moved to St Giles’ Cathedral tomorrow afternoon.

Earlier today, a single motorbike police outrider led the way as the hearse travelled at a stately pace through the Aberdeenshire countryside. 

At one point, as the cortege travelled through Dundee, a lone long-stemmed flower could be seen on the hearse windscreen and in a rural part of the route farmers paid homage to the monarch with tractors lined up in a field.

Hundreds lined the main street of Ballater, the picturesque Victorian village closest to the Balmoral estate, where locals considered her a neighbour, as the Queen’s coffin was driven slowly through. Her Majesty and her family were often seen in the village in Royal Deeside, which she had visited since childhood and where the Royal Family have space to be themselves.

Princess Anne approaches the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth as it arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

Princess Anne approaches the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth as it arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

Princess Anne approaches the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth as it arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

Anne watches as the hearse carrying the coffin of her mother is readied to be carried into Holyrood House

Anne watches as the hearse carrying the coffin of her mother is readied to be carried into Holyrood House

Anne watches as the hearse carrying the coffin of her mother is readied to be carried into Holyrood House

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh 

Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence and Princess Anne watch on as pallbearers carry the Queen's coffin today

Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence and Princess Anne watch on as pallbearers carry the Queen's coffin today

Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence and Princess Anne watch on as pallbearers carry the Queen’s coffin today

The Queen's coffin was draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland as it made the journey from Balmoral to Edinburgh

The Queen's coffin was draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland as it made the journey from Balmoral to Edinburgh

The Queen’s coffin was draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland as it made the journey from Balmoral to Edinburgh

The hearse passed Glenmuick Church, where the Rev David Barr rang the church bells 70 times after the Queen’s death was announced.

Flowers were thrown into the hearse’s path by well-wishers on both sides of the road in Ballater, which was sombre and silent. The hearse slowed to a fast walking pace and mourners could clearly see the royal standard-draped coffin and the wreath featuring flowers from the Balmoral estate, including sweet peas – one of the Queen’s favourite flowers – dahlias, phlox, white heather and pine fir.

Earlier, the Queen’s oak coffin was carried to the hearse by six Balmoral estate gamekeepers tasked with the symbolic gesture. It had been at rest in the Balmoral ballroom so the monarch’s estate workers could say their goodbyes.

Tens of thousands took to the streets to witness the first stage of her final journey. 

Many had travelled through the night to secure their place along the route after Her Majesty left her beloved Balmoral for the last time. 

Later, there was a solemn mood as the coffin reached the climax of the journey to the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. 

Mourners stood six deep behind metal barriers on the narrow pavements along the historic Royal Mile which connects the palace with Edinburgh Castle. 

Some with camping chairs had waited for more than eight hours to secure their positions on a day of history. 

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II passes St Giles' Cathedral on its way to Palace of Holyroodhouse

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II passes St Giles' Cathedral on its way to Palace of Holyroodhouse

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II passes St Giles’ Cathedral on its way to Palace of Holyroodhouse

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland, passing Edinburgh Castle

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland, passing Edinburgh Castle

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland, passing Edinburgh Castle 

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland, passing over the Queensferry Crossing as it continues its journey to Edinburgh from Balmoral

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland, passing over the Queensferry Crossing as it continues its journey to Edinburgh from Balmoral

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland, passing over the Queensferry Crossing as it continues its journey to Edinburgh from Balmoral

King Charles III during a reception with Realm High Commissioners and their spouses in the Bow Room at Buckingham Palace

King Charles III during a reception with Realm High Commissioners and their spouses in the Bow Room at Buckingham Palace

King Charles III during a reception with Realm High Commissioners and their spouses in the Bow Room at Buckingham Palace

The crowds built up steadily during the course of the day until there was barely an inch of space to pass on the packed walkways. 

Many in the crowd told how catching just a fleeting glimpse of the coffin containing the Queen’s body had brought the reality of her death into focus.

Meanwhile, an emotional Charles was greeted by thousands of well-wishers as he arrived at his royal Residence earlier today where he met with representatives from the Commonwealth, before it heads onto Westminster Abbey for her state funeral.

Crowds lining the length of The Mall – including excited young children sat on top of the shoulders of parents trying to take photos with their phones – cheered and waved at Britain’s new monarch as he was driven in his state Rolls-Royce from Clarence House through the Palace gates at around 1pm, accompanied by a motorcade of four cars and four police motorbikes.

The King was followed shortly after arriving at Buckingham Palace by his wife Camilla, Queen Consort, who was also cheered by mourners. 

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