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Queen Elizabeth II’s Coffin Leaves Balmoral Castle Accompanied by Princess Anne and Sir Timothy Laurence

Queen's Coffin Leaves Balmoral With Princess Anne, Sir Timothy Laurence
Queen Elizabeth II. Steve Parsons/AP/Shutterstock

Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral processions have begun. Three days after the long-reigning monarch died at the age of 96, her coffin has been spotted for the first time.

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“Her Majesty the Queen’s coffin has left Balmoral [Estate],” a statement on the royal family’s Instagram Story read on Sunday, September 11, referring to the Scottish palace where she passed away. “Accompanied by the Princess Royal and Sir Timothy Laurence, the cortege will travel to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.”

Elizabeth’s daughter, Princess Anne, and her 67-year-old husband are making the six-hour drive from Balmoral to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland. Once the coffin arrives, it will stay at the palace until a processional to St Giles’ Cathedral on Monday, September 12. There, King Charles III and various members of the royal family are expected to pay their respects as she is laid in state. The late sovereign’s coffin will eventually be transported to London ahead of her Monday, September 19, funeral at Westminster Abbey.

Queen's Coffin Leaves Balmoral With Princess Anne, Sir Timothy Laurence
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II passes through Balmoral on its way to Palace of Holyroodhouse. Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

During the Sunday hearse, Elizabeth’s coffin decorations featured special significance. A wreath placed on top includes an arrangement of dahlias, sweet peas, phlox, white heather and pine fir that were picked from the grounds at Balmoral.

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Buckingham Place confirmed on Thursday, September 8, that the queen —  who served 70 years on the British throne —  had died after previous health concerns earlier that day. Since her death, the royal family has publicly mourned their loss.

Anne, 72, and the former British Navy officer were among members of The Firm who greeted mourners outside of Balmoral on Saturday, September 10. The married couple — who wed in 1992 — were joined by Anne’s children, Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, as they viewed several floral tributes left in the queen’s honor. Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Countess Sophie also joined the group’s walkabout. The queen’s granddaughters Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice and Lady Louise Windsor were photographed on Saturday as well, comforting their respective parents. (Eugenie and Beatrice are the daughters of Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, while Lady Louise is the eldest child of Edward and Sophie.)

The 73-year-old king’s two sons — Prince William and Prince Harry — honored their grandmother’s legacy during a joint appearance outside Windsor Castle in England. The brothers were accompanied by wives Princess Kate and Meghan Markle, marking the Fab Four’s first public appearance together since the Duke of Sussex, 37, and the Suits alum, 41, stepped down from their posts as senior royals in 2020. As the foursome paid their respects to the crowds of well-wishers, they also came together to view the floral bouquets that had been left in the queen’s honor.

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“On Thursday, the world lost an extraordinary leader, whose commitment to the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth was absolute,” the Prince of Wales, 40, wrote in an emotional statement shared via his Instagram account on Saturday. “So much will be said in the days ahead about the meaning of her historic reign. I, however, have lost a grandmother. And while I will grieve her loss, I also feel incredibly grateful. I have had the benefit of the queen’s wisdom and reassurance into my fifth decade.”

As the royals continue to mourn the loss of the queen — including William and Kate’s 4-year-old son Prince Louis, who realized she was reunited with “Great-Grandpa” Prince Philip — her body will lie in state in both Scotland and England in the forthcoming days ahead of her September 19 funeral.

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