AFP, Posted on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 at 6:22 pm.
Under the moved gaze of a Scottish crowd, Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin left Edinburgh for London on Tuesday, to receive her remains and the hundreds of thousands of Britons expected at the historic funeral.
The King’s remains, accompanied by Princess Anne, were carried in a Royal Air Force plane by soldiers in ceremonial dress. He will be welcomed in the British capital by other members of the royal family, including Charles III, returning from his first visit as monarch to Northern Ireland, a delicate step towards his ascension to the throne.
Sovereignty was instrumental in reconciling the province with its bloody past. But nearly a quarter of a century after a fragile peace returned between republicans, particularly Catholics, and unionists, mainly Protestants, tensions have been reignited by Brexit, which has revived the idea of separating from the United Kingdom and reuniting with Ireland. .
Upon their arrival, Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla interacted with members of the public gathered in front of Hillsborough Castle on Tuesday. They shook hands for a long time, greeted the children, exchanged a few words: images that were difficult to imagine in the time of “troubles”.
“With a shining example before me, and with God’s help, I take up my new duties determined to secure the well-being of all the people of Northern Ireland,” the monarch told local parliament.
Politically paralyzed and in turmoil as a result of the last election victory of Sinn Féin republicans who do not recognize the authority of the monarchy, Northern Ireland is the most delicate leg of the tour that the new king began in IV. Constituent countries of the United Kingdom.
He visited the British Parliament in London on Monday and then the Edinburgh Parliament before traveling to Cardiff, Wales on Friday.
“It’s reassuring to see communities rallying behind the new monarch,” observes retiree Ann Sudlov, who welcomes a certain unity in the province, similar to the sentiment that has gripped the country since Elizabeth II’s death on Thursday at the age of 96.
– “Too Dark” –
In Edinburgh, tens of thousands of Britons waited for hours, into the night, to meditate, bow, bow, cross themselves or wipe away tears before the casket in the Scottish capital of Saint-Gilles de la Croix.
Placed on a dais and draped with the yellow, red and navy standard of Scotland, a wreath of white flowers and the solid gold crown of Scotland, the coffin remained accessible throughout the night.
King Charles III and his three siblings – Princes Andrew and Edward, along with Princess Anne – arrived earlier in the evening to observe the Queen’s wake with consort Camilla. A photograph of Elizabeth II’s children returning to her coffin made front page news on Tuesday.
Natalia Dasiukevich, 46, from Russia, who arrived from Glasgow early on Tuesday, said she was in a “very dark mood” and was fighting back tears. “I wasn’t born in this country, I’m far from my family, and the closest thing my child has to a grandmother is the Queen.”
– Royal and Anonymous Tribute –
Elizabeth II’s body was kept away from the public until Monday evening: first at Balmoral Castle in the north of Scotland, where the monarch died, and then at the royal palace of Holyrood.
A rock of stability and sometimes a popular figure during the political, social or health storm during Covid-19, the Queen has been an image of reassurance for millions of Britons.
Tensions in Northern Ireland, separatist aspirations in Scotland, rising inflation: the new 73-year-old monarch, the oldest of all British sovereigns when they ascended the throne, takes office at a critical moment. The country, in the grip of a severe social and political crisis, has a new prime minister for days.
The King may be induced by a republican regime in some of his 14 other kingdoms (notably including Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, New Zealand or Jamaica), thanks to this regime change.
“I believe this is the direction New Zealand is going at some point, I believe it will happen in my lifetime, but I don’t see it in the short term,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.
Upon arrival in London, the sovereign’s remains will spend last night at Buckingham Palace, her official home during her 70-year and seven-month reign. It will then begin the second part of its public presentation on Wednesday, which will see hundreds of thousands of people march 24 hours a day over five days. Some started lining up on Monday.
The Queen’s funeral will be held on Monday, attended by around 500 foreign dignitaries and several crowned heads. But Russia, Belarus and Burma were not invited.
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