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YEAR IN REVIEW: Elizabeth, Queen of Scots leaves her realm for the final time

Elizabeth, the first Queen of Scots to bear that name, died in her northern realm on September 8th 2022. Three days later, at 10am on the morning of 11th September, Her Late Majesty began her final journey from her beloved Balmoral Estate, Aberdeenshire, where she had passed away. It would prove to be a moving journey.

The Queen’s coffin, transported by the royal hearse, was draped in the Scottish royal standard and adorned with a wreath made of flowers picked from the gardens of Balmoral.

The first village on the processional route was that of Crathie, which is the parish where the British Royal Family worship when they reside at Balmoral and was close to the late Queens heart.

BBC still/ fair use

As the cortège slowly proceeded along the River Dee, through Aberdeenshire villages close to Balmoral, such as Ballater, Dinnet, Aboyne, Kincardine O’Neil, Banchory, Drumoak, Peterculter and Cults, thousands lined the funeral procession route through Royal Deeside to pay their last respects, not only to their Queen, but someone they also considered their neighbour. There were many moving moments, including a guard of honour made up of tractors which bowed in unison as Her Late Majesty’s coffin was driven past.

The funeral procession continued the 180 mile journey to The Queens official Scottish residence, The Palace of Holyroodhouse. Passing through Dundee, Perth and Queensferry Crossing – which The Queen had opened on the 4th September 2017.

As the procession reached Edinburgh at approximately 4pm, it passed by the Scottish parliament, where Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, had gathered with Scottish party leaders to observe the passing of the Queens coffin. Her Late Majesty was then transported into the grounds of The Palace of Holyroodhouse, passing by the flowers and tributes left at the palace gates.

BBC still/ fair use

The Queen’s coffin was laid out in the Throne Room overnight, to allow the Palace of Holyroodhouse staff to pay their last respects. On September 12th 2022, the coffin was transported in procession along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, followed by The Royal Family and led by the new monarch – King Charles III – towards St. Giles’ Cathedral.

Thousands of mourners lined the streets of Edinburgh as minute guns were fired from Edinburgh Castle and the sound of pipers could be heard as a mark of respect.

The Crown of Scotland on top of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II (BBC still/ Fair Use)

The Royal Regiment of Scotland bearer party carefully carried the Queen’s coffin from the royal hearse into the cathedral, where a Service of Thanksgiving was held for Her Majesty The Queen, before she lay in state for 24 hours as mourners queued around the clock to pay their respects. Approximately 33,000 mourners filed past the coffin.

On the 13th September, a prayer service was held at the cathedral, before the Queen’s coffin was carried by the same bearer party from the cathedral to the royal hearse, followed by her final Scottish journey from St. Giles’ Cathedral, to Edinburgh airport.

The Vigil of the Princes in St. Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh (BBC still/ fair use)

As the cortège arrived at Edinburgh airport, it was greeted by royal salutes from the Royal Regiment of Scotland. Princess Anne, The First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon and Scotland’s Secretary of State Alistair Jack looked on as the Queens coffin was carried by The Royal Air Force bearer party from the hearse, into the RAF Globemaster C-17.

The Princess Royal accompanied her late mother on her final journey from Scotland. The National Anthem was played as the RAF aircraft departed. By then, the sun was beginning to dip in the autumn sky. Against a backdrop of changing colours, the plane became a silhouette and Elizabeth, Queen of Scots left her realm for the final time.

About author

Susan is an Actress, Vocalist, Voice-over artist and Writer. She graduated from the University of Salford with a BA (HONS) Music Degree and spent some time travelling around Europe with various choirs, during which time she also performed in the opening ceremony of the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games before pursuing her acting and writing career.