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Queen Elizabeth's coffin arrives in Edinburgh ahead of a final journey to London

Pallbearers carry the coffin of late Britain's Queen Elizabeth II covered with the Royal Standard of Scotland, at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, in Edinburgh.
Alkis Konstantinidis
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Pool/AFP/Getty Images
Pallbearers carry the coffin of late Britain's Queen Elizabeth II covered with the Royal Standard of Scotland, at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, in Edinburgh.

Updated September 11, 2022 at 6:13 PM ET

A cortege carrying Queen Elizabeth II's coffin arrived at the royal Palace of Holyroodhouse in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh on Sunday after traveling the 100-mile journey from Balmoral Castle.

The convoy carrying the queen from the royal estate where she died began slowly snaking through the hills and forests of the Scottish highlands. The route took her through villages and towns which were lined by her subjects.

Members of the public gather along the Royal Mile to watch the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, as it is driven through Edinburgh towards the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
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Pool/AFP via Getty Images
Members of the public gather along the Royal Mile to watch the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, as it is driven through Edinburgh towards the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence (left) Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York (second left), Britain's Princess Anne, Princess Royal (center), Britain's Sophie, Countess of Wessex (second right) and Britain's Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex await the arrival of the hearse carrying the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II.
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Pool/AFP/Getty Images
Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence (left) Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York (second left), Britain's Princess Anne, Princess Royal (center), Britain's Sophie, Countess of Wessex (second right) and Britain's Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex await the arrival of the hearse carrying the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II.
People gather in tribute as the cortege carrying the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II passes by in Banchory, United Kingdom.
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Getty Images
People gather in tribute as the cortege carrying the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II passes by in Banchory, Scotland.
Children gather along the streets as they wait to view the cortege carrying the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II in Ballater, United Kingdom.
Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Children gather along the streets as they wait to view the cortege carrying the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II in Ballater, Scotland.
Flowers and pictures of the late Queen Elizabeth II are placed outside of the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.
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AFP via Getty Images
Flowers and pictures of the late Queen Elizabeth II are placed outside of the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.
The guard of honour from the King's Bodyguard for Scotland (Royal Company of Archers) arrive at the Palace of Holyrood House ahead of the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II.
Aaron Chown / AP
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AP
The guard of honour from the King's Bodyguard for Scotland (Royal Company of Archers) arrive at the Palace of Holyrood House ahead of the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II.
Members of the public gather in Princes Street Gardens to observe the Death Gun Salute fired by 105th Regiment Royal Artillery at Edinburgh Castle.
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AFP via Getty Images
Members of the public gather in Princes Street Gardens to observe the Death Gun Salute fired by 105th Regiment Royal Artillery at Edinburgh Castle.
Members of the public pay their respects as they hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland, is driven through Ballater.
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AFP via Getty Images
Members of the public pay their respects as they hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland, is driven through Ballater.

Elaine Weir, a bank worker from Glasgow, came with her two daughters to watch the cortege pass down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

"We all know how much Scotland meant to the Queen, so I think it is lovely for us to be here to witness this event in Scotland, in the capital," she told NPR.

Gamekeepers from the summer retreat Balmoral, where the queen died on Thursday after 70 years on the throne, carried the late sovereign's oak coffin from the castle's ballroom to a hearse. The hearse drove out of the gates of Balmoral past piles of flowers left by the public.

Members of the armed services march near St Giles' Cathedral, in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Jon Super / AP
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AP
Members of the armed services march near St. Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Spectators watch as the cortege with the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II drives on the M90 motorway as it makes its journey to Edinburgh from Balmoral in Scotland.
Alastair Grant / AP
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AP
Spectators watch as the cortege with the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II drives on the M90 motorway as it makes its journey to Edinburgh from Balmoral in Scotland.
Spectators watch as the cortege with the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II crosses the Queensferry Bridge.
Alastair Grant / AP
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AP
Spectators watch as the cortege with the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II crosses the Queensferry Bridge.
The coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II is being transported Sunday on a journey from Balmoral to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, where it will lie at rest before being moved to London later in the week.
Jon Super / AP
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AP
The coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II is being transported Sunday on a journey from Balmoral to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, where it will lie at rest before being moved to London later in the week.
Members of the public stand on a bridge, in Kinross, overlooking the M90 motorway, to pay their respects as they look at the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II.
Andy Buchanan / AFP/Getty Images
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AFP/Getty Images
Members of the public stand on a bridge, in Kinross, overlooking the M90 motorway, to pay their respects as they look at the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Princess Royal and her husband Admiral Sir Tim Laurence travel behind the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II.
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PA Images via Getty Images
The Princess Royal and her husband Admiral Sir Tim Laurence travel behind the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II.
Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, 2022, and is succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III.
Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on Thursday. She is succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III.

In Scotland, there is respect for the queen but skepticism for the institution of monarchy.

Heather McGrath, a chef who lives in Glasgow, told NPR she thinks the royal family is redundant.

"We don't really need them. It's just like it's a tourist attraction more than anything."

Heather McGrath, 38, who works as a pastry chef in Glasgow, supports Scottish independence and does not support the monarchy.
Frank Langfitt / NPR
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NPR
Heather McGrath, 38, who works as a pastry chef in Glasgow, supports Scottish independence and does not support the monarchy.

A Scottish nationalist, McGrath voted for independence in the 2014 referendum and said she would do so again if she gets the chance.

For others, though, the cortege felt personal and historic. Terry Rigby, a retired air traffic controller, brought his grandson to watch in the town of Banchory.

Terry Rigby, 72, a retired air traffic controller, brought his grandson, River, 11, to watch the Queen's funeral cortege pass through the Scottish town of Banchory.
Frank Langfitt / NPR
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NPR
Terry Rigby, 72, a retired air traffic controller, brought his grandson, River, 11, to watch the queen's funeral cortege pass through the Scottish town of Banchory.

Rigby said he had celebrated the queen's coronation in 1953 outside Buckingham Palace.

"I was sitting on my father's shoulders," Rigby recalled. "That was her first journey. This is the last."

Police officers wait for Queen Elizabeth II's coffin on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.
Peter Byrne / PA Images via Getty Images
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PA Images via Getty Images
Police officers wait for Queen Elizabeth II's coffin on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.
People hold flowers as they wait to view the cortege carrying the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II in Ballater, United Kingdom.
Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images
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Getty Images
People hold flowers as they wait to view the cortege carrying the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II in Ballater, Scotland.
The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II covered with the Royal Standard of Scotland and a flowers is driven away from Balmoral Castle in Ballater.
Andy Buchanan / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, which is covered with the Royal Standard of Scotland and flowers, is driven away from Balmoral Castle in Ballater.

The queen's death kicked off a series of events that will last more than a week before her funeral, scheduled to take place Sept. 19. On Monday, she'll be conveyed from the palace to nearby St. Giles' Cathedral to lie at rest before being flown to London on Tuesday.

Over the weekend, the queen's eldest son was formally proclaimed the new monarch — King Charles III — at an accession ceremony.

"I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of sovereignty, which have now passed to me," he said.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Philip Reeves is an award-winning international correspondent covering South America. Previously, he served as NPR's correspondent covering Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India.
Robert Griffiths
Frank Langfitt is NPR's London correspondent. He covers the UK and Ireland, as well as stories elsewhere in Europe.