Queen Elizabeth’s Highland neighbors cry as they bid farewell

The hearse carrying the coffin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth passes through the village of Ballater, near Balmoral, Scotland, Britain September 11, 2022. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

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BALLATER, Scotland, September 11 (Reuters) – For some of the mourners who gathered in the Scottish Highlands village of Ballater on Sunday, near Queen Elizabeth’s summer residence, watching her coffin pass by on Sunday was like saying goodbye to a dear neighbor.

Hundreds of people lined a road in the village to watch the motorcade, including a hearse carrying the Queen’s remains, shortly after leaving Balmoral Castle heading for Edinburgh via Aberdeen and Dundee. Read more

“It was extremely important for us to be here to see the Queen go,” said Pauline Lawson, 62. “She loved Ballater, she loved Royal Deeside, and we loved her too. There was no doubt we wouldn’t be there to see her go.”

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“It’s just very, very sad. I’m happy to be here to say goodbye,” said Elizabeth Alexander, 69, born on Queen Elizabeth’s coronation day in 1953.

Nicola Gibson said it was important to have made the trip to Ballater to pay his respects.

“I think she’s going to be sorely missed in the UK. She’s done a lot for the country,” Gibson said.

Elizabeth died Thursday at Balmoral, where she loved to spend summer vacations, aged 96. Her oak coffin, which had lain in Balmoral’s ballroom draped in the Royal Flag of Scotland and a wreath, was placed in the hearse by six gamekeepers from the castle estate.

The convoy emerged from the field gates to begin the journey to Edinburgh, initially following a route that flanked the glistening waters of the River Dee under sunny skies with the peaks of Cairngorms National Park in the background.

The procession was expected to take six hours to arrive at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

On Monday, the coffin will be taken to St Giles Cathedral on the Scottish capital’s Royal Mile with Elizabeth’s son, the new King Charles, and other senior royals on foot.

On Tuesday he will be flown to London ahead of a state funeral on September 19 for the woman who reigned for 70 years.

“There is a sense of loss along the way, but there is also a sense of celebration in the Queen’s life,” said Henry Irvine-Fortescue, 64, a second lieutenant from nearby historic Kincardineshire.

“She was such a remarkable woman and what she did and how she represented our nation was remarkable, and we love her for it.”

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Reporting by Marco Trujillo in Ballater Writing by William Schomberg Editing by Frances Kerry

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