World Thousands line streets for procession of Queen Elizabeth II's...

Thousands line streets for procession of Queen Elizabeth II’s casket to lie in state

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Members of the Life Guards Household Cavalry ride along The Mall ahead of the procession to carry the body of Britain’s late Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, in London on Wednesday. The late queen will lie in state for four days inside Westminster Hall until the morning of her funeral on Monday. Photo by Tolga Akmen/EPA-EFE

Sept. 14 (BP) — The casket carrying Queen Elizabeth II was scheduled to leave Buckingham Palace in London for the final time on Wednesday in a procession to take it to the Houses of Parliament, where she will lie in state for four days.

Thousands of Britons turned out to watch the queen’s casket move along in the procession on a gun carriage, and hundreds of thousands are expected to visit as she lies in state before her formal funeral on Monday.

The procession was planned to wind through central London, along Queen’s Gardens, the Mall, Horse Guards and Horse Guards Arch, Whitehall, Parliament Street, Parliament Square and New Palace Yard.

Wednesday’s procession and the queen lying in state are the first major ceremonial events since Elizabeth died Thursday at age 96 after 70 years on the British throne.

The queen’s casket will lie in state at Westminster Hall after the procession takes it along the River Thames.

The casket was scheduled to leave Buckingham Palace around 2:20 p.m. BST (9:20 a.m. EDT) and arrive at Westminster Hall about 40 minutes later. There will be a gun salute at Hyde Park during the casket’s procession, during which one round will be fired every minute.

Crowds of people began forming early Wednesday along the procession route as Britons wanted a chance to witness the historic event and honor the queen. Some staked out their positions overnight to ensure they had a good view. Thousands more gathered at Green Park with folding chairs and other items.

Members of the royal family will walk along the procession behind the queen’s casket, including the country’s new monarch, the queen’s eldest son, King Charles III. Also in the procession will be her children Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward and her grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry, Charles’ sons.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will hold a brief service once the queen arrives at Westminster Hall and begins four days of mourning before the state funeral Monday.

A small group of anti-monarch protesters were arrested by London police on Wednesday. Labor Party leader Kier Starmer said demonstrators should show a “spirit of respect” for the late queen.

“Respect the fact that hundreds of thousands of people do want to come forward and have that moment,” Starmer said according to The Guardian. “Don’t ruin it for them. The word I’d use around that issue is respect.

“I think if people have spent a long time waiting to come forward to have that moment as the coffin goes past or whatever it may be, I think the respect that.”

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