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Place for mourners: Queen’s coffin arrives at Buckingham Palace

Mourners are booking seats
The Queen’s coffin arrives at Buckingham Palace

The late Queen Elizabeth II has returned to London soil. The Royal Air Force aircraft with the Queen’s coffin landed in the west of the British capital in the evening. Thousands of people are lining the streets. Charles III takes the coffin. received at Buckingham Palace.

Five days after her death in Scotland, the Queen was transferred to London today. The body of Queen Elizabeth II was delivered by plane from Edinburgh, and in the evening an RAF transport plane landed at Northolt Air Base in the west of the British capital. On board was the daughter of the former monarch, Princess Anne. Then the body was transported to Buckingham Palace, where it is now from King Charles III, who had previously returned from Northern Ireland. was received. Also in attendance were Charles’s brothers, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, and all their grandchildren, including Prince William and Prince Harry.

As in Edinburgh, thousands of people lined the streets of London along the hearse route and in front of the palace to catch a glimpse of the coffin. When the car pulled up to Buckingham Palace, people greeted her with applause. The car was illuminated from the inside so that the coffin could be seen through the window panes despite the darkness. It was a state hearse, the design of which was approved by the Queen herself.

On Wednesday afternoon, the coffin is to be taken from the palace to Parliament, where it will be laid out in Westminster Hall for several days. Thousands of people are expected on the roadsides. In Germany, major TV channels ARD, ZDF and RTL also broadcast the procession live.

The diehards are looking for a place for a funeral procession

Thousands of soldiers rehearsed the funeral procession until sunrise on Tuesday. The die-hard royalists were already lining up along the route to get a better view of what was happening. King Charles III meanwhile visited the province of Northern Ireland with Queen Camilla. He was welcomed to Belfast, received condolences and attended a church service. This was Charles’ 40th visit to Northern Ireland, which, together with England, Wales and Scotland, forms the United Kingdom.

The chairman of the regional parliament, Alex Maskay, praised the late monarch for breaking down barriers and reconciliation in the region, where the civil war took place. “She showed that a small and insignificant gesture — a visit, a handshake, a street crossing or a few words in Irish — can make a huge difference when it comes to changing attitudes and building relationships,” Muskie said of Hillsborough Castle. The Queen was equally supportive of British and Irish customs. She emphasized that one tradition is not belittled by attempts to show respect for another.

The Queen's coffin is taken out of the plane at Northolt Air Force Base.

The Queen’s coffin is taken out of the plane at Northolt Air Force Base.

(Image: via REUTERS)

Report: Russia not invited to state funeral

Commentators attached historical significance to the statements. After all, Maskay is a member of the Catholic Republican Sinn Féin party, which advocates reunification with the Republic of Ireland, a member of the EU, and was previously considered the political wing of the IRA terrorist organization. Many Sinn Féin voters vehemently reject the monarchy as representative of a once-authoritarian regime. Charles’ great-uncle Louis Mountbatten was killed by the IRA in 1979.

At the state funeral on Monday (September 19), attended by hundreds of heads of state and government, members of the royal families and other dignitaries in London, including US President Joe Biden and Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Russian representatives are not welcome. According to media reports, representatives of Russia and Belarus, against whom the UK has imposed numerous sanctions due to Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine, and Myanmar in Southeast Asia, did not receive invitations. The PA news agency also reported, citing government sources, that Iran, with which diplomatic relations are strained, should be represented only at the level of ambassadors.

Arrest of opponents of the monarchy: too little freedom of speech?

After the arrests of opponents of the monarchy during the Queen’s ceremonies in the UK, there is also a debate about the possible lack of freedom of speech. According to the BBC, Ruth Smith, head of Censorship Index, called the arrests after anti-monarchy protests “very disturbing”. Royal ceremonies must neither intentionally nor unintentionally limit the freedom of expression of citizens.

In Scotland, two 22-year-olds have been arrested in recent days for disturbing the peace during the proclamation of the new king, Charles III. and the Queen’s funeral procession. On Tuesday, one of two demonstrators who clearly opposed Prince Andrew was indicted. Andrew, 62, is particularly controversial for his involvement in the late American multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein scandal. There was also an arrest in the English university city of Oxford. Video footage from London also shows police turning away a woman holding a “Not my king” sign from the entrance to Parliament.

Freedom’s Jody Beck said she was very concerned that the police were using their powers in a harsh and punitive manner, according to the BBC. The London Metropolitan Police pointed to the huge challenges police face at royal mass events, but also reassured the public that they have the right to protest.

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