Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin takes long road through Scotland

EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II’s flag-draped coffin slowly processed through the rugged Scottish countryside Sunday on a final days-long journey from her beloved Balmoral Castle to London. Mourners packed bridges and city streets and lined rural roads and highways, some tossing flowers to honor the monarch who reigned for 70 years.

The hearse drove past piles of bouquets and other tributes as it led a seven-car cortege from Balmoral, where the queen died Thursday at age 96, for a six-hour trip through Scottish towns to Holyroodhouse palace in Edinburgh. The late queen’s coffin was draped in the Royal Standard for Scotland and topped with a wreath made of flowers from the estate, including sweet peas, one of the queen’s favorites.

The procession was a huge event for Scotland as the U.K. takes days to mourn its longest-reigning monarch, the only one most Britons have ever known. Hours before the coffin’s arrival in Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, people turned out early to grab a space by police barricades. By afternoon, crowds were 7-8 people deep in places, eager to be part of such a historic occasion.

“I think she has been an ever-constant in my life. She was the queen I was born under, and she has always been there,” said Angus Ruthven, a 54-year-old civil servant from Edinburgh as he awaited the arrival of the coffin.

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