Princess Anne has said it has been “an honour and a privilege” to accompany the Queen “on her final journeys” as she travels with the coffin of her late mother from Scotland to the capital. Queen Elizabeth’s body boarded an RAF plane this afternoon headed for London, and will lie in state in Westminster Hall from tomorrow morning until the morning of her funeral.
In a heartfelt and personal statement released this evening, the Queen’s only daughter said: “I was fortunate to share the last 24 hours of my dearest mother’s life.
“It has been an honour and a privilege to accompany her on her final journeys.
“Witnessing the love and respect shown by so many on these journeys has been both humbling and uplifting.
“We will all share unique memories. I offer my thanks to each and every one who share our sense of loss.”
The Princess Royal added: “We may have been reminded how much of her presence and contribution to our national identity we took for granted.
“I am also so grateful for the support and understanding offered to my dear brother Charles as he accepts the added responsibilities of the monarch.
“To my mother, The Queen, thank you.”
The Princess Royal had also accompanied the coffin during a procession up the royal mile in Edinburgh.
Earlier today, she walked behind the Queen’s hearse alongside her brother, King Charles III.
At 6pm, she departed Scotland for the last time, after being carefully loaded onto an RAF Globemaster carrier plane at Edinburgh airport.
The King will be joined by Camilla as he receives his mother’s coffin at Buckingham Palace, the monarch’s administrative headquarters and the focal point of many grievers.
From there, a procession will be held on Wednesday afternoon from the palace to the Houses of Parliament, where the Queen will lie in state for the rest of the week.
Again, King Charles will walk behind the coffin, joined by his sons Princes William and Harry, Princess Anne and Prince Edward.
Anne’s son Peter Phillips and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence will also walk in the procession, as well as the Duke of Gloucester and the Earl of Snowdon.
The Queen Consort, Kate, now the Princess of Wales, the Countess of Wessex and Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, will travel by car.
The procession will leave the palace at 2.22pm and is expected to arrive at Westminster Hall at 3pm.
A service lasting around 20 minutes will be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury accompanied by the Dean of Westminster.