Queen comes home to Buckingham Palace as thousands clap and cheer in the rain

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Queen Elizabeth II: Coffin arrives at RAF Northolt

The Queen’s coffin arrived at Buckingham Palace tonight met by royals including King Charles, Queen Consort Camilla, Prince William, Kate, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in an intimate family gathering as huge crowds lined the streets of central London. 

The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex, who have been at the centre of a well-documented rift, came together for the private moment attended by the late monarch’s children, grandchildren and their partners.

Members of the public outside Buckingham Palace applauded and cheered as the coffin arrived at around 8pm from RAF Northolt, where it earlier touched down from Scotland. 

Mourners clapped as the hearse travelled down Constitution Hill and around the Queen Victoria Memorial before driving through the gates of the royal residence and through the central arch into the quadrangle.

The hearse slowed down as it approached the gates.

Outriders stopped with their heads bowed at the end of the journey, while a police officer at the gate saluted.

People cheered “hip hip hooray” after the coffin drove under the arch.

Many well-wishers put down their umbrellas as a sign of respect despite the typically British wet weather, while others wiped tears from their eyes. 

Phone cameras were used to light up the sky as people documented the historic moment. 

The King and Queen Consort left Buckingham Palace just after 8.30pm following the arrival of the late Queen’s coffin.

Queen coffin

The late Queen’s coffin arrives at Buckingham Palace (Image: SKY)

Queen coffin

The hearse arrives at Buckingham Palace (Image: GETTY)

Queen coffin

The Queen’s coffin arrives at the royal residence (Image: GETTY)

Queen coffin

Phone cameras lit up the night sky (Image: GETTY)

Queen coffin

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is taken down Constitution Hill (Image: GETTY)

Hundreds of well-wishers lining the streets of central London erupted into applause and cheers after the Queen’s coffin was driven past them during its journey. 

Blue flashing lights from police escort vehicles lit up the dark streets as the hearse made its way down Park Lane past Marble Arch.

A helicopter broadcasting the route flew across the skies above as the motorcade rode to the palace.

Steve Dale, 67, was camped out on the street by Marble Arch in a deckchair with an umbrella. He said: “Although we live in London, I’m not able physically to queue for hours to visit the coffin, so this is the best way I can pay my respects.”

Queen coffin

The hearse arrives at Buckingham Palace (Image: GETTY)

Queen coffin

The late Queen’s coffin travels to Buckingham Palace (Image: GETTY)

Queen coffin

The late Queen’s coffin travels to Buckingham Palace (Image: GETTY)

Queen coffin

The late Queen’s coffin travels to Buckingham Palace (Image: GETTY)

Earlier today, Princess Anne accompanied her mother’s coffin on her last journey from Scotland to London in what she described as “an honour and a privilege” in a statement. 

The C-17 Globemaster aircraft arrived at RAF Northolt just before 7pm after travelling from Edinburgh.

Cheering crowds lined the route as the state hearse made its way from the airfield in north-west London. 

On the roadside in Perivale, Beryl Dixon, 76, of Ealing, west London, arrived at about 5pm.

She said: “I’m here to pay my respects on her last journey before she gets to Westminster. There was no way I was going to stand for 30 hours to walk passed the coffin. It was more important for me to see it, so this was the best for me. I did exactly the same thing for Diana.”

Queen coffin

Crowds lined the streets (Image: GETTY)

A nine-year-old boy waiting in the rain to say goodbye to the late Queen said she was “like everyone’s grandmother”.

Marcus, who was with his parents Paul and Dorota James, said: “It feels like she was a part of all of us, she was absolutely a part of all of us, she made all of us. She was like everyone’s grandmother.”

The late Queen’s coffin was received at Buckingham Palace, where she spent so many of her decades on the throne.

Queen coffin

The late Queen’s coffin arrived at RAF Northolt before 7pm (Image: PA)

Princess Anne

Princess Anne accompanied her mother’s coffin in her final journey from Scotland to London (Image: PA)

A guard of honour formed of three officers and 96 soldiers from The King’s Guard was mounted in the quadrangle.

Military commands, usually shouted, were given as quietly as possible in honour of the solemn occasion.

The coffin was carried by a bearer party to the Bow Room where a sovereign’s piper played a lament.

It will remain in the Bow Room overnight before a procession on Wednesday to Westminster Hall for the start of the lying in state.

Charles and Camilla

Charles and Camilla (Image: GETTY)

William Kate Harry Meghan

William, Kate, Harry and Meghan are among royals at Buckingham Palace (Image: GETTY)

Members of the public have already joined the queue to attend the lying in state which begins at 5pm on Wednesday.

It will continue until 6.30am on September 19 – the day of the state funeral.

The queue is expected to be hours long for people to pay their respects to the nation’s longest-reigning monarch.

Tens of thousands of people paid their respects as the late Queen’s coffin laid in rest on Monday night at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh.

Demand was so high that the queue had to be closed after noon.

Support worker Bethany Walker, 21, said she came straight from her nightshift to queue, adding: “It’s a historic event and we want to be there. It’s part of the history books.”

The Princess Royal’s journey from Scotland to London today mirrors that she made on Sunday, when she again travelled behind the late Queen’s coffin as it was brought from Balmoral to Edinburgh by car.

In a statement paying tribute to her late mother tonight, Anne 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.

“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.”

She ended her statement: “To my mother, The Queen, thank you.”

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