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Queen’s Cortege: Her Majesty makes final journey from beloved Balmoral to Edinburgh

The Queen's procession at the King George VI Bridge. Picture by Kath Flannery.

The Queen has left her treasured private home of Balmoral for the final time.

A fleet of vehicles began the journey to Edinburgh from Royal Deeside shortly after 10am this morning.

Princess Anne was in a car immediately behind the hearse with her husband Timothy Laurence.

Princess Anne follows in the first car. Picture by Kami Thomson / DC Thomson.

As Her Majesty’s coffin was taken from her home in Balmoral – she travelled through the lands and estates of places she loved, of the place where people called Her Majesty a friend, a neighbour.

A six-hour journey of 175miles – took her from Balmoral through Aberdeenshire and into Aberdeen and away from the lands she loved.

She travelled through Dundee, through the Kingdom of Fife and over The Queen’s Crossing at the River Forth.

In Edinburgh, her journey finished for the night at Holyroodhouse Palace, where she will remain overnight.

In the morning, Her Majesty will be moved to St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh.

Mourners lined the streets in communities including Ballater, Aboyne, Banchory and Aberdeen.

The hearse carrying the late Queen passes through Ballater. Picture by Wullie Marr / DC Thomson.


Her Majesty’s coffin was moved from Balmoral Castle ballroom, where she had lain since her passing, by six of her faithful ghillies and gamekeepers.

As her coffin left the castle the Sovereign’s piper played two tunes, Balmoral and Glen Gelder.

The piper was accompanied by the minister of Crathie Kirk, the Reverend Kenneth McKenzie.

A simple wreath was on the coffin – flowers and foliage all cut from the gardens and estate at Balmoral. It included sweet peas – one of the Queen’s favourite flowers – dahlias, phlox, white heather and pine fir.

The Queen’s procession on Great Southern Road after it crossed the King George VI Bridge, showing detail of the wreath from Balmoral Estate. Picture by Kath Flannery

When Her Majesty emerged from the castle the Ballater royal guard formed by Balaclava Company the Royal Regiment of Scotland will present arms in a Royal Salute to their Sovereign of Happy Memory.

Our reporter, Lauren Taylor who was at Balmoral, said: “A respectful silence fell outside the gates of Balmoral as the Queen’s body was seen for the first time.

“After police escorts made their way across the bridge first, the hearse led the convoy.
The coffin was covered by a flag and topped with what looked like a wreath of white roses.

“Multiple cars followed and even in the moments after the area remained silent as everyone took their time to reflect on seeing the Queen leave her beloved Aberdeenshire home for the last time.”

Crathie Kirk

A few dozen people gathered for the first Sunday service at Crathie Kirk since the Queen’s death, which took place around 90 minutes after her coffin departed Balmoral.

A day earlier, some of the Queen’s children and grandchildren visited the church for a prayer service before meeting members of the public and viewing tributes outside the gates of Balmoral.

The Duke of York, his daughters Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, Princess Royal, her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Earl of Wessex, his wife the Countess of Wessex and daughter Lady Louise Windsor, and Anne’s children Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall all attended.

Floral tributes at Balmoral. Picture by Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

The Very Reverend Dr Angus Morrison, who has previously served as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, described the Queen as a “person of sincere and deeply-held Christian faith”.

She has frequently attended church during her summer stays at Balmoral.

He told those gathered: “We have been privileged to witness this, some of you at particularly close quarters as our Sovereign lived out her faith with such grace, joy, wisdom and peace.

He said he had been told Psalm 23, read at Sunday’s service and featuring the well-known line “The Lord is my shepherd”, was the Queen’s favourite.

The minister said: “I just wonder if the Queen were here today, recognising our united grief, she might say to us ‘remember Psalm 23 and its message of faith and hope’.

“For in such a beautiful manner, this Psalm gives expression to the faith that was at the foundation of her life.”

Towards the end of the service, the congregation sang God Save The King.


In Ballater, hundreds lined the main street as the Queen’s coffin was driven slowly through the village closest to the Balmoral estate, where many locals considered the late Queen a neighbour, some a friend.

The Queen and her family were often seen in the village, which she had visited since childhood and where the royal family are allowed space to be themselves.

There was no clapping in Ballater, no vocal paying of respects – there was only reflection and prayerfulness –no sound but for the engines of her cortege.

The Queen leaves Balmoral. Supplied by Kami Thomson.
Large crowds gathering in Aberdeen ahead of the Queen’s cortege.

Many shops in the picturesque Victorian village displayed photographs of the Queen in their windows, in tribute.

The hearse passed Glenmuick Church where the Rev David Barr had rung the church bells 70 times after the death was announced.

He said: “I think the people want to come because this was her local village. And the main reason is, they love the Queen. She’s been a constant in our world.

“I’m 60, she was always my Queen. She’s on our money, she’s on our postage stamps, on Christmas day we work our dinner round so we can see Her Majesty The Queen at three o’clock.

“Throughout the turmoil of political parties and government parties changing, the Second World War, Cold War, Covid, all these different things, she’s been our rock. I think the best word we say is the constant. But she’s also been our mum, our gran, our great-gran.”

Crowds gather early in Banchory to get a good spot ahead of The Queen’s Procession. Banchory. Supplied by Sandy McCook

Well-wishers, who had waited patiently for the opportunity to pay their respects, bowed their heads while others saluted as the hearse drove slowly by.

Afterwards, Margaret MacKenzie, from Inverness, said: “It was very dignified. It was nice to see that a lot of people came out to support and pay their respects.”

Guest house manager Victoria Pacheco said: “She meant such a lot to people in this area. People were crying, it was amazing to see.”

She said guests were overcome when news broke of the Queen’s death last week.

The hearse carrying the late queen passes through Ballater. Picture by Wullie Marr / DC Thomson.

Elizabeth Taylor, from Aberdeen, had tears in her eyes as she considered what she had just seen.

She said: “It was very emotional. It was respectful and showed what they think of the Queen.

“She certainly gave service to this country even up until a few days before her death.”

The Queen’s Procession – Aboyne, Aberdeenshire. Pictures by Jason Hedges
The Queen’s Procession at Holburn Street / Great Western Junction. Picture by Kenny Elrick
Early morning scene of floral tributes at Balmoral Castle. Picture by Kami Thomson / DC Thomson
Queen Elizabeth’s cortege leaves Balmoral Castle for Edinburgh. Picture by Kami Thomson
The hearse carrying the late queen passes through Ballater. Picture by Wullie Marr / DC Thomson
‘Thank you, your Majesty’. Picture by Craig Munro


In Aboyne, the streets were 10 deep with people who had come out to pay their respects to Her Majesty.

There was silence as her cortege passed through the village, with many bowing their heads as the Queen’s hearse, and daughter Princess Anne passed through the street.

The queen travels through Aboyne on her way to Edinburgh. Picture by Jason Hedges
Across the Aberdeenshire hills, it’s a beautiful, calm and peaceful beginning to the day of The Queen’s cortege. Picture by Jason Hedges

The full route of the cortege can be found here.

We are glad that we stood and gave silent thanks and said goodbye as Her Majesty the Queen left the valley for the final time.

Posted by HorseBack UK on Sunday, 11 September 2022


The streets were crowded in Banchory with people coming from all over the north and north-east of Scotland to pay their respects.

People on the High Street fell into silence as the Queen made her last journey through the Deeside town.

As the hearse passed by, people were quick to bow their heads and pay their respects.

People were seen holding flowers in her honour and even a couple of unrolled Union Jack flags as she passed by.

People lining the streets clapped as the Queen’s cortege moved out of Banchory.

The funeral cortege through Banchory for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth as the crowds build followed by the cortege. Picture by Sandy McCook

After the applause for the Queen came to an end, people appeared to pause briefly before droves started to move from what had been their position for the last two hours.

Those who had been peering out from their homes closed their windows and camping chairs were packed up as people gathered their belongings and loved ones and some wiped away tears.

Within minutes the town returned to its usual hustle and bustle as those visiting made the most of the glorious sunshine and cafes, pubs and restaurants became packed.

The High Street, although back to experiencing its usual Sunday traffic, appears quieter as though still echoing the final farewell of hundreds to the much-loved Queen.

Slywia, 46, and her boyfriend Lukas, 40, from Aberdeen bowed in respect as the Queen passed by.

Slywia, 46, and her boyfriend Lukas, 40, from Aberdeen in Banchory.

Slywia said: “The Queen is very important to me, she’s been such a good queen.” She then could not go on as she got too emotional and started to cry.

Lukas carried on: “We wanted to give something out of respect to who she was. She is a Queen for all people in the world not just the UK.

“It is very sad for us and we hope that everything is well with the Queen’s family.

“She was like a mother for everyone.”

Farmers and horse riders lined the fields in a guard of honour on either side of the road as Her Majesty’s hearse left the town.


Gary Yule, Sophie Yule 13, Kathleen Yule, Lewis Yule 11 and Claire. Photo by Michael Traill

There was a smattering of applause from the residents of Peterculter, who lined both sides of North Deeside Road as the cortege made its way through.

The public line the streets of Peterculter, Aberdeenshire to say farewell to the queen as she takes her final journal through her beloved Royal Deeside. Photo by Michael Traill

Among those paying tribute were a dozen horses and their riders, who lined up in a field as the Queen passed through the community for the final time.


Rosie the Corgi watches The Queen’s procession on Great Southern Road after it crossed the King George VI Bridge. Picture by Kath Flannery

As the cortege passed through Aberdeen the streets were lined with thousands of people paying their respects. Flowers were thrown on the streets.

The Queens Coffin cortege passed all the dignitaries at Duthie Park in Aberdeen with crowds gathered. Picture: Jasper Image

As well as prayerful silence, a church choir from the Redeemed Christian Church of God sang out on Great Western Road after the hearse had passed by.

The Queen’s Procession at Holburn Street / Great Western Junction. Picture by Kenny Elrick

Crowds five or six deep jockeyed for a clear view of the Queen’s cortege as it rolled down Great Southern Road.

The public grew even more expectant as the TV helicopter listed across the Aberdonian sky.

The Queen’s Procession at Holburn Street / Great Western Junction. Picture by Kenny Elrick

Having slowed down earlier along the route, the cortege was slightly later than planned.

It left uniformed pensioners and phone cameras poised, and flag-waving toddlers bouncing on their parents’ shoulders.

Crowds line the streets of Aberdeen. Supplied by Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

When the hearse arrived, flanked by dozens of police cars and motorbikes, it sailed past the city’s second flag perched in Duthie Park.

Around 20 city dignitaries, including the city’s lord lieutenant, stood at attention at the south-western gates of Duthie Park.

The Queen’s Procession at Holburn Street / Great Western Junction. Picture by Kenny Elrick

Princess Anne acknowledged the salutes of those gathered before the cars crossed the King George VI bridge, named after the Queen’s father.

Floral tributes were left at the side of the road, heralding Her Majesty out of the Granite City for the final time.

Our reporter Alastair Gossip said: “Onlookers say they are here for the Queen, who has so much for the country and to be “part of history”.

Crowds for The Queen’s procession on Great Southern Road after it crossed the King George VI Bridge.<br />Picture by Kath Flannery

“Some here from as far away from Australia, having travelled home to Aberdeen for a family reunion.”


At Newtonhill, a large crowd had already gathered well in advance of the expected passing of the hearse – with many more watching live on TV before hurrying out when they knew the procession was drawing near.

Crowds watch as The Queen passes Newtonhill. Supplied by Joe Churcher

By the time the police bikes came into view, the A92 Dundee road was lined with 400 people or more, scores of them packed onto a bridge that had been closed to traffic for the occasion, from where some waved and others bowed their heads.

Umbrellas has been at the ready as it began to spot with rain, but the clouds parted just at the right moment for the cortege to be bathed in sunlight as it passed through and on towards Muchalls and Stonehaven.

Crowds watch as The Queen passes Newtonhill. Supplied by Joe Churcher

The cortege was running later than planned, due to the large volumes of people who had gathered.


Thousands gathered in the cathedral city as the Queen’s coffin made its way towards Edinburgh.

Large crowds gathered, Brechin Castle, Brechin. Picture by Kim Cessford / DC Thomson

The Royal cortege passed through the gates of Brechin Castle shortly after 1pm on Sunday.

It had turned off the St Anne’s junction of the A90.

The route past Brechin Castle into the western entrance of the cathedral city was lined by thousands of mourners.

Brechin Castle. Picture by Kim Cessford / DC Thomson

Many had been there for several hours to pay their respects.

The cortege spent around 45 minutes at the castle before continuing its journey down the A90 to Dundee.


As the cortege entered Dundee, shortly after 2.20pm, the long stretch of road into the city was lined with people three or four deep.

The Queen passes through Dundee. Supplied by Richard Prest

They bowed heads, and gently clapped as the Queen’s cortege made its way into the city.

Mourners continue to throw flowers onto the road as the cortege passes.

Alastair Strickland, 79, and his wife Dorothy from Crieff said: “I am here to be part of it all.

“We’ve been watching it on TV but we wanted to see something more tangible. All the crowds are a reflection of how people felt about her.”

Emma Laing, Jenny Heard and Susie Knox came down on their horses to see the Queen’s Cortege come through Perthshire.

Susie said they wanted to come down because the Queen loved horses.

Fighting back tears, 88-year-old Nancy Findlay said she had to pay her respects to The Queen.

The Dundonian said: “How could I not be here?

“I saw her on television last week and she was walking with a stick but she was all smiles.

“Two days later she was away, but better that than linger.

“I never saw The Queen but I have met and spoken to King Charles.

“About 20 years ago I was in the City Square and saw an ex-colleague. I asked why there were so many people.

In Brechin.

“She said wait there and you’ll see Charles.

“About a minute later, sure enough, his car arrived and he headed straight for me.

“He asked if I’d been waiting long but I didn’t tell him the truth. Would you?”

Nancy attended with her granddaughter Emily Hood, 6.

Queensferry Crossing

Crowds gathered by the side of the River Forth at the Queen’s Crossing on either side of the water.

People were lined up right the way down the road near the crossing at North Queensferry.

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland, passing over the Queensferry Crossing. Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

The cortege moved at pace before making its way into South Queensferry and into the Scottish capital.

The roadbridge was opened just five years ago by Her Majesty.


Crowds built on the Royal Mile since early morning to witness the passing of the Queen’s cortege.

Many people stood 20 or 30 people deep on the cobbled streets of the city centre. People as far as the eyes could see, stood in near silence, with gentle ripples of clapping as the hearse passed by.

The Queen’s coffin was taken on a route around the city, ending on the Royal Mile to the Palace of Holyrood House, where it will stay overnight.

Some cheering was heard as she passed St Giles Cathedral towards the Palace of Holyrood House.

As the cortege ended the long journey from Balmoral, it was met in the courtyard of the palace by ministers and dignitaries – as well as members of the Queen’s Household.

The coffin will be taken into the throne room inside the Palace of Holyrood House, watched by three of the Queen’s children: Princess Royal, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

In the morning, the coffin will be moved back up the Royal Mile to St Giles Cathedral where Her Majesty will lie in state for 24 hours.

The cortege will be followed by King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla on foot to the cathedral.

Who is gathering at the roadside?

Cole and his mum Dawn, from Elgin, said: “They’ve just learnt all about her in school, so it’s been really important for them. When I told him the other night he was really emotional. As I say, they’ve just learnt all about her in school, and now she’s gone. It’s really sad.

“[We came to Ballater] Just because she enjoyed it so much. We’d never been here before, although we’re just along the road, and it’s nice to come and see where she enjoyed.”

Crowds gather early in Ballater to get a good spot ahead of The Queen’s Procession. Picture by Wullie Marr

“It’s something that we’ll probably never see again. We’ve got known anything else, none of us have known anything else. It’s going to be so strange not seeing her.”

Crowds for The Queen’s procession on Great Southern Road after it crossed the King George VI Bridge. <br />Picture by Kath Flannery

One mourner Elizabeth Phinn, who lives in Glasgow, said: “Obviously she’s travelling down the east coast, and I could’ve went to Edinburgh, but I just thought I’d come up here for today.

“I just wanted to be here. It’s just so sad”.

Mrs Phinn stayed at a local campsite last night with her husband.

Elizabeth Phinn, who lives in Glasgow. She stayed at a local campsite last night with her husband.

Elizabeth Alexander was born on the day of the coronation, she set up camp chairs at around 7.15am. She is from the Huntly area.

She said: “The Queen’s always been in our lives, and you just feel she was a constant who made you feel safe.

“She was always there when there’s been problems – during the covid period her speech was a great comfort to everyone, and that’s how it’s always been through the years. There’s always been the Queen.”

From left, Hamish Simpson, Florence Green, Gracie Simpson. Standing is Claire, sitting is Melissa. Elizabeth is on the right.

Norma and Derek Taylor were among the first to arrive at King George VI bridge in Aberdeen this morning.

Norma said: “We left Peterhead at 6.30am, parked at the beach and cycled along.

“I didn’t expect to but I have felt really strange this week. It has been weird. So I just had to come.”

They were joined by Sumaiya and Mazhar Chowdhury, who arrived at 8.20am to claim their space on.

Dougie Leggart, 50, Isla, 10, Nathan, 5 from Ellon. Banchory. Supplied by Lottie Hood

The husband and wife moved to the city six months ago from Bangladesh.

A student at Aberdeen University, Mazhar said: “We came to show respect to the Queen.

“We used to watch the processions on TV. It is a big thing in Bangladesh. So we are here to see this rare occasion in person. We are here to be part of history.”

Sumaiya added: “As a former colony, it does feel strange.
“We are mourning and still are we need to remind ourselves happened during the colonisation.”

Crowds line the streets of Aberdeen waiting for the queen. Holburn Street. Supplied by Kenny Elrick/DCT.

Further along the bridge, named after the late monarch’s father, Karen Collins from Aberdeen stood patiently with a book awaiting the cortege.

She said: “I just want to be part of her journey. Whatever you think politically, she was someone’s mum and someone’s grandma.

“My grandfather fought in the war for King and country. For his generation, there was a sense of community.

“I think that’s what the Queen represented: a sense of community that is lacking in life now.”

Crowds  on Great Southern Road in Aberdeen. Picture by Paul Glendell.

Ona Ramsay, 65, from near Fettercairn paid her respects in Banchory said: “We’re not royalists or anything but you’ve got to admire to lady and it is a historical moment for somebody to be on the throne for 70 years.

Ona Ramsay, from Fettercairn.

“And the fact that there are differences she isn’t Queen Elizabeth II here she’s Elizabeth Queen of Scots because we didn’t have a first. But Charles is Charles III. For me, it’s all very interesting and it’s respectful and it is quite a historic moment. It’d nice to be part of that and show some respect.”

Neil Jamieson, 50, Lumsden, works with the army in Aberdeen and came to pay respects and witness history.

Neil Jamieson. Supplied by Lottie Hood

He said: “It all happened to just be through my connection with the Territorial Army and pipes and drums and things.

“I did the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May which just happened to be the real last public occasion that she was out. I didn’t actually get to meet her there.

“We went across to Berk Hall and Prince Charles was there and presented the medals and we were treated to a reception.

A Paddington Bear tribute. Picture by Wullie Marr / DC Thomson

“They started to recognise me over the years, and Prince Charles did say at one time we need to stop meeting like this or something to that effect and I was actually quite taken aback that he’d actually recognised me. I’d met him on two or three occasions.

“The occasion with the Queen was at the Marischal College and we were behind a line-up and she kind of passed by most of the dignitaries and then stopped in front of me and the Duke of Edinburgh came across and made a wisecrack as was just his way. It is was like that was nice.

“And everyone always said she always made you feel as if you were the only person in the room and she did, she was just like your favourite gran.”

The Queen Elizabeth cortege left Balmoral Castle for Edinburgh and the public were allowed back in to pay their respects. Picture by Kami Thomson
Crowds for The Queen’s procession on Great Southern Road after it crossed the King George VI Bridge. Picture by Kath Flannery
The Queen’s Procession at Holburn Street / Great Western Junction. Picture by Kenny Elrick
The Queen’s Procession at Holburn Street / Great Western Junction. Picture by Kenny Elrick
The Queen’s Procession at Holburn Street / Great Western Junction. Picture by Kenny Elrick
The Queen’s Procession at Holburn Street / Great Western Junction. Picture by Kenny Elrick
The Queen’s Procession at Holburn Street / Great Western Junction. Picture by Kenny Elrick

William Purves, the funeral directors responsible for transporting the Queen’s coffin today, the website crashed earlier today.

Millions are watching from across the world saw the logo of the Edinburgh-based black hearse on the royal convoy as makes its way through the winding roads of Aberdeenshire after leaving Balmoral.