State trumpeters were practising for Monday’s ceremony of reflection as the Queen’s coffin passed through, and police marksmen were observing from roofs with binoculars while springer spaniel sniffer dogs ran about the TV sets.
Many of the thousands of people in the audience came to the realisation that history is something you can experience right now in the centre of Edinburgh’s Old Town.
In addition to retirees and visitors from around the world who had modified their plans to be there, new university students anxiously waited for hours. The crowds were up to 15 people deep at times.
“It’s just so heartbreaking”
As the cortege eventually passed, Laura Lang from Georgia, USA, remarked, “It’s just so heartbreaking.” I get that the Queen is “Britain,” but isn’t she also the queen of the entire world?
A spontaneous round of applause broke out as the hearse passed St. Giles’ Cathedral and the High Kirk of Scotland, where a 24-hour vigil is scheduled to begin on Monday night.
The fifth Duke of Buccleuch is commemorated with a statue in the city’s Parliament Square. Since he participated in many of the rituals that we have all seen in the past, he would have recognised them.
Patricia Parker, a visitor from Northampton, said, “It was incredibly poignant, and we were just so delighted we were here.” We had never gone to Scotland before, but I simply found everything to be incredibly royal and precise.
While preparations were being made for the ceremony of reflection that would take place in the cathedral on Monday afternoon, the rain held off until after the cortege had passed.
Through the church doors, a fanfare could be heard, which was probably the state trumpeters practising. Police marksmen with binoculars watched from the roofs as a springer spaniel trained to detect explosives ran about the TV locations.
The masses moved in one direction as the rain began to fall: down towards the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where the Queen’s casket currently rests.