LONDON – King Charles III will continue his tour of the United Kingdom on Tuesday with a visit to Northern Ireland, before heading back to London in the evening to meet Queen Elizabeth’s coffin at Buckingham Palace with with other members of the royal family.
The queen’s body has been in Scotland ever since she died at her home in Balmoral Castle on Thursday at the age of 96. Her coffin was brought to Edinburgh over the weekend and will be taken to London later on Tuesday.
On Monday, newly appointed King Charles and his siblings – Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward – walked behind the queen’s coffin as it was moved from Holyroodhouse to St. Giles, where it is kept for a day for members of the public. visit.
The king’s journey to Great Britain will ends in Wales on Friday. Before that, Charles and his wife, Camilla, the queen’s consort, will fly to Belfast on Tuesday morning and visit Hillsborough Castle, where thousands of mourners have laid flowers since the queen’s death.
Hillsborough Castle, a Georgian-era castle outside Belfast, is the royal residence and the official home of Northern Ireland’s foreign minister. The website played a key role in the negotiations leading up to the Good Friday Agreement, which ended years of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland. Political parties held discussions there in 1997 and in 1998, the year the agreement was signed.
On Tuesday, Charles will meet local political leaders at Hillsborough Castle and receive a message of condolences from the speaker of the Northern Ireland Parliament. The king will also meet with religious leaders, before attending a service at St. Anne.
The visit will be Charles’ 40th visit to Northern Ireland and his first as monarch. Queen Elizabeth visited Northern Ireland a number of times during her reign; one of the most memorable visits was in 2012, during her Diamond Jubilee tour, when she shaking hands in Belfast with Martin McGuinness, former commander of the Irish Republican Army. The handshake is seen as an important gesture for both people and an affirmation of the peace process.
At 5pm, the queen’s coffin is expected to be flown from Edinburgh to London, following prayers at St. Giles. A hearse will take it to Edinburgh Airport, from where it will be flown by Royal Air Force aircraft to Northolt, an air base west of central London. Princess Anne will accompany the queen’s coffin on the flight.
From the air base, the coffin will be taken to Buckingham Palace, where an honor guard will receive it. Hunters from the Grenadier Guard will take the coffin to the Bow Room, where it will be placed on a truss in the center of the room. King Charles will be there, as will Queen Camilla and other members of the royal family, according to Buckingham Palace.