Life Guards rehearse the Queen's funeral ahead of her final goodbye

Soldiers rehearse the Queen’s funeral: Sombre Life Guards lay a coffin draped in black on a horse-drawn gun carriage as they prepare for monarch’s final goodbye next week

  • Life Guards were seen rehearsing the Queen’s funeral on Monday as they prepare for her final goodbye
  • Sombre soldiers carried a coffin draped in black and layed it down on a horse-drawn gun carriage
  • The guards were preparing for carrying her coffin at her state funeral at Westminster Hall next week
  • That same day her casket will also be taken to St George’s Chapel for a private interment service 
  • Follow MailOnline’s liveblog today as more events take place following the Queen’s death, by clicking here 
  • Full coverage: Click here to see all our coverage of the Queen’s passing

Soldiers are rehearsing for the Queen’s funeral procession ahead of her final goodbye next week.

Sombre Life Guards carrying swords were pictured at Wellington Barracks on Monday carrying a coffin draped in black and laying it down on a horse-drawn gun carriage.

The solemn scene was in preparation for when the guards will carry Her Majesty’s coffin next Monday, September 19 for her state funeral at Westminster Hall.

That same day her casket will also be taken to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle for a private interment service. King Charles III, accompanied by senior members of the Royal Family, is expected to join the procession in the Quadrangle of the castle before the coffin enters the chapel for the service.

Ahead of the committal service, it is expected that many people will travel to the town to pay their respects and mourn the late Queen. People are being advised to lay floral tributes at Cambridge Gate on the Long Walk.

Soldiers are rehearsing for the Queen’s funeral procession ahead of her final goodbye next week

Sombre Life Guards carrying swords were pictured at Wellington Barracks on Monday carrying a coffin draped in black and laying it down on a horse-drawn gun carriage

Soldiers in the Life Guards at Wellington Barracks in London practise for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral procession this morning

The solemn scene was in preparation for when the guards will carry Her Majesty’s coffin next Monday, September 19 for her state funeral at Westminster Hall

That same day her casket will also be taken to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle for a private interment service. King Charles III, accompanied by senior members of the Royal Family, is expected to join the procession in the Quadrangle of the castle before the coffin enters the chapel for the service

The rehearsal comes as huge crowds mourners were pictured lining up with flags bearing the Union Jack and colourful homemade signs outside St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh to pay their respects to the Queen.

Thousands are expected to line up today for the first chance to say goodbye to the Queen as her flag-draped casket lies in rest at the cathedral.

The Queen’s oak coffin will take a circuitous journey back to Edinburgh. On Monday, it will be taken from Holyroodhouse to nearby St. Giles’ Cathedral, where it will remain until Tuesday, when it will be flown to London ahead of the state funeral. 

King Charles III will walk behind his mother’s coffin in a sombre afternoon procession leading from Holyroodhouse palace – where it arrived on Sunday after making a six-hour road journey from Balmoral Castle – to the cathedral. 

The King will be flanked by soldiers as they proceed down the historic Royal Mile, before arriving at the 12th century grey stone cathedral, where it will be topped with the Crown of Scotland and remain for 24 hours.

Inside St Giles’, senior royals, the new monarch and a congregation drawn from all areas of Scottish society will attend a service of thanksgiving that pays powerful tribute to the Queen’s extraordinary life. 

It comes as heavily armed police and security services yesterday formed rings of steel outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse and St Giles’ Cathedral – as up to 10,000 officers prepare to be involved in the biggest single security operation the country has ever seen.

Specialist police teams and intelligence officers are understood to have cancelled holiday leave as part of a massive, cross-agency security task for the Queen’s funeral.

Hundreds of foreign dignitaries from across the globe and hundreds of thousands of mourners are anticipated in the capital are set to create an unprecedented ‘security headache’.

The operation will ramp up throughout the week as the Queen’s body is flown back to London before she is set to lie in state at the Palace of Westminster.

Mourners and wellwishers camped overnight as they wait outside St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh and will pay their respects to the Queen on Monday

Crowds have descended on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile today as thousands head to the Scottish capital to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II

A man arrives at St Giles’ Cathedral with his dog as he will join thousands of mourners in paying their last respects to the Queen

Queues of mourners were pictured lining up with flags bearing the Union Jack and colourful homemade signs outside St Giles’ Cathedral as the sun’s first light began to break through the morning clouds on Monday

A police officer stands guard outside the front doors to St Giles’ Cathedral, where thousands are expected to descend later today ahead of the procession of Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin from Holyroodhouse

Thousands are expected to line up for the chance to pay their respects to the Queen’s flag-draped casket a week ahead of her state funeral in London

Police officers stand guard on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile as mourners prepare to flock to the Scottish capital to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II

Pallbearers, one with his eyes closed another looking to the sky, carry the coffin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as the hearse arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

Meantime, the Duke of Sussex today paid an emotional tribute to his late grandmother the Queen as he praised her ‘sound advice’ and ‘infectious smile’ and called her a ‘guiding compass’ through her commitment to service and duty.

In a statement released today, which is understood to have been held back a day out of respect for the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the Duke also said he wanted to honour his father at the start of his reign as King.

Harry also referred to his ‘darling wife’ Meghan Markle; said he was grateful that the Queen had hugged her ‘beloved great-grandchildren’; and spoke of how he ‘cherished’ the times spent with the 96-year-old.

He said: ‘In celebrating the life of my grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen – and in mourning her loss – we are all reminded of the guiding compass she was to so many in her commitment to service and duty. 

‘She was globally admired and respected. Her unwavering grace and dignity remained true throughout her life and now her everlasting legacy.

‘Let us echo the words she spoke after the passing of her husband, Prince Philip, words which can bring comfort to all of us now: ‘Life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings.”

He added: ‘Granny, while this final parting brings us great sadness, I am forever grateful for all of our first meetings-from my earliest childhood memories with you, to meeting you for the first time as my Commander-in-Chief, to the first moment you met my darling wife and hugged your beloved great-grandchildren.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex walk to meet members of the public at Windsor Castle on Saturday after the Queen’s death

The Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the Long Walk at Windsor Castle on Saturday

The Duke of Sussex has paid an emotional tribute to his late grandmother the Queen as he thanked her for her ‘sound advice’

‘I cherish these times shared with you, and the many other special moments in between. You are already sorely missed, not just by us, but by the world over.

‘And as it comes to first meetings, we now honour my father in his new role as King Charles III. Thank you for your commitment to service. Thank you for your sound advice.

‘Thank you for your infectious smile. We, too, smile knowing that you and grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace.’

Harry’s statement comes two days after the Prince and Princess of Wales put on a united front with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as they joined forces on a walkabout at Windsor Castle over the weekend.

William and Harry have a well-documented troubled relationship but the death of their grandmother saw the rivals shelve their differences when, with their wives, they viewed floral tributes left to the late Queen.

It is understood the prince invited his brother to join them in meeting well-wishers outside the castle, and a royal source said William thought it was an ‘important show of unity’.

Two years have passed since William, Kate, Harry and Meghan were together side-by-side in public, during the 2020 Commonwealth Day church service on March 9, 2020.

As the couple’s first engagement under their new titles, William and Kate were joined by Harry and Meghan as they inspected flowers and balloons before a walkabout at the castle on Saturday.

A royal source said the Prince of Wales asked his brother and his wife to join them in viewing the tributes.

The source said: ‘The Prince of Wales invited the Duke and Duchess to join him and the Princes of Wales earlier.’

The last time William was joined in public by his brother at Windsor Castle was at the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh in April last year.

Both couples left in the same vehicle as the engagement, which lasted more than 40 minutes, came to a close. All four were dressed in black as they walked along the gates of the castle.

The crowd was heard chatting excitedly and taking photographs as William and Kate and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stopped to speak to each person at the front of the barriers.

The royal couples walked along separately from one another, with William and Kate speaking to people on one side of the road and Harry and Meghan speaking to people on the other side of the road.

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