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

The Queen’s coffin arrives at Buckingham Palace

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 applauded and cheered outside Buckingham Palace as the coffin arrived at around 8pm following a 15-mile journey from RAF Northolt, where it earlier touched down from Scotland accompanied by Princess Anne.

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

The vehicle, designed by Jaguar Land Rover and the Royal Household, slowed down as it approached the gates where a police officer saluted. Outriders stopped with their heads bowed at the end of the journey.

People cheered “hip hip hooray” after the late Queen’s coffin, draped in a royal standard with a wreath of Balmoral blooms, 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 in an outpouring of emotion.  Phone cameras lit up the sky as people documented the historic moment. 

Queen coffin

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

Queen coffin

Well-wishers gathered outside the royal residence in central London (Image: GETTY)

Queen coffin

The hearse was designed to give members of the public a clear view (Image: GETTY)

In a behind-the-scenes moment, Charles and Camilla were joined on the steps of Buckingham Palace’s grand entrance by the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Sussexes, the Wessexes and their children, Prince Andrew, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie and their husbands.

Lady Sarah Chatto and Earl Snowdon, the children of Princess Margaret the Queen’s sister, were also among the group of royals.

The Waleses and the US-based Sussexes, who are staying at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, looked sombre as they arrived at Buckingham Palace earlier on Tuesday. 

The King and Queen Consort left the royal residence just after 8.30pm after being present for the arrival of the late Queen’s coffin.

Standing in the palace’s quadrangle was a guard of honour formed from the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards and they gave the royal salute as the hearse came to a stop.

The bearer party, from the Queen’s Company 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, carried the coffin into the Bow Room and the sovereign’s piper, Pipe Major Paul Burns of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, played a lament.

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

Queen coffin

The coffin was draped in a royal standard with a wreath of Balmoral blooms (Image: GETTY)

Queen coffin

Phone cameras lit up the sky as people documented the historic moment (Image: GETTY)

Queen coffin

The coffin is taken down Constitution Hill (Image: GETTY)

Hundreds of well-wishers lining the streets of central London burst into applause and cheers after the Queen’s coffin was driven past them as it neared the Palace. 

Blue flashing lights from police escort vehicles lit up the dark streets, while a helicopter broadcasting the route flew above the motorcade.

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 new state hearse arrives at Buckingham Palace (Image: GETTY)

Queen coffin

The late Queen’s coffin travelled the 15-mile journey from RAF Northolt (Image: GETTY)

Queen coffin

Crowds took to the streets of central London (Image: GETTY)

Queen coffin

People braved the wet weather to pay their respects (Image: GETTY)

Queen coffin

People cheered ‘hip hip hooray’ after the late Queen’s coffin drove under the arch (Image: GETTY)

Earlier today, Princess Anne, joined by husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, accompanied her late mother’s coffin on her last journey from Scotland to London in what she described as “an honour and a privilege” in a moving 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 down the A40 from the airfield in north-west London. 

Beryl Dixon, 76, of Ealing, west London, had been waiting on the roadside in Perivale since 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.”

A nine-year-old boy standing 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.”

Queen coffin

The late monarch’s coffin began its journey from RAF Northolt after landing from Scotland (Image: GETTY)

Queen coffin

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

Princess Anne

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

Members of the public have already joined the queue to attend the lying in state at Westminster Hall, 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.”

Charles and Camilla

Charles and Camilla, pictured earlier on Tuesday, received the coffin at Buckingham Palace (Image: GETTY)

William Kate Harry Meghan

The Waleses and the Sussexes were at Buckingham Palace to receive the late Queen’s coffin (Image: GETTY)

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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