Queen Elizabeth II: Royal Standard Draped Coffin


The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II left Balmoral Castle in Scotland on Sunday as it begins its journey to its final resting place.

The hearse carrying the coffin slowly left Balmoral Castle, passing through Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth, heading for the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh where it will remain until Monday afternoon.

It is the first time the coffin of the late monarch has been seen in public since her death on Thursday.

The coffin will be airlifted to London on Tuesday ahead of the state funeral on Monday, September 19.

Accompanied by her daughter Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth II’s oak coffin left Balmoral draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland and featured a wreath of white flowers on top.

According to the royal family, the royal standard represents the sovereign and the United Kingdom.

The Royal Standard has taken various forms since the Union of the Crowns in 1603, and most Commonwealth nations, including Canada, have their own version of the flag.

The current flag – known as the Royal Standard of the United Kingdom – is divided into four quarters: England is represented by three gold lions in the first and fourth quarters, Scotland is represented by a red rampant lion in the second quarter, and a harp represents Ireland in the third quarter.

In Scotland a different version of the Royal Standard is used, with Scottish coats of arms in the first and fourth quarters and English coats of arms in the second – this is the one draped over the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II during her journey to Edinburgh .

Once the coffin arrives in London on Tuesday, the Royal Standard of Scotland will be replaced by the Royal Standard of the United Kingdom. At Westminster Hall, where she will remain in state for four days from Wednesday, the coffin will be topped with the Imperial State Crown. ; the Orb of the Sovereign, to represent the Christian world; and the ruler’s scepter with cross, representing authority.

The Royal Standard flag is usually flown when the monarch is in residence at one of the royal palaces, on the monarch’s car during official travels, and in an aircraft on the ground.

It can also fly over any building, official or private, during a visit from the monarch upon request.

Unlike the Union Flag, the Royal Standard is never lowered even after the death of a monarch because there is always a sovereign on the throne.

King Charles III was officially proclaimed sovereign of the United Kingdom on Saturday in a ceremony of accession to great fanfare.

The 73-year-old, who spent seven decades as heir apparent, automatically became king upon the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. However, the accession ceremony is a key constitutional and ceremonial step in introducing the new monarch to the country.

Similar proclamations follow across the UK and Commonwealth countries where King Charles III is now head of state, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand.