Queen Elizabeth II's coffin leaves Balmoral as it begins journey to Edinburgh

Queen Elizabeth II's coffin is expected to arrive at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh at around 4pm on Sunday

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Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin has left Balmoral as it begins its journey to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

A small gathering of well-wishers stood in silence as they lined the end of the route out of Balmoral to watch while Queen Elizabeth II's coffin passed by.

The Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence were part of the procession travelling in a limousine directly behind Queen Elizabeth II.

Queen Elizabeth II's coffin had been carried to the vehicle by six of the Balmoral estate’s gamekeepers, who were tasked with the symbolic gesture.

Queen Elizabeth II's coffin has left Balmoral
Queen Elizabeth II's coffin has left Balmoral
Queen Elizabeth II's coffin is travelling from Balmoral to Edinburgh
Queen Elizabeth II's coffin is travelling from Balmoral to Edinburgh

Draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland and with a wreath of flowers on top, it had remained at rest in the Balmoral ballroom so the late monarch’s loyal estate workers can say their last goodbyes.

Now with a single motorbike outrider leading the way and six vehicles following, the hearse travelled at a stately pace through the stunning Aberdeenshire countryside.

Well-wishers have gathered along the route the cortege will take as it travels from Balmoral to the Scottish capital – which is expected to take about six hours.

Hundreds lined the main street as Queen Elizabeth's coffin was driven slowly through Ballater, the village closest to the Balmoral estate, where many locals considered her a neighbour.

Members of the public started gathering in Ballater early on Sunday to pay their respects.

Families were seen setting up picnic chairs and attaching union flags to barriers outside the village’s Glenmuick Church from about 7am.

The coffin has since arrived at Aberdeen, with tributes paid in the city’s Duthie Park.

Mourners lined the streets of Ballater as Queen Elizabeth II's coffin is driven through the village
Mourners lined the streets of Ballater as Queen Elizabeth II's coffin is driven through the village

Travelling south along the A90, it will then arrive in Dundee at about 2pm.

In Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon and other party leaders in Scotland are expected to observe the coffin as it goes past the Scottish Parliament.

From there it will be taken into the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where it will remain for the night.

Transport bosses said an “unprecedented” amount of preparation and planning had gone into drawing up the route.

While hundreds of people continued paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle on Sunday morning.

A large crowd of well-wishers, young and old, carried flowers to the gates of the castle, which was partly hidden behind a slight mist.

Stuffed toys, cards, letters and gift bags were also seen among the tributes.

More to follow...