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Nuku’alofa – September 13, 2022: 10.15am (Matangi Tonga/BBC/Resuters): His Majesty King Tupou VI will attend the State Funeral for Queen Elizabeth II to be held in London, United Kingdom, on Monday, 19 September.

The King’s Private Secretary Sione Fifita confirmed yesterday that the King is scheduled to depart Tonga on Thursday, 15 September and represent Tonga at the State Funeral.

The King conveyed his message of condolence to the Royal Family on Friday 9 September, via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he confirmed.

Queen Elizabeth lies in rest in Edinburgh, King Charles gives address to UK Parliament

6:59 am today

King Charles III, flanked by Princess Anne, and princes Andrew and Edward, walk behind the procession of Queen Elizabeth II's coffin, from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles Cathedral, on 12 September 2022.

King Charles III, flanked by Princess Anne, and princes Andrew and Edward, walk behind the procession of Queen Elizabeth’s coffin to St Giles Cathedral. Photo: AFP / Phil Noble

A service of remembrance has been held in Edinburgh, where the late monarch Queen Elizabeth II is now lying at rest.

The late Queen’s coffin was taken along the Royal Mile in the Scottish capital Edinburgh in a procession watched by thousands of people.

King Charles III, his sister Princess Anne, and brothers the princes Edward and Andrew, walked in step behind the hearse.

The oak coffin, draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland and with a wreath of white flowers placed on top, was then carried into St. Giles Cathedral and the crown of Scotland laid on it.

While a crowd – with many people in tears – stood outside, King Charles and other members of the royal family, as well as political leaders and dignitaries, attended a service of thanksgiving for the queen.

The coffin will lie in St Giles’ Cathedral for an overnight vigil before being flown to London on Tuesday.

Queen Elizabeth died on Thursday in her holiday home at Balmoral, at the age of 96 after a 70-year reign. Charles became king on her death and was formally proclaimed as monarch on Saturday. The queen’s coffin arrived from Balmoral on Sunday and stood overnight at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the monarch’s official residence in Scotland.

Britain's King Charles III flanked by Britain's Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Britain's Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, walk behind the procession of Queen Elizabeth II's coffin, from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles Cathedral, on the Royal Mile on September 12, 2022, where Queen Elizabeth II will lie at rest.

The procession of Queen Elizabeth’s coffin to St Giles Cathedral, led by King Charles. Photo: AFP

A bagpipe lament was the only sound as kilted soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland bore the casket from the palace and placed it in the hearse for the short journey to the cathedral.

A gun salute boomed out from a battery on Edinburgh Castle when the hearse moved off and a single round was fired each minute of the procession up the historic street. Other than that there was just silence – except a brief shout from a heckler aimed at Prince Andrew.

At the service, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon read from Eccliastes and folk singer Karen Matheson sang a psalm in Gaelic, while other speakers paid tribute the late queen.

The Crown of Scotland sits atop the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II inside St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh on 12 September 2022, during a service of Thanksgiving for her life.

The Crown of Scotland sits atop the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II inside St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh during a service of thanksgiving for her life. Photo: AFP / Pool / Jane Barlow

Tina Richardson, 63, a retiree from Dunbar, was among those standing on the centuries-old Royal Mile beside the cathedral. She said her middle name was Elizabeth after the late queen.

“There’ll never be anyone like her,” she told Reuters. “She was such a beautiful lady who gave us all so much. She dedicated her whole life to the country. In good times and bad she was there, especially during Covid. She united everybody.”

Ellie Merton, 52, an arts producer, who travelled up from the border region of Scotland, said: “It was very dignified and appropriate. We had pipers, horses and archers. There was the sense of the Scottish community being around here as she made her final journey. It was all done according to her affinity to Scotland.

“Charles is overseeing the change seamlessly. And we need that. The monarchy is the centrifugal point of our political set-up. If you don’t have a monarch then everything falls apart.”

New king addresses parliament

Earlier on Monday in London, King Charles had addressed members of the British parliament at Westminster Hall.

He called parliament the “living and breathing instrument of our democracy” and pledged to follow his late mother’s example in maintaining its independence.

A handout photograph released by the UK Parliament shows King Charles III attending the presentation of Addresses by both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall, inside the Palace of Westminster, central London on 12 September 2022.

King Charles addresses members of the British parliament at Westminster Hall. Photo: AFP / Jessica Taylor / UK Parliament

As with all the ceremonies taking place to mark the queen’s death and Charles’ accession to the throne, there was much pageantry.

He arrived at Westminster Hall to a fanfare of trumpets with his wife Camilla, Queen Consort. The royal couple sat on ceremonial chairs, with cavalry troopers in red tunics and plumed helmets standing to attention behind.

Britain's King Charles III and Britain's Camilla, Queen Consort attend the presentation of Addresses by both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall, inside the Palace of Westminster, central London on September 12, 2022, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8.

King Charles and Camilla, Queen Consort attend the presentation of Addresses by both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall on 12 September. Photo: AFP / Pool / Dan Kitwood

Charles, 73, told members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords: “While very young, Her late Majesty pledged herself to serve her country and her people and to maintain the precious principles of constitutional government which lie at the heart of our nation. This vow she kept with unsurpassed devotion.

“She set an example of selfless duty which, with God’s help and your counsels, I am resolved faithfully to follow.” The assembly then sang “God Save the King”.

On Tuesday, the coffin will be flown to London, where on Wednesday it will begin a period of lying in state until 19 September – the day of Elizabeth’s state funeral – on a catafalque at Westminster Hall.

In London, members of the public will be allowed to process past the coffin, which will be covered by the Royal Standard with the sovereign’s Orb and Sceptre placed on top, for 24 hours a day until 6.30 am on 19 September.

The government said those wishing to do so should expect to queue for many hours and possibly overnight due to the number of people expected.

In his first public comment since the queen’s death, Prince Harry paid an emotional tribute to his “granny” on Monday, saying she would be sorely missed not just by the family, but the world over.

“We, too, smile knowing that you and grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace,” Harry said, a reference to Elizabeth’s husband of 73 years Prince Philip who died last year.

 Reuters / BBC

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