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Queen Elizabeth II's casket arrives at Buckingham Palace

September 14, 2022

Queen Elizabeth's casket, which was flown from Edinburgh to London, became the most tracked flight in history. Thousands also gathered outside the Buckingham Palace to say their final goodbyes.

A hearse entering the gates of Buckingham Palace
The casket of Queen Elizabeth II arrived at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday nightImage: Gareth Fuller/Pool Photo/AP

Queen Elizabeth II took her final journey on Tuesday night, with the plane that carried the late monarch's body from Edinburgh back to London becoming the most tracked flight in history.

Just over 5 million people combined followed the flight live on the Flightradar24 website and via its YouTube livestream.

Flightradar24 said the Royal Air Force C-17 Globemaster had more than double the amount of people tracking it online compared to the previous record of 2.2 million views – when US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August.

Outside Buckingham Palace, thousands braved the drizzle as the Queen's hearse came down the road. When the vehicle entered the gates, onlookers clapped and chanted "God save the queen!"

The state funeral will be held on September 19.

The RAF C17 aircraft carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, takes off from Edinburgh airport on, in Edinburgh, Scotland
More than 5 million people followed Queen Elizabeth II's final flight on TuesdayImage: Ciaran McFalls/newscom/picture alliance

Preparations around the globe

In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Tuesday that September 19 would be a holiday for federal employees so they can mourn Queen Elizabeth II on the day of her state funeral, although some provinces like Ontario and Quebec have opted not to declare a public holiday for all citizens.

Trudeau's move follows similar announcements in some Commonwealth countries like Australia, which will have a public holiday for its national memorial service on September 22, and New Zealand, which will have public holiday on September 26 for its memorial.

The funeral will be attended by leaders and dignitaries from around the world. Among them will be Japanese Emperor Naruhito, local media reported early on Wednesday.

zc/jsi (Reuters, AFP, AP)