Final preparations for events in London following the Queen’s death are underway with a full rehearsal for the procession from her coffin to Westminster Hall taking place in central London.
Thousands of soldiers in ceremonial uniform gathered at Buckingham Palace in the early hours of Tuesday for the practice run.
The Queen’s coffin will arrive in London from Scotland on Tuesday evening and will remain in Buckingham Palace’s Bow Room overnight before being taken in state to Westminster Hall from Wednesday.
The morning rehearsal saw the horse-drawn carriage of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery being driven along the road.
A black coffin was placed on the cannon carriage and at around 4am the procession was ordered to march and the carriage, drawn by seven black horses, made its way through Queen’s Gardens, The Mall, Whitehall , Parliament Street, Parliament Square and New Palace Court.
Many streets in central London have been cordoned off for the massive operation.
The real procession begins at 2:22 p.m. Wednesday and will last 38 minutes.
King Charles III, members of the Royal Family and senior staff of the Queen’s and King’s Households are expected to walk behind the coffin.
The rehearsal, which took place before sunrise, saw people replacing them.
Given the hour, only a few onlookers were present for the military show, some of them being there by chance.
However, a small group was camping outside Buckingham Palace.
John Lowell, from Streatham, south London, said he was “devastated” by the news of the Queen’s death, adding: “We are all heartbroken. I cannot accept this.
His friend Sky London told the PA news agency they had been camping since Thursday ‘so we can get a good view of things’ and insisted they would not leave until after the funeral, so they can pay homage.
He added: “Ten days (of camping) against a reign of 70 years is just a fraction.”
People have been warned not to wait or camp along the road where the Queen’s coffin will be taken for laying out.
Viewing areas along the route with limited capacity will open at 11 a.m. the same day, with people admitted in order of arrival time amid expected long queues, the Digital Department said. , Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
The Queen’s coffin will remain in Westminster Hall until Monday, when it will be taken in a procession from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey for the state funeral.
Members of the public will have the opportunity to visit Westminster Hall to pay their respects during the lie in state, but security staff said the queue is likely to wind for miles, potentially all the way down the Thames to Tower Bridge.