A grieving King Charles III and the Queen Consort have departed London for home after days of public events held in tribute to his late mother.
The new monarch has been afforded 24 hours of contemplation where he is expected to be free of public duties as he prepares to farewell his Queen Elizabeth II at her funeral on Monday.
Shortly after leaving the late Queen’s procession, The Royal Chopper was pictured landing in wife Camilla’s estate in Reybridge about 4.30pm local time.
The couple was greeted by a small reception of just three people, in contrast to the thousands who waited outside royal residences across Britain in recent days.
Charles is then understood to have made the 30-minute drive home to Highgrove House, where he will have time to pause before using preparing for his new role as King away from the spotlight. Camilla will not join him.
It comes after mourners from all walks of life filed past the coffin of Queen Elizabeth through the night as she lies in state in London’s Westminster Hall, paying their final respects to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.
After days of processions and ritual as the Queen’s body was brought to London from Balmoral, Scotland, where she died last Thursday at the age of 96, this was the opportunity for ordinary people to take a direct part in a ceremony.
Many were in tears as they passed by the flag-draped coffin.
King Charles and Camilla had earlier led the procession into Westminster Hall.
Princess Anne and her husband, retired Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, and Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, were following behind.
Prince William and his wife Kate, the Princess of Wales, and Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, appeared next in the royal entourage.
Officials expect some 750,000 people to view it before the lying in state ends on Monday.
The line stretched back several kilometres along the south bank of the River Thames, past landmarks such as Tower Bridge and crossing Lambeth Bridge as it neared Westminster Hall.
Queen Elizabeth’s coffin lay in the centre of Westminster Hall on a purple catafalque placed on a red platform.
It was covered by the Royal Standard flag and topped with the Imperial State Crown placed on a cushion, alongside a wreath of flowers.
Soldiers and Beefeaters – the red-coated warders usually found guarding the Tower of London – stood vigil with bowed heads..
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