Crowds mourn as the queen begins her last journey

STORY: Crowds lined the roadside on Sunday to pay tribute to their late monarch in the first of a series of solemn events leading up to Queen Elizabeth's funeral.

An oak coffin covered with the royal standard of Scotland and topped by a wreath of flowers was placed in a hearse by six gamekeepers at Balmoral Castle, where she died three days earlier.

For the next few hours the cortege slowly made its way through small towns and villages to Edinburgh.

(Elizabeth Alexander) ''I think it would be very emotional for everyone saying goodbye. And we don't know how you're going to feel when you see it. But it was important for us just to be here.''

It was a sentiment shared by her son and successor on Saturday as Charles was officially proclaimed king.

(King Charles) "I know how deeply you, the entire nation - and I think I may say the whole world - sympathize with me in the irreparable loss we have all suffered."

The new sovereign and Queen Consort Camilla have been much in evidence in the past few days, meeting some of the thousands of mourners at Buckingham Palace.

As have his two sons William and Harry and partners - apparently overcoming their recent estrangements - to greet and console people outside Windsor Castle on Saturday.

(Prince William) "Thank you so much for being here. We really appreciate it thank you."

In Edinburgh on Sunday evening and across Britain, the royal family and the public were beginning a long and emotional week of preparation and veneration.

After lying in rest at St Giles' Cathedral in the Scottish capital, the queen's coffin was due to be flown to London on Tuesday.

She will lie in state for four days at Westminster Hall where many more thousands of mourners are expected to pay their respects, before an elaborate state funeral set for Monday 19th September.