Tens of thousands of Londoners turn out in the rain to witness the Queen’s final return to the capital: Crowds clap, cheer and cry as hearse bearing Her Late Majesty’s coffin journeys from RAF Northolt to Buckingham Palace

  • Many put down their umbrellas as a sign of respect and some could be seen wiping tears from their eyes
  • Public can pay their respects when the Queen lies in state at Westminster Hall for four days from tomorrow
  • Last night, thousands in Edinburgh queued through the night to catch a glimpse of the late monarch’s coffin
  • Full coverage: Click here to see all our coverage of the Queen’s passing

Tens of thousands of people have lined the streets of London tonight to welcome back the late Queen Elizabeth II as she arrived at Buckingham Palace for the final time.  

As the late monarch’s coffin journeyed from RAF Northolt, many witnessing put down their umbrellas as a sign of respect and some could be seen wiping tears from their eyes, while phone camera lights lit up the crowds.

Mourners also cheered and clapped in the rain as the new state hearse travelled down Constitution Hill and around the Queen Victoria Memorial as it slowed then drove through the gates of the palace and through the central arch into the quadrangle. 

Huge numbers have turned out despite the rain, with many still remaining outside the palace.

People gather to pay respects in the rain as the cortege carrying the coffin arrives at Buckingham Palace

Many put down their umbrellas as a sign of respect and some could be seen wiping tears from their eyes, while phone camera lights lit up the crowds

Huge numbers have turned out despite the rain, with many still remaining

Mourners cheered and clapped in the rain as the new state hearse travelled down Constitution Hill and around the Queen Victoria Memorial as it slowed then drove through the gates of the palace and through the central arch into the quadrangle

The Queen Elizabeth Coffin procession making its way into London on the A40 at Hangar Lane this evening

The Queen’s coffin arriving at Buckingham Palace as thousands of mourners applauded the late monarch

Tens of thousands of people have lined the streets of London tonight to welcome back the late Queen Elizabeth II as she arrived at Buckingham Palace for the final time

Onlookers watch as the hearse transporting the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Buckingham Palace

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II leaving RAF Northolt

Seen from the top of the Wellington Arch, the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is taken in the Royal Hearse to Buckingham Palace

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is taken from RAF Northolt to Buckingham Palace

Upon arriving at the Grand Entrance of the palace, a further guard of honour was formed by the King’s Guard. The late monarch was received by all her children and grandchildren, including the King and Queen, the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Shortly after witnessing the arrival of the coffin, Charles and Camilla left Buckingham Palace.

For one night the coffin will lie at rest in the palace’s bow room before the late monarch is handed to the nation to allow the public to pay their respects when she lies in state at the ancient Westminster Hall for four days.

Last night, thousands in Edinburgh queued through the night to catch a glimpse of the Queen’s coffin before her body began the journey to London at 5pm today ahead of the funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday, September 19.

Respectful well-wishers were overcome with emotion, as they solemnly walked past the Queen’s coffin, reflected on her historic 70-year reign, and bowed their heads or even curtsied, after queuing for hours through the streets of the Scottish capital.

Many visiting the cathedral were seen with tears in their eyes, hugging loved ones and finding comfort in the mass of people that had arrived to pay their respects to the late monarch.

Some people travelled to the Scottish cathedral from England, in the belief that paying their respects to the Queen would be easier in Edinburgh than visiting Westminster Hall in London – where queues are expected to stretch for miles, and could last up to ’30 hours’.

Thousands of people lined the streets around a west London military airbase tonight as Queen Elizabeth II made her final journey home.

The RAF Globemaster C-17 plane carrying Her Majesty’s coffin from Edinburgh landed at RAF Northolt at 6.55pm this evening, after she spent 24 hours in St Giles’ Cathedral where tens of thousands of mourners paid their respects to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

Huge crowds gathered at RAF Northolt to witness the arrival of Her Majesty’s coffin.

Workers left offices early while parents brought their children straight from school to be present at the poignant moment the RAF Globemaster C-17 carrying the Queen’s body swooped in through the clouds before touching down on the runway shortly before 7pm.

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II leaves RAF Northolt in west London

People get out of their cars to watch as the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II passes along the A40

People gather near the Marble Arch as the State Hearse carrying the coffin drives from RAF Northolt to Buckingham Palace

Many told how the arrival of the Queen’s coffin would be their one and only opportunity to pay tribute to the much loved monarch.

Some stood for hours in the pouring rain in a bid to catch a glimpse of the coffin as it began the journey to Buckingham Palace where almost the entire Royal Family gathered for the first time since the Queen died last Thursday.

Mourners stood six deep behind metal barriers on the pavements outside the airbase.

Many held up umbrellas while others took shelter under bus stops and the forecourt of a nearby petrol station.

There was a respectful silence in the moments before and after the jet carrying the coffin, which was accompanied by Princess Anne, roared in.

Because of the overcast skies and unusual flight path of the jet, it was the sound of the engines that signalled the arrival for many of those who had gathered.

When the coffin was driven out of the base around 25 minutes later there was a huge round of spontaneous applause.

It rippled along the route to the A40 as the cortège made its way up to the A40.

Three police outriders with their lights flashing led the jaguar hearse with glass windows.

The Queen’s coffin could be clearly seen with the Royal Standard draped over it and a white wreath on top.

The hearse was followed by four black Range Rovers and an old Rolls Royce carrying Princess Anne.

A marked police followed at the back of the courtage.

It came amid a massive security operation which with hundreds of police officers drafted in to ensure the arrival went smoothly.

Soldiers and security guards were also brought in to help in the operation.

Thousands of mourners are drenched in rain as the coffin arrives at Buckingham Palace

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth arrives at Buckingham Palace

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II arrives in the Royal Hearse at Buckingham Palace

Teaching assistant Emma Keech told how she rushed from school with her mother Pat, sister Claire and two great-nephews Codey, eight, and Caleb, six, to make the 50-mile drive from Bedford.

She said: ‘I literally finished work and drive up the M1 to get here.

‘We made it two hours before the arrival. There were hundreds of people here already.

‘I knew this was our only chance to say goodbye. We don’t want to take the little ones into Lindon for the ceremonies because there will be so many more people then.

‘I’ve got work commitments as well apart from the day of the funeral itself.’

Emma said: ‘I rang at 7am and said ‘We need to do this for the boys’. This is a moment of history. There are three generations of us and it is something we will never again see in our lifetimes.’

Janet Price, 70, brought her six-year-old granddaughter Sophie, six, to mark the historic moment.

Janet, from Ruislip, said: ‘I stood in this very spot 25 years ago after Princess Diana died. Her body was flown into RAF Northolt. That was a day I will never forget – like this one.

‘I’m sure Sophie will feel the same in years to come. We got here two hours before the flight came in. It was something we just had to come and see. It was very emotional.’

Nurse Kristina Carter, 47, watched from the roadside with husband Robert, 49, who works for the government. She said: ‘We wanted to see the Queen come home. It’s a moment in history. We knew there would be many people here but we live close by so we thought we had to try.’

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