Cannons will sound, longbow-wielding ceremonial escorts will accompany the hearse, and all eyes will be on Scotland’s capital—a nation dear to Queen Elizabeth II but also one that has its own frequently tense relationship with the throne. The UK is skilled at pomp and circumstance.
But on Monday, a show unlike any other in recent memory will revolve around the country’s 1,000-year-old royal dynasty. The late, longest-serving monarch of the United Kingdom, King Charles III, will lead a royal procession as his mother’s coffin is carried up Edinburgh’s Royal Mile from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St. Giles’ Cathedral.
Since the queen passed away last week at Balmoral Castle, her beloved home in the Highlands, it was decided that the huge spectacle would take place there rather than in London. The distinctly Scottish flavor of today and future, according to Craig Prescott, a constitutional law and monarchy expert at Bangor University in Wales, “shows how the Joined Kingdom has always been a union of diverse nations united by the sovereign.”
Given that the queen passed away in Scotland, it is only natural for Scotland to have her opportunity before attention shifts to London. The queen’s posthumous spectacle will also represent her strong links and love for the nation because of this alternate script for Operation London Bridge, which has been in the works for years.