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Queen Elizabeth: The hearse carrying the Queen’s coffin passes through the village of Ballater.Ballater, United Kingdom: A perfect silence greeted Queen Elizabeth II’s cortege as it passed through the remote Scottish village close to her beloved Balmoral Castle on Sunday, with thousands lining the streets to pay their respects.Some threw flowers as Elizabeth’s coffin — draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland with a wreath of white heather, dahlias and sweet peas placed on top — wound its way through the sun-bathed countryside.Fittingly, the first to see the coffin were the villagers of Ballater, where Elizabeth spent many happy times during her summer retreats from the burden of queenship.Members of the public, some wearing traditional Scottish dress, mixed with local dignitaries, members of the armed forces and church representatives on the streets of the quaint village, falling silent as the coffin passed by.”She really sacrificed a lot for… the country and that earns a lot of respect,” said Judith Brown, who made the trip to Ballater from England to pay her respects.”It is a whole era that is being closed off now,” she added.The queen’s coffin was travelling by road through Scottish towns and villages on the way to Edinburgh in a 180-mile (290-kilometre) journey expected to last at least six hours.Farmers on the route positioned their tractors to form a guard of honour as the cortege drove by, while riders on horseback lined up in Peterculter, a suburb of Aberdeen, to pay respect.Crowds were already building up in the Scottish capital as the seven-car cortege left Balmoral shortly after 10:00 am (0900 GMT), moving past the mass of flowers left there since the queen’s death was announced on Thursday.One of those setting up camp early was former soldier Stuart Mackay, 66, who used to serve in the queen’s Household Cavalry in London and took part in many state events.”It is history in the making. It’s my duty to be here to wave her goodbye,” he said.Viktoriia Saienko, 29, was one of a group of Ukrainian refugees who had set up camp close to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where the queen’s body will rest before heading to London.”We wanted to say thank you very much to Britain, to the Queen and all her family,” she said, carrying a bouquet of roses decorated with yellow and blue ribbons.’Queen of everyone’Shortly after the news of the queen’s death, there were just a few mourners paying their respects at Balmoral — by the weekend, there were crowds.The hundreds of bouquets, which included roses, lilies, Scottish thistles and sunflowers, were interspersed with cards and gifts.”Thank you for being you,” read one card left in the sea of flowers.Another, bearing a poem by Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns, said: “My heart’s in the highlands.”Near the iron railings sat a stuffed Paddington Bear, the much-loved British children’s book character, who shared a cup of tea with the queen as part of televised celebrations for her Platinum Jubilee in June.Marina Hermant, a French tourist, had been on the Isle of Skye off Scotland’s west coast when she heard the news of Elizabeth’s death and rearranged her plans.”She’s not necessarily our queen, but she’s kind of the queen of everyone in the whole world,” she said.”She’s someone who marked us all, who marked our parents, our grandparents, our generation too, so it was important to pay tribute to her.”(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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