King Charles to speak to British Parliament as remains of queen lie at rest

The king will meet Scottish political leaders in Edinburgh, before travelling to Belfast on Tuesday, where he will meet the leaders of Stormont’s political parties

Britain’s King Charles will speak to parliament at Westminster on Monday before travelling to Edinburgh where the remains of his mother Queen Elizabeth II are lying at rest.

The king will reply to addresses by the speakers of the Commons and the Lords in Westminster Hall, where the queen will lie in state for four days later this week.

The queen’s coffin arrived in Edinburgh on Sunday afternoon after a six-hour journey from Balmoral Castle where she died last Thursday aged 96. Thousands of people lined the city’s Royal Mile to greet the funeral cortege, some throwing flowers and applauding as it passed.

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There was some booing earlier when the proclamation of King Charles’s accession was read out in the centre of Edinburgh and police arrested a woman who expressed opposition to the monarchy. The 22 year old, who was carrying a sign saying “F**k imperialism, Abolish monarchy” was arrested “in connection with a breach of the peace”.

The king will meet Scottish political leaders in Edinburgh and attend a service in St Giles’s Cathedral where his mother’s coffin will remain for 24 hours. He will be in Belfast on Tuesday, where he will meet religious leaders and the leaders of Stormont’s political parties and he will travel to Cardiff later this week.

He will be accompanied on his visits by the queen consort and by prime minister Liz Truss. Ms Truss attended the king’s accession proclamation at St James’s Palace in London on Saturday, along with Britain’s six living former prime ministers.

“It’s not a requirement, but the prime minister believes it’s important to be present for what is a significant moment of national mourning around the United Kingdom,” her official spokesman said.

The queen’s remains will be flown to London on Tuesday and the public can pay their respects when she lies in state at Westminster Hall for four days ahead of a state funeral on Monday. The service will take place at Westminster Abbey and the queen will be buried in the King George VI Memorial Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Princes William and Harry and their wives, Catherine and Meghan, appeared together at Windsor Castle on Saturday when they viewed flowers left in memory of their grandmother. The two princes have been estranged since Harry and Meghan’s move to the United States and their tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Prince William, whose father created him Prince of Wales last Friday, spoke to Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford on Sunday promising that he and his wife looked forward to serving the people of Wales.

“They will do so with humility and great respect. The prince acknowledged his and the princess’s deep affection for Wales, having made their first family home in Anglesey including during the earliest months of Prince George’s life,” a Kensington Palace statement said.

“The prince and princess will spend the months and years ahead deepening their relationship with communities across Wales. They want to do their part to support the aspirations of the Welsh people and to shine a spotlight on both the challenges and opportunities in front of them.”

Denis Staunton

Denis Staunton

Denis Staunton is China Correspondent of The Irish Times