A somber ceremony. King Charles III was spotted leaving his Clarence House residence before Queen Elizabeth II‘s procession to Westminster Hall in London.
The king, 73, made the journey to Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, September 14, where his late mother’s coffin was brought one day prior after leaving Scotland via Royal Air Force. Charles, dressed in black, appeared solemn as he waved to crowds of mourners from the backseat of his car.
Funeral events have been underway for several days as the U.K. continues to mourn the loss of its longest-reigning monarch, who passed away in Scotland at the age of 96. Charles immediately assumed the throne upon his mother’s death and was officially proclaimed the sovereign by the Ascension Council on Saturday, September 10.
“My mother’s reign was unequaled in its duration, its dedication and its devotion,” His Majesty said at the time. “Even as we grieve, we give thanks for this most faithful life. I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of sovereignty which have now passed to me.”
During the meeting, Charles approved declarations naming Elizabeth’s state funeral a national bank holiday. The service — which is the first state funeral to be held in decades — will take place on Monday, September 19.
Several events honoring the late queen will carry on before Monday’s funeral, with her coffin beginning four days of lying in state in Westminster Hall following the procession on Wednesday. The ceremonial transport kicks off from Buckingham Palace and proceeds along The Mall, Horse Guards Road, across Horse Guards Parade and onto Whitehall to Parliament Square and into the Palace of Westminster.
Members of the public will be able to pay their respects to Her Royal Highness as her casket lies in state, but government officials have warned well-wishers to expect extremely long lines.
Charles and his wife, Queen Consort Camilla, were on hand at the palace to receive Elizabeth’s coffin on Tuesday, September 13. Along with the new rulers, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward stood by to greet their late mother, with Prince William and Princess Kate also attending.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were also spotted at the palace on Tuesday as the queen’s casket arrived. The Sussexes wore all-black as they joined the royal family for the emotional occasion.
The couple, who stepped down from their senior duties in 2020, were previously invited by William, 40, for a walkabout in Windsor on Saturday. Harry, 37, and the Suits alum, 41, accompanied the new Prince of Wales and his wife, 40, for a rare joint outing as they greeted mourners and accepted flowers.
Scroll down to see Charles preparing for his late mother’s procession: