Details of the route the Queen’s coffin will take from Balmoral to Edinburgh have been revealed.
The cortege is expected to leave the castle on Royal Deeside – where Elizabeth II died on Thursday – at 10am on Sunday morning.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the “poignant” journey, which will see the Queen’s coffin transported to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, would give the public a chance to come together to “mark our country’s shared loss”.
Wellwishers are expected to gather along the route the cortege will take as it travels from Balmoral to the Scottish capital.
It will first head to the nearby town on Ballater, where it is expected at approximately 10.12am.
It is then expected to arrive in Aberdeen about an hour later, with tributes expected to be paid in the city’s Duthie Park.
Travelling south along the A90, it will then arrive in Dundee at about 2pm.
In Edinburgh, Sturgeon and other party leaders in Scotland are expected to observe the coffin as it goes past the Scottish Parliament.
From there it will be taken into the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where it will remain for the night.
Transport bosses said an “unprecedented” amount of preparation and planning had gone into drawing up the route, which marks the start of the Queen’s last journey.
Sturgeon said: “Her Majesty’s death at Balmoral Castle means Scotland has lost one of its most dedicated and beloved servants.
“The grief we have seen across the world has been profound and deeply touching. It will be especially poignant to see Her Majesty’s coffin begin its journey from her Aberdeenshire home to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.
“This is a chance for people to gather together publicly and begin to mark our country’s shared loss.”
The First Minister added: “We anticipate many, many people will be keen to pay their respects and we ask them to observe public safety messaging to ensure the safety of all.”
Transport Scotland operations manager Stein Connelly echoed that – as he warned road closures on Sunday could result in delays and disruption.
He urged those planning to come and see the coffin on its journey to “please plan ahead and use public transport where possible”
Mr Connelly added: “If you absolutely have to travel by car, allow extra time and only park within designated areas.”
He continued: “This is an event of unprecedented scale. Even the recent COP26 gathering in Glasgow cannot match the amount of preparation and planning that has gone into this operation.”
Well-wishers are being asked by police not to leave vehicles by the roadside, as this could pose a risk to public safety, with people instead being encouraged to park in designated car parks.
Police Scotland Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham said policing has “an important role to play” over the coming days.
He said: “The loss of Her Majesty The Queen is deeply felt and policing has an important role to play in the coming days to ensure ceremonial events take place safely and with dignity.
“Our priority is public safety and we are working with partners, including the UK and Scottish governments, as well as local authorities, to support the delivery of planned events.”
DCC Graham added that the authorities are working with businesses to plan ahead for any potential disruption as a result of the events.
He added: “We understand that the public will want to show their respects to Her Majesty and we would urge them to do so safely.”
Key points in journey
After leaving Balmoral Castle the royal cortege will pass along Deeside, reaching Ballater just after 10am for the Aberdeenshire tribute, attended by the Lord-Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire, as well as senior officers and councillors.
It will then travel along the A93, through Aboyne, Banchory and Drumoak. People wishing to see the cortege are asked to stand where it is safe to do so at these locations and when it passes again through Aberdeenshire as it moves south on the A90. Settlements along the corridor will also be stewarded.
The cortege will follow the A93 and enter Aberdeen at around 11am, following North Deeside Road and then travelling through Cults. It will proceed along Great Western Road to its junction with Holburn Street, passing Duthie Park, South Anderson Drive.
The Lord Provost of Aberdeen, in his role as Lord-Lieutenant, will lead a tribute at Duthie Park at around 11.20am, joined by civic dignitaries from Aberdeen including deputy lieutenants, council leaders, other elected members and the council chief executive.
Members of the public are invited to pay their respects at the ceremony at Duthie Park, or at the south-western corner of the junction with Great Western Road, Willowbank Road and Holburn Street and on footpaths along the route. Disabled viewing will be at the junction of Allenvale Road and Great Southern Road.
Temporary road restrictions will be in place from 6am, the day before the event. Temporary toilets for public use will be located at the main event arena.
The cortege will follow the A90 to Dundee, arriving at the boundary around 2pm, before proceeding west on the Kingsway to the Swallow roundabout.
Members of the public are being invited to pay their respects in standing areas along the A90 Forfar Road and Kingsway.
Civic dignitaries from across Tayside and Fife, including Lord-Lieutenants, Lord Provost, Provosts, council leaders, other elected members and council chief executives will pay their own respects from a dais prior to the cortege leaving the city.
There will be rolling road closures along the route and very limited additional parking. Stewards will guide members of the public to parking sites and safe standing areas.
All the pavements along the route in Edinburgh will be lined with barriers to allow the public to view from there. The Edinburgh route will stretch from north of the city to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Members of the public are asked to check Transport Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council, Aberdeen City Council, Dundee City Council and The City of Edinburgh Council for local route advice and further safety messaging before leaving home.
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