King Charles III has arrived in Northern Ireland, leading the mourning for Queen Elizabeth II in the four parts of the United Kingdom before his mother’s coffin is flown to London in advance of four days of lying in state.
Charles and Camilla, queen consort, were welcomed at the airport on Tuesday by the lord lieutenant of Belfast, Dame Fionnuala Mary Jay-O’Boyle and Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris.
People lined the streets at Hillsborough Castle, the monarch’s official residence in Northern Ireland. “We came out to pay our respects to Queen Elizabeth because she was a fantastic queen and very loyal to Northern Ireland and we wanted to be here to welcome the new king,” said Heather Paul, 61.
Joy Hutchinson, 34, said she hoped Charles would keep the United Kingdom together after some have blamed Brexit, UK’s departure from the European Union, among other things for loosening Britain’s ties with Northern Ireland.
Charles drove along crowd-lined streets in Hillsborough and then left his car to shake hands with well-wishers to chants of “God Save the King”.