Live updates: Queen Elizabeth's coffin leaves Buckingham Palace to lie in state, what to expect

Crowds gather on The Mall ahead of the ceremonial procession of the coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster.

LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin will leave Buckingham Palace Wednesday as it is taken amid somber pageantry on a horse-drawn gun carriage past crowds of mourners. 

The late monarch’s destination is the Houses of Parliament, where she will lie in state for four days.

Crowds of people lined the streets of central London on Wednesday, hours before the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II was due to make its way from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster. King Charles III and other members of the royal family will walk behind the coffin.

Crowds gather on The Mall ahead of the ceremonial procession of the coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster.

People in the crowd cheered when Charles waved to them as he drove from his residence, Clarence House, to the palace.

The crowds are the latest manifestation of a nationwide outpouring of grief and respect for the only monarch most Britons have ever known, who died at her beloved Balmoral summer retreat on Thursday at age 96, ending a 70-year reign.

“It’s a very sad day, but it’s our last opportunity to do our duty for the queen and it’s our first opportunity to do it for the king, and that makes us all very proud,” said Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika, of the Household division, who is responsible for organizing the ceremonial aspects of the queen’s funeral.

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