Thousands of people have queued through the night to see the Queen‘s coffin in Edinburgh.

The line trailed far back along the paths of the city’s Meadows, south of St Giles’ Cathedral where the coffin is lying at rest.

Mourners had begun filing into the cathedral at 17:30 on Monday, keen to pay their respects to the Queen and be part of a historic moment.

Elizabeth Mbulaiteye, who is from Uganda but lives in Glasgow, joined the queue at midday with her son Daniel and daughter Angel and were still there eight hours later.

Elizabeth said: “My mother was born in the same year as the Queen, so she was named Elizabeth. She loved the Queen, so she called me Elizabeth as well.

“She’s 96 now, and on Saturday she travelled to Balmoral to pay her respects.

“When we were growing up, we were always very big fans of the Royal Family… We wanted to come through today and be part of a historic moment.”

Daniel, Elizabeth and Angel Mbulaiteye
Image caption, Elizabeth Mbulaiteye (centre) said she wanted to be part of a “historic moment”

Calum King 54, from East Linton in East Lothian, drove from Nottingham after his last training weekend with the Army reserves.

“Nearly 34 years ago, I swore an oath of allegiance to her. So it’s only fitting that I say my goodbyes,” he said.

Once he had finished queuing into the early hours of the morning, he was expecting to to go home in time for work on Tuesday morning.

Ahmad Zaky, Mutiara Tan, and Anindya Hapsari have just moved to Edinburgh from Indonesia to study for their MBAs and this was the first day of their course.

Anindya said: “We believe that this is only once in a lifetime.

“We never imagined that this would happen while we were studying in Edinburgh. “

Ahmad Zaky, Mutiara Tan and Anindya Hapsari
Image caption, Ahmad Zaky, Mutiara Tan and Anindya Hapsari only recently moved to Edinburgh

Fiona and Matt Sigsworth, both 35, joined the Meadows queue at 19:00 in hopes that they might make St Giles’ Cathedral by midnight.

They came wrapped up warm, with packed rolls and drinks to keep them going into the small hours travelling from the Coaltown of Balgonie, near Glenrothes in Fife.

Fiona, a teacher, said: “It’s once a lifetime and we wanted to pay our respects to an extraordinary woman.

“We’re not royalists, but I respect and admire what the Queen has done for the country and the sacrifice and duty that she’s shown for 70 years.”

People from across the country travelled to Edinburgh to pay their respects to the Queen

As people continued to join the queues, the Salvation Army vans were offering hot drinks and rolls for the cold night ahead, with toilets and water stops stationed along the queue.

Corey Burgher, 44, was there with stepdaughter Giovanna Giambastiani, 24, at 2:30 am.

Mr Burgher, who works in the Royal Navy, said: “We wanted to say our goodbyes to the boss.

“I didn’t know her personally, but I met her when I was a kid. But I got quite emotional about it, it was quite a shock.”

Ian Burns, 65, and wife Lina, 54, were still queuing by the university at 2 am.

Lina, from Ukraine, had work at 9 am but said: “We are here to cherish the memories. She is the best role model in modern society. I haven’t heard about anyone else as good as the Queen.”

By 4 am when David and Selda Dow joined the queue the night was colder and the park quieter as people shuffled forward in silence.

Selda, a staff nurse, said: “We went to the proclamation for the new King yesterday and we think he’s doing really well.

“I’ve only met the Queen once briefly at the Holyrood Garden Party when I was 18 but she was lovely.

“So tonight we wanted to come and join the queue to pay our respects.”

At 06:00 on Tuesday the Scottish government confirmed the wait time was roughly two hours and urged those joining the queue to come prepared and dressed for the weather.

People will be able to walk past the Queen’s coffin until 15:00 on Tuesday.

Bremner family from Kennoway in Fife Betty Thomas and granddaughter Zara (pic attached)
Image caption, Betty and Thomas Bremner brought granddaughter Zara to Edinburgh to see the Queen’s coffin

Earlier, those who had already been able to view the coffin told of their “emotional” experience in the cathedral.

Betty and Thomas Bremner, from Kennoway in Fife, watched the coffin being driven along the M90 on Sunday before travelling to Edinburgh with granddaughter, Zara, on Monday.

“It was a privilege. It was serene, beautiful, you weren’t rushed at all. It was just so peaceful, I’m glad I came, really glad I came,” Mrs Bremner said.

They waited six hours to see the coffin. But the grandmother said: “I would have stood all night, if I had to.”

Her husband said he found it surprisingly emotional.

“It was very, very sad actually. I didn’t think I would shed a tear but it got to me in the end when I was walking through St Giles’.”