Queen's coffin taken across London to lie in state

STORY: "Small and personal" is how a senior royal official described Wednesday's solemn military procession through central London.

Queen Elizabeth's coffin was carried on a gun carriage, from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, where she will lie in state for four days.

King Charles, his sons Princes William and Harry and other senior family members followed behind in near silence.

Guns fired every minute in Hyde Park, and parliament's famous Big Ben bell tolled.

The queen's death, at the age of 96 on Thursday at Balmoral, has plunged Britain into mourning for a monarch who reigned for 70 years.

On Tuesday, as in Edinburgh, people had already begun lining up to be the first to file past the coffin, this time in the oldest part of what was formerly the royal palace of Westminster.

Those who'd already spent the night waiting and sleeping on the streets were rewarded with a wristband to secure their places.

"She's been a rock that's always been there, you know, politicians change, wars have happened but the queen has always been there, and it's the end of an era."

"Although it's very exciting to be here, it's to pay homage to her and respect for her, for all that she's done for us and given us over the years. You know, she's been absolutely brilliant."

On Monday comes a far bigger, full-scale ceremonial procession and elaborate state funeral.

It will be attended by a clutch of world leaders inside Westminster Abbey, and watched by many millions outside and on TV.

The last time the world witnessed such a spectacle was seven decades ago - following the death of Queen Elizabeth's father King George VI.