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Queen Elizabeth II’s queue in 14 hours

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Pleasure was evident among the many hundreds of people that joined the queue to see Queen Elizabeth II lying-in-state Friday morning.

The road was greater than six miles lengthy, with an estimated wait time of over 10 hours.

Little did everybody know; it will be a number of hours greater than that.

Members of the public queue outside St Giles' Cathedral, in Edinburgh, on September 12, 2022, to pay their respects before the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II lying at rest.

Members of the general public queue outdoors St Giles’ Cathedral, in Edinburgh, on September 12, 2022, to pay their respects earlier than the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II mendacity at relaxation.
(ODD ANDERSEN/AFP by way of Getty Photographs)

8:50 a.m.

After arriving from the US simply 24-hours prior, I joined the queue at 8:50 am native time at Southwark Park with my mum, Rosa De-Kelly. My Aunt, Annie Bazan, additionally joined us, having arrived from Birmingham at 6:45 am


10:05 a.m.

We grew to become fast associates with the roughly 10 individuals round us within the queue and obtained our first spherical of stories: the queue had been quickly paused for the following six hours. If our group had been only one hour behind, we would not have been to get in line. Fortunately, we have been already dedicated.

Surprisingly, the primary two or three hours flew by in a short time. Spirits have been excessive and we discovered there have been individuals from everywhere in the nation: Bathtub, Manchester, Bedfordshire. We additionally spoke with police and safety, noting that lots of them had traveled from outdoors of London. Some police got here so far as 4 hours, from Cornwall and Devon.

12:50 p.m.

It wasn’t till round 1 pm that folks grew to become hungry, looking for meals wherever they may. Lots of the individuals in our group struggled to seek out sandwiches or correct meals with sustenance. Everybody had ready with water and loads of snacks, however not numerous meals??

4 hours into the expertise, as everybody started to seek out meals, most individuals have been sitting every time they obtained the chance. It wasn’t for one more 2 hours that I lastly had lunch. My mum and aunt had left the queue to go forward and discover a place to sit down and relaxation. After we caught as much as them, they’d a margherita pizza ready for me from Pizza Categorical.

2:42 p.m.

Earlier than I had the possibility to eat my pizza, we reached our subsequent large milestone. Lastly, we had reached Tower Bridge the place we have been in a position to get our brilliant yellow wristbands to formally be allowed to see the Queen lying-in-state.

Daniel, who had introduced his two younger kids, captured the second with a easy phrase: “These wristbands are like a badge of honor.”

As we shuffled down the road, we began to make bets. What time did we expect we’d arrive on the finish? Some mentioned 5:30, 6:30 or 8. Solely considered one of us ended up with the fitting estimate: someday earlier than midnight.

5:14 p.m.

About 8 hours into our journey, we heard some surprising information that made us really feel very grateful. The queue has been re-opened now, and the estimated wait time was over 24 hours lengthy.

By this level, it was getting colder with robust gusts of winds forcing many people to placed on hats and coats. We have been grateful to be 8 hours into the road as a substitute of beginning on the finish of it.

We have been nearer to the Metropolis of London now and the tributes to the Queen have been changing into extra frequent and noticeable. There was extra reside music particularly to maintain the devoted crowd entertained. There have been even members of a “Religion Group” who have been there to present phrases of encouragement and steering.

One other piece of thrilling information: soccer star David Beckham had been within the queue with us. He had spoken to media after 12 hours within the line, sharing that he joined just some hours forward of our group at 2 am

7:47 p.m.

The solar started to go down and the environment drastically modified. The climate was now darkish, chilly, and windy. Folks appeared to decelerate within the line and the power ranges can solely be described as dedicated however involved. By now, many have been involved about how for much longer we had left and given up on our guessing sport.

As we grew to become associates with safety employees to cross the time, we started to nervously ask them how for much longer they thought it will be till the top. The solutions have been regarding: 2-3 hours. Regardless of the daunting estimates, the mentality had shifted to dedication, with one girl saying, “we have made it this far, we now have to see it via.”

9:03 p.m.

After we lastly crossed Lambeth Bridge and entered Westminster, we have been 12 hours into our wait. One man with safety employees instructed us we had 2.5 miles left. Many in our group could not work out the mathematics and determined to only maintain going with out occupied with it anymore. Now that we have been within the closing stretch, individuals have been shifting with dedication and motivation to finish what had change into a mission. Whereas the road was now shifting at a sooner tempo, I began to really feel jet lag. Nevertheless, I too was now decided to complete and selected to disregard the nausea and take deep breaths as a substitute.


10:26 p.m.

We knew we have to be shut. Safety employees and police started shouting over the chatter of the gang about what was on the prohibited checklist for going inside Westminster Corridor. Among the many apparent objects have been sharp objects, bigger backpacks, lighters, and extra. However one of many sudden objects that had lots of people upset was hand sanitizer. When requested, a safety man mentioned it wasn’t allowed as a result of it was “flammable.”

10:43 p.m.

Whereas we anticipated going via airport-style safety would take the longest, it was really one of many quickest components of the queue, taking lower than 5 minutes. Just some hundred ft from the place we exited on the opposite facet of safety, we have been on the doorways of Westminster Corridor.

We stepped inside and the temper modified immediately. It was now silent, somber, sorrowful.


As we entered, we have been one of many fortunate teams. As an alternative of the fixed strolling ahead, we have been at a standstill watching forward whereas there was a guard change, with our eyes shifting forwards and backwards from the guards to the Queen’s coffin so fantastically positioned within the heart with the Imperial State Crown on prime.

Lastly, individuals began passing by the coffin once more. Our group had been break up into 4 traces shifting previous the Queen. Most bowed their heads, some bowed with a curtsy, some made the signal of the cross, others merely walked by in silence. I selected to curtsy, bow my head, and make the signal of the cross as tears got here down my cheeks.

10:53 p.m.

With one final have a look at the Queen, we left Westminster Corridor and it was over.

After 14 hours on our ft and open air, we had paid our respects to the Queen and we have been all in settlement: it was definitely worth the wait.

Claudia Kelly-Bazan is an Atlanta-based discipline producer. You’ll be able to observe her de ella on Twitter @ClaudiaKellyB or Instagram @News_And_Shoes

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