Mourners have come to London from across the UK and around the world hoping to see Queen Elizabeth’s funeral procession and soak up the atmosphere on the streets of the capital.
Sarah and Harry, from Kingston-upon-Thames, traveled to London on Monday to take their place behind the barriers lining Cromwell Road, where the mood is one of quiet anticipation. The couple, who declined to give their full names, said they were “disgusted” they missed seeing the Queen lying in state.
For Emily, a 24-year-old secondary school teacher who recently moved to England from Australia, the funeral procession is “the perfect opportunity” to grieve. She told her history students that they were “having such an amazing time.”
Foreign residents and visitors came to join the crowds in the capital. Diaksha, 36, and Kamlesh Sukdheo, 35, from South Africa, traveled to Hyde Park, rather than the conference they had come to London for, to watch the funeral on the big screen.
“This is a historic event, a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Diaksha said.
“The example she set for all of us of how to conduct herself with her family and with the world is inspirational,” Kamlesh added.
The Queen’s death has given the Johannesburg couple pause to reflect on the legacy of the British monarchy on their homeland.
“She is also our monarch; she is legendary, she reigned for 70 years.
Four Chinese students from the University of London, who did not give their names, came to Hyde Park. “We just wanted to pay homage to you and try to understand the history of your country,” said one.
Navishad Majothi, 56, came from Manchester. He remembers seeing King Charles when he was Prince of Wales during the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977.
“What a moment it was,” he said.
He came to Britain from Uganda as a refugee with his family when he was six. “We owe him a lot,” he said.