Britons take to the streets of London at dawn to watch the Queen’s funeral procession

Hundreds of Britons got up in the early hours of this Monday to attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in search of the best places to observe the procession that will transport her coffin, since some considered it “part of history”.

Despite the low temperatures in the British capital, the British gathered before seven in the morning near Buckingham Palace and Westminster Cathedral, where religious ceremonies began at 11 local time, corresponding to 10:00 GMT. .

“I wanted to be part of (the event),” Susan Davis, 53, who arrived at 6:30 a.m. at Hyde Park Corner from Essex, east London, with her husband and two teenage children, told AFP. It is a great day in our history, it is part of our lives.”

He took a chair and “a lot of food”, and hopes to see the Queen’s coffin, which will be carried from there after the religious ceremonies to Windsor Castle.

“I want to be a part of history,” said his 14-year-old son Jack, adding that he wanted to tell the details of the event to future generations. “I’m going to tell my children about this moment, I’m going to tell them: I was there,” he said.

Calop Thompson, a 20-year-old film student who lives in Bedford, north London, said he wanted to watch the funeral live on his mobile phone; But he wanted to see “the coffin and the royal family”, and for this he arrived at six in the morning.

He added: “We wanted to be in the front row. We thought we were in the middle of the crowd; But here we are, in the best place with the best view. It’s amazing!” Speaking of the “interesting but also gloomy” atmosphere.

Tapas and coffee

The first subway trains to nearby stations were overcrowded. Some spent the night at the scene, where many blankets could be seen on the ground on Whitehall Street in central London, which is home to many government buildings and official residences.

Bethany Birdmore, a 26-year-old accountant, arrived around 9:00 p.m. on Sunday. She also doesn’t want to miss out on a ‘piece of history’. “It was cold, we didn’t sleep,” she said. She added that she was able to stay active thanks to eating a lot of sugar and caffeine. “Everybody was talking,” she added.

Young and old, be patient. UK flags raised; But also Australian flags on buildings. The best prepared were having their coffee and breakfast, while the best places to watch what was going on were all occupied.

On Monday, the United Kingdom and the world said goodbye to Elizabeth II, during a solemn funeral ceremony in London attended by heads of state and dignitaries in honor of a queen who dedicated her seventy years to the rise of the British crown.

Monday, which is a bank holiday in the UK, represents the biggest security challenge for London police in their history.

The state funeral, the first in the British capital since Winston Churchill’s funeral in 1965, may host one of the most-watched television broadcasts in history.

The ceremonies are broadcast on giant screens in London, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Colraine in Northern Ireland in seven cathedrals and over 100 cinemas.