The Queen Lying-In-State: Leeds woman braves 2pm London queues to support mum’s final farewell
The Queen died last Thursday at Balmoral Castle, aged 96, after spending more than 70 years on the British throne.
The coffin of Britain’s longest reigning monarch is now on display in Westminster Hall with people lining up on the Thames and all night long to say a final goodbye.
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Jules Birkby from Leeds and his mother took the overnight train to London on Thursday evening and detailed their journey on Twitter.
“My mother adores the Queen and owns many memorabilia (plates, tea towels, spoons, cups, cake tins). She honeymooned in London for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. She spent the whole at night waiting in line to see the Queen Mum’s casket, before working the next day,” Jules explained.
“And so, when the Queen passed away, it was clear that my mother would want to pay her respects, no matter how long The Queue lasted. It was also clear that she would need companionship.”
Jules described his mother as a guide to the queen and explained that she came prepared with lots of clothes, snacks and enthusiasm.
The queue, which continued to grow day by day, was over 12 hours long when Jules and his mother joined it.
“It’s completely stationary now, but we found a bench to sit on, which seems like the best thing in the world. I also put my hat on because it’s very cold.” Jules updated after more than two hours in the queue.
After almost 14 hours of queuing, the couple finally made it inside, a moment Jules described as “dark and glorious”.
She said, “Well, that was…just wow.
“A tweet could never do it justice, but it was dark, powerful and glorious all at once. The magnificent hall, the bowed guards, the flag draped over the casket, the feeling of peace. was really impressive.
“Mom cried, of course. And even I was really moved – it was wonderful.”
After following their long journey on Twitter, East Midlands Railway reached out to upgrade the pair to first class for their train home.