One yr on and with a brand new monarch, Sian Elvin spoke to the individuals she seen Queen Elizabeth II’s mendacity in state with about their recollections (Picture: Supplied / Sian Elvin / BBC / Getty Images)Almost precisely one yr in the past on September 15, my alarm went off at 4am and I questioned what on Earth I used to be doing.
I used to be exhausted after working days and nights on the protection of the loss of life of Queen Elizabeth II, who died aged 96 on September 8, 2022.
But I’d determined it was the time to embrace what remains to be probably one of the crucial quintessentially British phenomenons of all time – The Queue.
In case you have been dwelling underneath a rock at the moment, The Queue was a gargantuan line of mourners ready to file previous the late monarch who was mendacity in state for four-and-a-half days.
It snaked a size of 10 miles (16km), and other people waited as much as 24 hours to get inside Westminster Hall for a momentary glimpse of the royal coffin.
Around 1 / 4 of one million persons are estimated to have paid their respects, and the keenness surrounding the ritual strengthened a globally held stereotype: that Brits love queueing.
The Queue was not with out controversy – with This Morning presenters Holly Willoughby and the now-disgraced Phillip Schofield being accused of ‘queue-jumping’ by utilizing media passes to get into Westminster Hall.
Sian pictured together with her boyfriend Chris McKeon as they received nearer to Westminster Hall (Picture: Sian Elvin)
What the four-hour lengthy line appeared like simply earlier than 6am on September 15 (Picture: Sian Elvin)
The on-line map of The Queue exhibiting its size was seen the world over thousands and thousands of occasions (Picture: Gov.uk)But in fact, as a result of I’m British, an awesome queuer, needed to be a part of a chunk of historical past and nicely – for journalism, I gave it a go too.
What I didn’t anticipate from The Queue was to make lasting connections and have unusually fond recollections of your complete expertise.
I joined the again of the road at round 6am and was queuing for round four-and-a-half hours earlier than reaching the entrance, which seemed to be fairly good going in comparison with some.
There was not a not so much to do throughout these hours of ready, so naturally – after all of us awoke a bit – these of us in The Queue collectively began to speak, and finally swapped contact particulars to remain in contact.
So one yr on and with a brand new monarch, I made a decision to see how the individuals I queued with at the moment are, and what their recollections are of that historic time.
Author Andrew Halas, 71, discovered the time to speak to me recent from writing his second youngsters’s ebook, after having not too long ago revealed the primary once we met within the line.
Reflecting on September 15, he instructed Metro.co.uk: ‘I keep in mind not sleeping very nicely that evening as a result of I needed to catch the earliest prepare attainable to get to London – because the tales of the lengthy queues have been now in all places.
Andrew Halas pictured ready in The Queue close to Westminster Hall (Picture: Sian Elvin)
Andrew, now 71, pictured now together with his ebook The Adventures of Harry Alliss (Picture: Andrew Halas)