The Daily Telegraph

Chill of the night does little to dampen crowd’s fervour

In London and Windsor, securing pole position for today’s procession­s means camping overnight

- Daniel Capurro SENIOR REPORTER

‘We’ve come for our two-year-old grandson. We would love for him to be able to tell his friends that his grandparen­ts were there’

‘She has had some tough times but never let that show. She has given 70 years of her life to us. I’m so proud of her and I’m proud to be British’

It had seemed like the queue to end all queues but by the time the line to see the late Queen lying in state finally came to an end, devoted royalists had already moved on to their next mission: camping on a spot along the funeral procession route.

Up and down central London and around Windsor Castle, mourners defied cold and damp to camp out ahead of today’s procession.

Teresa Yates, 57, had already slept out for the lying-in-state, but by yesterday morning, she was on Windsor’s Long Walk preparing for another night out in the cold.

“I got here at 11.30 this morning and we are going to be camping here tonight – well, we aren’t allowed a tent but we are allowed to sit in a chair with a blanket.

“I went to the lying-in-state procession on Wednesday. I joined the queue at 9pm and left at 5.45am. The Queen has been a remarkable woman. She has given her whole life for the country and the Commonweal­th.

“She has had tough times but she never let that show. She has given 70 years of her life to us and I’m so proud of her and I’m proud to be British.”

One couple from Devon even cancelled their hotel room for the night, preferring the cold ground of The Mall’s pavement and a guaranteed view of the procession.

Bev Ryland, 66, said: “When we came here we realised that we had to stay and see the funeral from up close.”

Her husband Mark, 68, said: “We’ve come for our two-year-old grandson.

“We would love for him to tell his friends that his grandparen­ts were there. Just like I can say my parents were at the Queen’s coronation.”

Few, though, could compete with Tracey Hannam, 55, for dedication. Ms Hannam travelled from Orkney after breaking off a walk around the full coast of the UK.

Ms Hannam, from Bath, Somerset, started her epic walk more than two years ago and has another two to go. “To get here, I started at the highest northern part of the Orkney Islands in a lighthouse,” she said. “From there I caught a flight with just me and the pilot on an eight-seater aeroplane.

“I then spent a night on a yacht of someone I met there. Then I got the ferry to Aberdeen then got a 12-hour coach to arrive in London today.” She is now sat with friends at the front of The Mall. Five miles east of her, in Southwark Park, thousands of mourners queued for one last chance to see the Queen before the doors of Westminste­r Hall were closed to them at 6.30 this morning.

The warning had gone out not to travel, that the queue could close at any minute, yet still they came. Many broke into a jog, or looked longingly at portable lavatories that they dared not visit, fearful that until they had a wristband there was no guarantee they’d get their few final minutes in the presence of the late Queen.

“We were always planning on doing it, but with work this was our first and last chance,” said Mandy Lavallian, 67, who came from Essex with her daughter, Abby. They were planning on staying for the funeral, in all likelihood walking out of Westminste­r Hall and straight into another queue for the procession route.

“We’ve booked a hotel but that’s looking more and more like a waste of time,” Abby Lavallian said.

Anna had travelled from Nuneaton with her seven-year-old daughter clutching a stuffed corgi. On arrival she felt that the queue was too long. “She’s only seven so I think we’ll go to Buckingham Palace and see the tributes instead,” she said.

The queue steadily shrank during yesterday, with its end creeping back along the south bank of the Thames. By the time the queue closed at 10.41pm it was at London Bridge.

On Saturday, at least 259 people needed treatment from St John Ambulance. Temperatur­es had dropped to 4C along the Thames, and another 98 people needed medical support between midnight and 7am.

Priti Patel, the former home secretary, was seen in a steward’s bib marshallin­g the queue near Waterloo Bridge. The MP for Whitham posed for selfies with some queuers.

She was joined by Tory party chairman Andrew Stephenson. They were among several MPS helping out, including Michelle Donelan, the new Culture Secretary.

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 ?? ?? Clockwise from far left: mourners braved dropping temperatur­es and damp to camp out overnight to get a prime vantage point for today’s procession; John Loughrey, 67, had been on The Mall since 5.45am on Thursday; thousands queue in central London yesterday; among them Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes, inset below
Clockwise from far left: mourners braved dropping temperatur­es and damp to camp out overnight to get a prime vantage point for today’s procession; John Loughrey, 67, had been on The Mall since 5.45am on Thursday; thousands queue in central London yesterday; among them Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes, inset below
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