A HEREFORD woman has spoken of an "emotional day" as she joined thousands of others in the capital to see Queen Elizabeth II lying in state ahead of her funeral.

Trish Chandler, 71, from Belmont, was glued to the news like many on Thursday, September 8, when the Queen died peacefully at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire.

She was watching the news with her daughter, and when the breaking news came up, said it was a huge shock.

She said that while they had heard that the Queen was ill and that the family had gone to see her, the speed at which everything had happened had caught everyone by surprise.


Almost as soon as the news broke, Mrs Chandler decided that she would travel to London.

She drove from Hereford in the early hours of Thursday morning, stopping at Uxbridge station before getting the London Underground into the capital to join the queue.

Mrs Chandler said: "It was just an instinct really, as soon as I heard the news I felt like I needed to go down there."

She arrived at the back of the queue near to London Bridge just after 8am on Thursday 15, and joined thousands of others as they walked several miles to see the Queen for one final time.

She said that the atmosphere was incredibly friendly and it felt like everyone was there for a common purpose.


Mrs Chandler said: "Everyone was getting on great, I met one woman who was from Malaysia and one who lived in Pimlico, which ironically is closer to Westminster Hall than the back of the queue."

"I even got a photo with a very friendly policeman near to the end. Everything was incredibly well organised."

Just under seven hours later she arrived at Westminster Hall and suddenly the atmosphere changed.

Mrs Chandler said: "As we approached the hall, you could tell everyone was gearing up for the moment and wondering how they would react when they arrived."

"I still get a lump in my throat just thinking about it. It's not something I will forget in a hurry.

"When you think of all the significant events that have happened here, you certainly feel the weight of history."

As Mrs Chandler left the hall she was approached by a Canadian news crew with a reporter asking people if anyone spoke French.

Mrs Chandler, who did teacher training in French and Music, said "oui" and preceded to answer his questions.

She said: "My French was a bit rusty but I got through it ok. It was a bizarre end to an emotional day."