Wednesday 21 September 2022

WOYWW 694: Paying Our Respects

 Well, it has been a week of mourning, but also celebrating the life of a steadfast monarch cumulating in the magnificent State Funeral on Monday where the armed forces did HM proud, as did the crowds of well wishers who lined the route.  We watched at home.

My desk this morning shows the pages that I made in my journal to reflect our paying of respects and the day of the State Funeral.  The wrist band is the one I wore in 'The Queue' for the lying in state at the weekend.  Neet asked me to share the experience so here goes...

We travelled down to London by train on Friday evening and then took the tube via London Bridge to Bermondsey as the end of the queue was in Southwark Park (actually the queue to the queue to the queue to The Queue).

Zone 3 in the park

Looking across at zone 1 from zone 2 in the park
We eventually made it to the point of getting wrist bands after 3 miles of walking backwards and forwards and nearly 3 hours. 

We made it as far as the next lot of backwards and forwards walking an hour and a half later at nearly 4am.  Things slowed down then as I think rehearsals were taking place. 
The Globe Theatre kindly opened its facilities to those in the queue so I managed to avoid having to use the Porta Potties along the route (The Tate Modern did the same). 
There were at least loads of landmarks to see along the route.
James had had enough by the time we hit the 11 hour mark and were told it would be another 6 hours.  He took himself off to explore Trafalgar Square and walk along the other side of the Thames crossing by Westminster Bridge.
We continued along past the Houses of Parliament where the queue was pushed up together.  Paul was busy getting footage of the royal hearse when there was a great surprise.  The King came to speak to people in our part of the queue.  I was at the back but managed to stand on something and catch a glimpse (about 5' away and with five rows of people in front).  I didn't see the Prince of Wales when he arrived, as by that time I was crushed against the river side of the path.  I must admit to having a bit of a panic attack at that point but the stewards were really good and myself and another lady in the same boat were moved to the other side of the barrier, checked out and then  walked around to rejoin the queue on Lambeth Bridge where it thinned out a bit.  By the time we got to the grounds of the Palace of Westminster Paul was starting to struggle a bit and we had 40 odd backwards and forwards sections to negotiate still.  Luckily they saw he was struggling and he was given an accessibility queue wristband and we were taken round to the separate queue for security and able to use the steps free access.  It took another hour from that point but by 3.30pm we were paying our respects in Westminster Hall. Total silence and reverance from all the people there.  We were absolutely done by then (a total of 16 hours and 10 minutes in the queue) and took an Uber back to Euston.  Luckily we managed to catch a train almost immediately.  I made sure Paul got a seat although I had to stand until Milton Keynes and James was on his feet until Rugby.  Luckily my brother came and collected us at the station.  It was exactly 40 hours since I got up on Friday morning when I made it to bed on Saturday evening and we still have sore legs but I am so glad we went.

Sorry this has been a long post.  Please go and visit Stamping Ground where Julia keeps charge of the WOYWW desks.  Stay safe and Happy WOWYW.


Helen said...

I am glad you shared the story of the Queue; it really was a long painful day (and night) for you but I am glad you got fast tracked to the accessible queue and made it through. You certainly won't forget the experience! the Funeral was extraordinary and a beautiful send off for a very great lady. Happy WOYWW Helen #?

Felix the Crafty Cat said...

Hi Sarah, I imagine that will be something you will never forget and pleased it all went well for you. Back to normality hopefully. Have a very happy woyww, Angela x9x

Lunch Lady Jan said...

What an experience! Well done on getting through it, I don’t know if I could have stood for that length of time so really admire those who did. I’m so pleased you managed to see everything you wanted, thanks for sharing xx
Hugs LLJ 7 xxx

Julia Dunnit said...

I’ve corrected your link Sarah, it was taking us to your post last matter, but might explain why you haven’t seen as many as you would normally at this time of day! amazing experience in London, I admire you for doing it, it’s crowd fear that prevented us. So glad to read that the queue was organised and stewarded so well. What a memory, to have been part of that historic time.

Lynnecrafts said...

Oh my word, Sarah, that was a gruelling walk! I’m so glad the stewards watched out for you all. I couldn’t work out where the step free access entered Westminster hall. Was it from the other end? Thanks for sharing the experience. I was thinking of you.
Take care and happy WOYWW
Lynnecrafts 12

glitterandglue said...

Wow, Sarah!!! What an amazing tale of your determination to go see everything and be part of something we will never experience again. Well done. So glad you shared this today! A beautiful dedicated lady was our queen - incredible when you think she wasn't even born to be queen!!
Take care. God bless.
Margaret #5

Neet said...

Thanks for that Sarah. I wondered how you had gone on and am glad you got moved when it could be seen there was some discomfort. It sounds as if everyone did a marvellous job every day leading to and including the funeral
What a magnificent, albeit very sad, ceremony Her Majesty organised for herself.
Hugs, Neet xx (in the library but not with Professor Plum)

Tracy said...

Hello Sarah 🤗 thank you for sharing your experience ... so glad that you and the other lady were saved by the stewards. What a time of it you had and one I'm sure won't be forgotten. Sending you much love and hugs with a wish ⭐ for your legs to ease up. Tracy #15 xxx

Tracy said...

Hello Sarah 🤗 thank you for sharing your experience ... so glad that you and the other lady were saved by the stewards. What a time of it you had and one I'm sure won't be forgotten. Sending you much love and hugs with a wish ⭐ for your legs to ease up. Tracy #15 xxx

Annie said...

Another busy day for me but work is now done and I can pop round to see all my fav blogs.
We were travelling home on Monday so we listened to the funeral on the car radio and put the telly on as soon as we got home...done to perfection.
Annie x #8

Crafting With Jack said...

I am glad you shared your story, what an experience. I am surprised that no one collapsed of fatigue. From what we could see the mood of the crown was cheerful and uncomplaining, above all patient and respectful. Happy WOYWW. Angela #18

StampinCarol said...

What an experience! And your journal pages are wonderful!
Thanks for popping by and have a great week!
Carol N #20

Anne said...

Hello Sarah, that was an amazing achievement. I wish I could have managed similar but sadly no longer possible for Graham or myself. Thank you for sharing your account of 'The Queue ' Take care. Anne x 22

Lindart said...

My goodness Sarah! What a feat! Amazing that you hung in for the entire process! Definitely a part of history to tell your grandchildren about. Too bad you weren't closer to the King, that would have been awesome! And to think I thought my hubby was crazy to get up at 5am to watch it all on TV. He had it cushy! I will tell him of your adventure! Thanks for your visit, have a wonderful week, Lindart # 21

My name is Cindy said...

Wow Sarah, amazing thing to have done, you will never forget that experience for sure. Good to hear that you got looked after so well but still quite gruelling. I don't think I would have gone even if we were home though I would have liked to, just couldn't possibly stand all that time. Thanks for your earlire visit, Happy WOYWW, love n hugs Cindy #17

BJ said...

Oh my life, you actually did the queue thing!!! Saw the wrist band at the top of your post and wondered.... WOW I'm impressed. I certainly couldn't have done it. Wore black all week and have a plethora of black bows and lace from my days as a Goth, but glad to be back in bright colours now though. Love your pages adorned with said wrist band - excellent tribute. As I'm usually 6 months behind with my scrapping, I expect to be reliving the times in a few months time if I ever get around to ordering my photos...BJ#10

Sylvia/LittleTreasures said...

So happy for you, enjoying a chance of a lifetime to be involved with such a country's experience. Hope you get time to rest up. I watched most of it on TV. I enjoy your FB posts also and hope you get back into the grove of everyday life !
I visited early and now see what happened. I've done the same. Have a happy weekend, I'm posting late trying to get things back in order before the weekend.

Caro said...

What an experience for you, it sounds totally exhausting but so worthwhile. Love the landmarks photos and the two pages you did. Take care, with love & God Bless, Caro xxx (#11)