14 hours later Queen II. Elizabeth’s tail

14 hours later Queen II.  Elizabeth's tail
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The excitement of thousands of people queuing to see it was worth seeing. Queen Elizabeth II In bed on Friday morning.

The line was longer than six miles and the estimated waiting time was more than 10 hours.

Did everyone little know; it would be a few hours longer than that.

Members of the public celebrate Queen Elizabeth II in front of St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh on 12 September 2022.  He lined up to pay his respects in front of Elizabeth's lying coffin.

Members of the public celebrate Queen Elizabeth II in front of St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh on 12 September 2022. He lined up to pay his respects in front of Elizabeth’s lying coffin.
(via Getty Images ONE ANDERSEN/AFP)

8:50 am

After just 24 hours arriving from the US, I joined the queue with my mother, Rosa De-Kelly, in Southwark Park at 8:50 am local time. My Aunt Annie Bazan joined us, arriving from Birmingham at 06:45.



We quickly became friends with about 10 people in line and got our first news: the queue had passed. temporarily paused for the next six hours. If our group had only been an hour behind, we wouldn’t have been able to queue. Thankfully, we’ve already made a commitment.

Surprisingly, the first two or three hours passed so quickly. Morale was high and we learned that there were people from all over the country: Bath, Manchester, Bedfordshire. We also spoke to the police and security and noted that many of them are traveling from outside London. Police arrived from Cornwall and Devon in about four hours.


By 1 o’clock people were hungry and searched for food wherever they could find it. Most of the people in our group had a hard time finding sandwiches or proper food. Everyone prepared water and plenty of snacks, but did not eat much??

Four hours after the experience, when everyone began to find food, most people were sitting whenever they could. I finally had my lunch 2 hours later. My mother and aunt had left the queue to find a place to sit and rest. When we caught up with them, there were margherita pizzas waiting for me from Pizza Express.


We reached our next big milestone before I had a chance to eat my pizza. We finally arrived Tower Bridge where we can officially let the Queen see our bright yellow bracelets in bed.

Bringing his two young children along, Daniel captured the moment with a simple sentence: “These bracelets are like a badge of honor.”

We started making bets while shuffling the line. When did we think we would reach the end? Some said 5:30, 6:30 or 8:00. Only one of us guessed right: before midnight.


About 8 hours into our trip, we heard some shocking news that made us feel very grateful. The queue has now reopened and the estimated wait time was longer than 24 hours.

At this point, it began to cool, with strong winds forcing most of us to wear hats and coats. We were grateful we had 8 hours in line instead of starting at the end.

We were now closer to the City of London, and the tributes to the Queen were becoming more frequent and conspicuous. There was more live music to entertain the particularly dedicated crowd. There were even members of the “Faith Team” who were there to offer words of encouragement and guidance.

Another exciting news: soccer star David Beckham was next with us. After being queuing for 12 hours, she spoke to the media and shared that she had joined just a few hours before our group at 2 am.


The sun began to set and the atmosphere changed drastically. The weather was now dark, cold and windy. People even seemed to slow down, and their energy levels could only be described as stable but relevant. Until now, many people were worried about how long we had left and gave up on our guessing game.

When we befriended the security guards to pass the time, we began to nervously ask them how long they thought it would take until the end. The answers were relevant: 2-3 hours. Despite the daunting predictions, the mentality had shifted to determination, and one woman said, “We’ve come this far, we have to see that.”


We waited 12 hours when we finally crossed Lambeth Bridge and entered Westminster. A guy who was a security guard told us we were 2.5 miles away. Many people in our group could not solve the math and decided to continue without thinking anymore. Now that we were at the final turning point, people were acting with determination and motivation to complete what had become a mission. With the line moving faster now, I started to feel jet lag. However, I was determined to end it now and chose to ignore the nausea and take deep breaths instead.



We knew we had to be close. Security personnel and police began babbling about what was on the crowd’s ban list to enter Westminster Hall. Prominent items included sharp objects, larger backpacks, lighters, and more. But one of the unexpected things that upset many people was hand sanitizer. When asked by a security guard he said it was not allowed as it was “flammable”.


While we estimated it would take the longest to get through airport-style security, it was actually one of the fastest parts of the queue and took less than 5 minutes. We were at the door of Westminster Hall, just a few hundred yards from where we had come out on the other side of security.

We walked in and the mood instantly changed. Now it was quiet, gloomy, sad.


We were one of the lucky groups when we walked in. Instead of constantly marching forward, we were constantly watching ahead as a change of guard took place, our eyes moving back and forth from the guards with the Imperial State Crown so beautifully placed in the middle of the Queen at the top.

Eventually, people began to pass by the coffin again. Our group had passed the Queen and split into four rows. Many bowed their heads, some bowed, some made the sign of the cross, others walked silently. I chose to bow, bow my head, and make the sign of the cross as tears rolled down my cheeks.


We left Westminster Hall with one last look at the Queen and it was over.

After 14 hours on our feet and out, we paid our respects to the Queen and we all agreed: it was well worth the wait.

Claudia Kelly-Bazan is an Atlanta-based field producer. You can follow him on Twitter @ClaudiaKellyB or Instagram @News_And_Shoes.

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