Queen Elizabeth II had the last farewell at her home. In her home in Windsor, the body of the monarch, minutes after her funeral in London, took one last walk through the streets of her town, the one that will “never be the same without her”, before being buried in the Chapel of Saint George.
In people’s conversations, in the dozens of flags that colored ‘The Long Walk’, on the walls of Windsor Castle, as if they missed his presence, everywhere the name of the monarch emerged; the great claim of the thousands of people who came to the town located west of London to pay their respects to the queen and shed a few last tears for her.
“I didn’t want to miss it for the world,” said a visibly emotional Mary. “She is a very special person for us Brits. We have loved her for a long time and she has brought this country together. That everyone has joined us in this duel, it is a wonderful thing. It’s very nice to be here to say goodbye. She will never leave our hearts.”
Mary is just one of the nearly 200,000 people who passed through Windsor on Monday and more specifically through ‘The Long Walk’, the three-mile (about five kilometer) walk that crosses the nearby forest and was built by his ancestor the king. Charles II in 1680.
Between the meadows full of deer and the leafy trees, there is a path that leads to Windsor Castle, his residence for most of the year, and that this Monday was conquered by the people. “It is something that touches us from very close, It’s very hard right now to imagine Windsor without her., because it is a very important part of the town. It breaks your heart to think that he will not be there anymore,” Michelle said in conversation with Eph.
“It has been very overwhelming and sad. We wanted to thank her for everything she has done during these 70 years, for how she has kept her commitment for so long. We should all be a little like her. There are many things we can learn from her. “.
After the funeral in Westminster Abbey, the queen’s hearse headed down the road to windsor, where people had been waiting for more than 24 hours. The first brave men arrived at three in the afternoon the day before, according to a member of the organization.
These had to survive without being able to camp – it was not allowed – and with the only help of folding chairs. “Have you been able to touch a bed today?” A volunteer asked this journalist. “If yes, you’ve already been much luckier than all of these.”
To this we must add the cold and the constant threat of rain in the west of the country. “If there was ever a day to suffer, it was today,” added Michelle.
The Westminster funeral was broadcast on the screens in the forest and drew murmurs when the former Prime Minister appeared Boris Johnson on screen, applause with King Carlos III and tears and emotion when “God save the king” sounded.
The number of people arriving from all over the world exceeded forecasts in Windsor, whose closest antecedent was the wedding of Enrique and Meghan in 2018, when 150,000 people attended the celebrations.
The Police deployed their largest operation ever in anticipation that the wedding crowds would exceedand positioned a tight perimeter, with security arches, checking backpacks and dogs in search of explosives.
Despite the huge concentration of people, peace, good atmosphere and happiness reigned among the followers of the queen. Card games, reading, the occasional nap, food and pleasant chats with fellow plotters; This is how people spent time in Windsor, waiting for the coffin to appear at the bottom of ‘The Long Walk’, whose hill is crowned by the statue of a horse, one of the great passions of the monarch.
When he finally did, at about 3:30 p.m. local time (4:30 p.m. Spanish peninsular time), silence was established. A voice called for respect and all of Windsor fell silent. Mobile phones went up and recorded every step of the royal escort and the coffin, which was greeted with solemn applause as it passed.
“The world is a better place because of her”Michelle said. “She is a role model on how to behave, she is the grandmother of the nation,” she added.
Mary, present in one of the first rows, evoked her best memories of the queen. “What I will remember the most about her is her smile. Her smile was very contagious, when you saw her on television it was very easy for her to make you laugh. There have been a couple of times in my life that I have been very close to her, like you I have you now, and it was like being with a friend. It’s like she’s friends with everyone. She makes you feel like you’re part of her family. It’s a privilege to be here.”
The queen was lost at the bottom of ‘The Long Walk’ and faced the last meters of her last walk. The last time her people were able to say goodbye. The last time people were able to say goodbye to her “grandma”.
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