It was THE big event yesterday Monday: The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II was broadcast live from London on September 19. Thousands of people made the pilgrimage to the center for the national memorial service, which consisted of church services and a funeral procession through the heart of England’s capital.
But whoever hoped for the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II and seeing their loved ones pass by with their own eyes was bitterly disappointed. Instead, there was great chaos in London on Monday morning, as our reporter Linda Giere experienced live on site.
Everything for Queen Elizabeth II: crowds squeeze through London’s streets
At first, many viewers hoped to see something of the goings-on at Westminster Abbey, but nothing came of it. Dark green walls at least six feet tall blocked the view of the church. And these partitions ran through the whole city.
Experiencing the funeral procession as a passerby from the sidewalk was therefore not an option. Frustrated, people made a pilgrimage towards Hyde Park, where a public viewing of the ceremony was taking place. But in the middle of Curzon Street, less than seven minutes’ walk from Hyde Park, the crowd suddenly came to a halt. It was said that access to the park had been blocked. The security forces would allegedly not let anyone in.
Some people turned back, visibly outraged. “They should have put screens in each of the royal parks,” one woman yelled before heading home. A fatal mistake. Because: About ten minutes later, the crowd moved again. Apparently the path to the park has been reopened. A loud cheer echoed through the street.
Fans storm Hyde Park for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral
Then everything happened very quickly: people ran exuberantly in the direction of Hyde Park, even climbing over a small wall to save themselves time. “Please go in that direction! There’s no way you’re getting over the wall!” shouted a helpless security guard. But the woman’s instructions were simply ignored.
In the last meters before Hyde Park, the Royals fans finally lined up in a queue. There our reporter got into conversation with Roman and Birgit from Vienna. The Austrian was in London on a business trip and spontaneously extended his stay for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.
He found the chaos surrounding the funeral service to be “absolutely frustrating”, but Roman and Birgit were used to far worse. “We were here for Trooping the Color in June and it had 12 million visitors. There was no getting through either. That was bad,” they reported to this editorial office.
At that time they had to stand in a random street and thus hardly noticed anything of the actual events. “There was no public viewing, so today it’s an advantage that we at least have an overview there,” Roman recalled.
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But not every royal event has to be this chaotic. In May, Roman and Birgit actually got to see Queen Elizabeth II. “We had tickets to the ‘Royal Windsor Horse Show’ in Windsor. She was really close to us then. We had seats in row 10 and she drove by in the car,” Birgit said with a smile on her face.
And the cumbersome way to Hyde Park on Monday certainly paid off for the two of them. You can read everything about the touching funeral service in honor of the Queen in our live blog.