Queen Elisabeth II Funeral
Updated: Apr 9
We arrived in London a few days earlier from Portugal as we did not want to miss Queen Elisabeth II Funeral. We had especially come to London before for special occasions such as the wedding of Harry and Meghan and for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (70 years on the throne).
It was not easy to find hotel rooms during the week of the funeral, but we found a nice hotel in the Paddington neighborhood. It’s a residential area in the city of Westminster, so it’s not full of tourists. We stayed at the Chilworth London Paddington, a nice property part of the Montcalm Townhouse group. The service was very good and the front desk helped us a lot with our Amazon orders. As we decided to camp outside the night before the funeral, we ordered lounge chairs and sleeping bags in advance. Two friends from Switzerland met us in London for the funeral and were able to wait in line to see her majesty lying in state and pay their respects to the Queen. Unfortunately, by the time we arrived in London it was too late for us to do the same.
We met our friends in the city and walked around Westminster Abbey in order to find a good spot for camping outside the night before the funeral. We found a great location in front of the Red Lion Pub, one of the nicest pubs in all of London which is quite close to Westminster. We were able to eat and drink all evening, and they were up early serving coffee the next morning. The staff was wonderful.
The day before the funeral we met at our spot and started organizing our camping area. It was not too busy then; the weather was very nice and everybody was very friendly. We took turns for drinks and meals and nobody came too close to our spot. The night was fresh and the pub closed around midnight.
As we woke up it really started being busy. After a while police officers asked the crowd to pack their chairs and make room for others. Time went by very fast as we had a lot of commotion in our area. Bands and troops were rehearsing for the procession. We were near 10 Downing Street and we saw the prime minister on her way to the Abbey. A little bit later members of the royal family were also passing by on their way to Westminster.
We were able to have a live radio broadcast during the funeral service. It was very solemn and sad. At the end of the service, the procession started outside Westminster Abbey and passed by us after a few minutes. The saddest moment was when the Queen’s coach came by, carrying her coffin and displaying the Imperial State Crown above it. Walking immediately behind the coffin were the Queen's four children, King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. They were followed by Prince William and Prince Harry walking next to each other. Only male family members of Queen Elizabeth were in the procession, with the exception of Princess Anne. The Queen consort was traveling in a car with Princess Kate and her three kids. In another car were Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex. We were a few feet from the royal family and were very thankful that we were able to share that moment with them and the thousands of people watching the procession.
We were very privileged to witness this historic moment and to spend a few days in England during that time. I would definitely recommend attending any historical events of that type. You won’t regret it!