The last person leaving the Queen’s lying in state at Westminster Hall was Chrissy Heerey, a serving member of the RAF from Melton Mowbray. The final members of the public filed through Westminster Hall to pay their respects to the Queen at 6.30am.
Members of parliamentary staff then followed, with Black Rod Sarah Clarke the last to walk past the coffin.
Ms Heerey said: “I was the last person to pay my respects to the Queen and it felt like a real privilege to do that. I’d already been round once, I went in at 1:15 this morning.
“It’s one of the highlights of my life and I feel very privileged to be here.”
The second last person to see the Queen lying in state was Sima Mansouri, 55, originally from Iran, who lives in South Croydon, London. Her love for the Queen dates back to the 1970s, when her cousin was a flower girl for a royal visit in Tehran.
Ms Mansouri said: “It was a boiling hot day and my poor cousin has got very fair skin, blonde hair and blue eyes. The Queen came out of her plane and was more concerned with my cousin burning in the sun than being a royal.”
“She said, ‘Can someone please get this little girl out of the sun?’ Then she kissed her and grabbed the flowers.
“I thought it was amazing.”
Some mourners who queued for hours through the night without wristbands have vented their frustrations at police after being turned away from the Queen’s lying-in-state. Dozens of mourners were prevented in the early hours of Monday from advancing any closer to Westminster Hall by police at the entrance to Victoria Tower Gardens next to Lambeth Bridge.
Albert, who joined the queue without a wristband at 10pm last night, was one of the mourners who was not allowed into Westminster.
He said the Government’s official live feed was not kept up-to-date with information that no more wristbands would be given out.
“The communication has been terrible,” said Albert, after having queued in central London for over six hours. He added: “There were loads of people who joined the official queue based on the website, but never received wristbands.”
“And in the queue they didn’t give us any information – just to be disrespectful to us when we got here (Lambeth Bridge) in the end.“
The Queen is to be reunited with her husband the Duke of Edinburgh as she is laid to rest in a historic state funeral. Crowds of mourners are expected to flock to London, Windsor and royal sites throughout the UK on the national bank holiday, with the service set to draw millions of TV viewers across the globe.
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