'I'm in pain but I want to do this' - The royal fans camping outside Buckingham Palace for 10 days of mourning after Queen's death

·3-min read

A small group of dedicated royal fans are camping outside Buckingham Palace for the full 10 days of national mourning.

Sitting on a camping chair on the Mall, right in front of the palace, Maria Scott told Sky News that she "just had to be here".

She's been in that spot since Saturday, through rain and shine, and is going to stay there until Monday, when the Queen's state funeral is held - nine days in total.

"I feel close to the Queen here. Buckingham Palace is the face of the monarchy," she said.

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Ms Scott, 51, is there with a group of friends but the others had gone to queue up to see the Queen lying in state while she was "holding down the fort".

She explained that she has arthritis and neck problems so would struggle to stand in the queue for very long.

"I'm in a lot of pain but I want to do this," she said.

"I hold the Royal Family in great affection and this is my way of paying respects to the Queen.

"I've laid the flowers for her and I'm making this sacrifice."

The royal fan has got a tent, airbed and pillow - all currently in black plastic bags - and she picked up a newspaper with the Queen's coffin procession on the front page.

"This is what I wanted to see," she said, adding she felt "emotional" when she saw the monarch's coffin go past.

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Her friend, John Loughrey, also spoke to journalists and said the cold and rain had been beginning to take its toll on them.

"We came down immediately and have never gone back - I've forgotten what a bed is like," he said.

"We're lacking food and water at the moment. It's amazing that we are still standing. We are getting three hours of sleep every night."

Soaking socks and flooded sleeping bag

The conditions overnight on Tuesday were particularly tough as the weather took a turn for the worse.

"My tent was soaking wet, my socks were soaking wet... my sleeping bag. It was absolutely flooded. We were soaked to the skin," said Mr Loughrey, 67.

"I then said to myself 'John, get yourself together - we're here for Her Majesty to show her respect'."

They are not the only ones who have faced long waits to pay their respects to the Queen.

Others have queued for hours to see the Queen lying in state at Westminster Hall, with some still waiting in line overnight.

Richard Salter, a volunteer with St John Ambulance, told Sky News he had lots of people asking for painkillers "because they've been standing on their feet for so long".

He urged people to bring snacks, drinks, comfortable clothing and footwear - and painkillers too.

Still, it seems the queue has been well-mannered.

Hope Asamota, who works for K4 Security and has been directing the line, said he hadn't seen any queue-jumpers and that people had been "bubbly" despite the hours-long wait.