Thousands spill into Hyde Park to watch Queen’s coffin pass by

·3-min read
Floral tributes in Hyde Park (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Wire)
Floral tributes in Hyde Park (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Wire)

Tens of thousands spilled into Hyde Park to watch the “historic moment” of the Queen’s state funeral and to wave goodbye as her coffin passed through on its final journey to Windsor.

Silence descended on the sprawling central London park once the Queen’s coffin was moved from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey.

People of all ages watched the screen and followed the synchronised steps of the guards, while only rustling grass promised the silent arrival of more onlookers.

Many came dressed in dark clothing and sat on the ground or on camping chairs and picnic blankets.

While some filmed the Queen’s funeral on their phones, others saluted as God Save the King was sung.

I just wanted to see her and say my last goodbye

Louis Bollard

Once the Queen’s coffin was carried out of Westminster Abbey, many spectators in Hyde Park wiped tears away as they walked towards South Carriage Drive to see the coffin pass by on its way to Windsor.

Members of the Blues and Royals and The King’s Life Guard, the regiments of the Household Cavalry, lined up outside Hyde Park Barracks on South Carriage Drive.

Senior offices saluted as the hearse carrying the Queen’s coffin drove past and the troops stood to attention.

Mourners waved flags, threw flowers and many gave the coffin a round of applause as the hearse slowly drove past.

Louis Bollard came draped in a Union flag to watch the Queen’s funeral on the big screens and see her final journey.

Watching the funeral was highly emotional and very special

Carina Dotts

Mr Bollard, 29, an entrepreneur, who travelled to London from Bath, said: “The funeral was very powerful. Seeing it was quite enchanting and mesmerising. It was a really, really nice, fitting tribute.”

He watched the Queen’s coffin go past and said: “I just wanted to see her and say my last goodbye, more to pay my respects more than anything.

“When you see it on TV it’s one thing, but when you see the coffin yourself, it’s completely different.

“I also helped out in the queue last night, giving out refreshments for people in the queue, but I didn’t get to see her myself, which is why I wanted to come here and do it now.”

Peter Davis, 58, was watching the Queen’s final journey past Hyde Park and through Kensington to Windsor.

He said: “The funeral was very moving and I just want see her pass one more time. It’s sad but it was also expected at her age.”

Carina Dotts, 40, went to watch the funeral with her daughter in Hyde Park and captured the moment by taking a photo of her daughter with a Union flag and the scenery with other onlookers around her.

She said: “Watching the funeral was highly emotional and very special.”

Outside the viewing areas, crowds struggled to catch a glimpse of the hearse carrying the Queen’s coffin to Windsor.

Despite requests from security guards, people cut holes in netting, clambered up railings and pressed themselves into holly bushes along the edge of Hyde Park as the funeral cortege passed by.

At first there was silence as people tried to catch a glimpse of the vehicle, and then the crowd erupted into applause to express their gratitude to the Queen, with many dabbing their eyes with tissues and smiling tearful smiles.