Hundreds of royal fans line up outside Windsor Castle to become the first to see the Queen’s tomb

Author: Yuvi September 29, 2022


Hundreds of royal fans are queuing outside Windsor Castle as it opens to members of the public for the first time since the Queen’s death.

It is the first opportunity the public have had to view Her Majesty’s final resting place and see the ledger stone in the George VI memorial chapel which is inscribed with her name.

Wrapped up in coats and jumpers, crowds waited patiently in the chilly autumnal morning, with bright sunshine beaming down.

Anne Daley, 65, from Cardiff, and Grace Gotharg, from Ghana but who lives in London, were the first people in the queue, having arrived at Windsor Castle at 7.30am.

Ms Daley said she felt emotional about entering, adding: ‘The castle feels like empty, gloomy. Nobody’s living in it. You know, you’ve lost the Queen, you’ve lost the duke, you lost the corgis.

‘It’s like when you’ve sold your house and all the history is gone.’

In scenes that replicated the lines to see the Queen lying in state in London earlier this month, queues stretched across the grounds of Windsor Castle this morning

Royal fans have been queuing in line since 7.30am today as Windsor Castle reopens to the public for the first time since the Queen's death

Royal fans have been queuing in line since 7.30am today as Windsor Castle reopens to the public for the first time since the Queen’s death

Hundreds of people have been patiently waiting their turn to view Her Majesty's final resting place and see the ledger stone in the George VI memorial chapel

Hundreds of people have been patiently waiting their turn to view Her Majesty’s final resting place and see the ledger stone in the George VI memorial chapel

Members of the public walked slowly past the Queen's tomb, but they did not stop, as they had been instructed not to do so by members of staff.

Members of the public walked slowly past the Queen’s tomb, but they did not stop, as they had been instructed not to do so by members of staff.

Grace Gogharg and Anne Daley looking solemn while leaving after visiting Windsor Castle and St George's Chapel this morning

Grace Gogharg and Anne Daley looking solemn while leaving after visiting Windsor Castle and St George’s Chapel this morning

Both Ms Daley and Ms Gotharg had been supporters of the monarchy for a long time.

Ms Daley said: ‘My father was in the Irish Guards and he did the coronation. So I had an interest from when I was a little girl.’

Ms Gotharg added: ‘I am from the Commonwealth so I knew the Queen before I came here.

‘She did a good job as head of the Commonwealth. She was a good woman and a good mother. Everybody loves her.’

The pair, who became friends at the unveiling of the Diana, Princess of Wales statue outside Kensington Palace in July 2021, were among the first people to see the Queen lying in state in Westminster Hall.

Ms Daley said: ‘We waited at Lambeth Bridge on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, when we eventually got in at 5pm.’

Darren Martin, 43, from near Melbourne in Australia, was the next person in the queue.

Crowds were wrapped up in coats and jumpers as they waited in the chilly autumnal air to catch a glimpse of the beloved monarch's tomb this morning

Crowds were wrapped up in coats and jumpers as they waited in the chilly autumnal air to catch a glimpse of the beloved monarch’s tomb this morning

Once inside the Queen's final resting place, the crowd shuffled round the walls of the chapel, passing the tombs of other monarchs and the main seating area.

Once inside the Queen’s final resting place, the crowd shuffled round the walls of the chapel, passing the tombs of other monarchs and the main seating area.

Darren Martin, 43, from near Melbourne in Australia, is a royal super fan and used to 'fantasize' about his grandmother being the Queen.  He was part of the crowds in Windsor today

Darren Martin, 43, from near Melbourne in Australia, is a royal super fan and used to ‘fantasize’ about his grandmother being the Queen. He was part of the crowds in Windsor today

Royal super fans Sky London and John Lowry were wearing Union flag-themed hats and 'Queen' T-shirts as they waited to walk into St George's Chapel

Royal super fans Sky London and John Lowry were wearing Union flag-themed hats and ‘Queen’ T-shirts as they waited to walk into St George’s Chapel

He traveled to the UK two weeks ago because of the Queen’s death.

Mr Martin said: ‘I arrived in time to do the queue and camped out for the funeral. I’ve driven all the way to Balmoral, Holyroodhouse and Sandringham.

‘I then had a little bit of a holiday in Sussex and Cornwall. I’ve come here today for my final send-off before I go back home.

‘She was somebody that I admired very much for her service, everything that she did and everything she stood for.

‘My grandparents liked the royal family. My grandmother reminded me of the Queen. As a child I fantasised about my own grandmother being the Queen and that stood with my throughout my life.’

In 2013 Mr Martin brought his two 85-year-old grandparents to the UK and they visited many of the royal sites.

He said: ‘It’s been quite an emotional experience coming back, but I think it was just something I felt really deeply and strongly about doing.

Windsor Castle has reopened for the first time after the Queen's death, meaning the public can visit the final resting place of the great monarch.  Pictured: The Union flag over Windsor Castle returned to full mast as the mourning period ended

Windsor Castle has reopened for the first time after the Queen’s death, meaning the public can visit the final resting place of the great monarch. Pictured: The Union flag over Windsor Castle returned to full mast as the mourning period ended

The ledger stone in the Chapel is made from Belgian black marble and has the Queen's name inscribed in gold lettering, alongside the Queen mother 's, the former King and the Duke of Edinburgh , who died aged 99 in April 2021

The ledger stone in the Chapel is made from Belgian black marble and has the Queen’s name inscribed in gold lettering, alongside the Queen mother ‘s, the former King and the Duke of Edinburgh , who died aged 99 in April 2021

The pallbearing team of eight Grenadier Guards inched their way up the steps of St George's Chapel in Windsor and were followed by members of the Royal family

The pallbearing team of eight Grenadier Guards inched their way up the steps of St George’s Chapel in Windsor and were followed by members of the Royal family

Her Majesty was interred alongside her husband, Prince Philip, and her parents King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.  Pictured: A stone in the George VI Memorial Chapel at St George's Chapel in Windsor, where the Queen Mother was laid to rest in 2002

Her Majesty was interred alongside her husband, Prince Philip, and her parents King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Pictured: A stone in the George VI Memorial Chapel at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, where the Queen Mother was laid to rest in 2002

Her name was inscribed alongside that of her father George VI, Elizabeth the Queen Mother and that of her beloved late husband Philip who died last year

Her name was inscribed alongside that of her father George VI, Elizabeth the Queen Mother and that of her beloved late husband Philip who died last year

‘It wouldn’t have been the same just sitting at home watching everything on TV. I felt strongly enough to be here in person.’

Inside the grounds of Windsor Castle, the queue into St George’s Chapel was long, running the whole way along the outside of the building.

Signs saying “no photography” were plastered on many posts and pillars.

Once inside, the crowd shuffled round the walls of the chapel, passing the tombs of other monarchs and the main seating area.

After looping round the front of the building, they entered the back part of the chapel.

There, on the left, in a tomb behind a black railing, lies Queen Elizabeth II.

Her gravestone is black with gold writing and several wreaths with flowers of various colors remain on top and around it.

Members of the public walked slowly past the tomb, but they did not stop, as they had been instructed not to do so by members of staff.

The queue then proceeded slowly through the chapel, past the altar and over tombstones of other previous monarchs.

Ms Gotharg and Ms Daley said it was ‘sad’ and ’emotional’ to see the Queen’s gravestone.

Ms Gotharg said: ‘It was sad to see her lying down there, like we saw in Westminster. It was so emotional.

‘I’m so glad I’ve seen her for the last time.’

Ms Daley added: ‘That’s finality, seeing the gravestone. It confirms to you that that’s it over and done. Elizabeth II… that’s her reign finished.’

29 September, 2022, 5:27 pm

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Thursday, 29th September 2022

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