LOCAL NEWS

Couple serving mission in London witnesses history as nation mourns their Queen

Sep 9, 2022, 11:10 PM | Updated: Sep 10, 2022, 10:19 pm

LONDONAmong the large crowd at Buckingham Palace Friday was a couple serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Steve Bush, who is from Provo, and his wife, Carol, started their mission in May, serving as senior missionaries for the Britannia Single’s Ward in London.

They said after getting to know the joyful people for the last four months, it is evident those they serve are now in mourning.

“They are sad. They really love their Queen,” Carol said. “For most people, this is the only monarch they’ve known their entire life.”

The couple said the mood in the country after news of Her Majesty’s passing broke is unlike anything they have experienced.

Carol had previously been in the United Kingdom for two royal weddings, two royal births, and all three of the Queen’s Jubilees.

She witnessed citizens during those celebratory events and now is observing them during a time of sorrow.

“We had institute last night, and they prayed for the Royal Family and for what they’re going through,” she said.

They witnessed the streets of London transform overnight, with every corner of the city decorated with tributes to Queen Elizabeth II. 

“The English do pomp and circumstance better than anyone. It is just truly amazing what they do with the amount of flags and banners and places that they publish,” Steve said.

They said certain buildings where the Queen would shop, like department store Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly Circus, are also paying tribute in a unique way.

“They blackened all their windows and said in honor of the Queen, we will not have a billboard until after her funeral,” Carol said.

On Friday, the couple witnessed history first-hand as King Charles III greeted the crowds outside Buckingham Palace.

“It was amazing! It was a time of great patriotism. Everybody was rallying around, excited that this is a time for the country to come together,” Steve said.

To witness the transition of a nation and to celebrate Her Majesty’s life and legacy is something they will never forget.

“To be here, to actually be with the people of London to celebrate her, we are happy,” Carol said.

They said the city had also postponed planned events and instead put into action their 10-day funeral plan dubbed Operation London Bridge.

King Charles III will officially be pronounced in a ceremony Saturday, with the coronation at a later date, yet to be announced.

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Couple serving mission in London witnesses history as nation mourns their Queen