Utahn among tens of thousands who waited in hourslong line pay respects to Queen
LONDON, England — A Salt Lake City woman was among the tens of thousands of people who waited in line for hours to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall.
Emmy Gardiner, who just moved to London in May, said she waited in line for nine hours. On Thursday, the line stretched nearly 5 miles along the River Thames.
“People were very upbeat and very quiet and respectful,” Gardiner said. “(The Queen) served for 70 years and we can have 10 hours of discomfort.”
Gardiner said when she got near the entrance of Westminster Hall the crowd had to go through airport-like security.
“No liquids, like I had hand sanitizer, sunscreen, the streets were just littered with what people couldn’t bring inside.
She noticed an immediate contrast when she entered the hall at around 2:30 a.m. and finally had her chance to see the queen’s coffin.
“I just took a moment and you know looking at her crown and just stood there took it all in,” she said. “People would face her coffin and just instinctively bow or curtsy and just have a moment to give their thanks.”
Gardiner said she is grateful she had this opportunity to honor such an influential life.
“From like her dedication and her you know loyalty to like family and her nation, she had this global impact,” she said. “This is going to be a story for, you know, hundreds of thousands of people to tell their kids about and it was really cool.”
Officials expect about 750,000 people to view the Queen’s coffin before Monday, the day of the Queen’s funeral. Gardiner will be watching the funeral from a big screen in Hyde Park.
On Friday, U.K. officials had to “pause” the queue for six hours as waiting times reached 14 hours.
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