Surprise visit of King Charles and Prince William in a mile long queue

News from the NOStoday, 14:35Modified today, 16:25

King Charles of England and his eldest son Prince William paid a surprise visit to the mile-long queue for Queen Elizabeth’s coffin.

Many people had queued for many hours to walk past the coffin in Westminster Hall and greet the Queen.

The crowd greeted the two royals with applause and applause:

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Charles and William shake hands with the audience

The king and prince spoke to the people in line and shook hands. “I hope you are not too frozen,” said the king to one of the waiting thousands. A security guard urged people to put the phone down, “shake hands and enjoy the moment”.

After a while the king drove off, but Prince William stayed a while longer talking to the people. People in line said they have made lifelong friends in that line. A woman told the prince that she was “happy to wait”.

16 hours of waiting

Today the waiting time has gone up to 4pm. Last night the volunteers handed out blankets and tea as the temperature dropped to 6 degrees. The Dutch Clemens Bouwens, an entrepreneur in the funeral sector, was also in the queue. He entered from 2am (local time) last night and was able to enter at around 4.15pm. In the meantime he also spoke briefly with the king and the prince.

“It’s really impressive to be here,” he says. “It is incredible to see how the country is dealing with the loss of the Queen and Guardian of the Nation.” Bouwens met the queen once at the funeral of the Belgian queen Baudouin. “This made such an impression. She is a woman of enormous stature in the world. That she was still involved in everything she did and in the Commonwealth at such an advanced age is unimaginable.”

Friendly and disciplined

Bouwens is very pleased with the British approach. “The atmosphere is very friendly and very disciplined. There are a lot of people leading the way and people stick to that. There is a lot of peace, a lot of respect. And they all have something like this: we want to respect the Queen in the stands in line”. Bouwens believes everything has been fixed, like the water taps. “This has been prepared for years, down to the last detail.”

The fact that it takes patience to see the coffin is not a problem for the Amsterdammer. “There is so much going on. I think we walked 20 kilometers. You see a lot of places in the city that you wouldn’t see otherwise. And you clearly see a different side of the city that you usually wouldn’t see.”

Tonight, the other seven grandchildren of Prince William and Elizabeth will stand by the coffin in Westminster Hall for 15 minutes. Both William and Prince Harry will arrive in military uniform, as requested by King Charles.

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