Susanna Reid, 51, shared she and her mother Sue had been so desperate to say their final goodbyes to the Queen at Westminster Hall that they’d braved the enormous queues on Thursday. The Good Morning Britain host paid tribute to Her Majesty and detailed her experience on Twitter, describing it as a poignant “moment in history”.
“Evening – along with my lovely mum and her very good friend, I have just experienced a moment in history – witnessing the Queen lying in state in Westminster Hall. At once majestic and peaceful,” she wrote to her 885,400 followers.
On Thursday, daytime queues had reached up to five miles long, even snaking past Tower Bridge, before dropping to two miles overnight.
Susanna regularly updated her Twitter followers from the event as she stood in line, offering out hints and tips about how to negotiate the crowds.
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She warned that security was confiscating all liquids, even at less than 100ml, and advised followers not to take water with them.
“Don’t carry too much in a bag – water is freely available and there are lots of cafes along the route,” she explained.
“Also plenty of toilets. I put my phone on low battery mode and it lasted the entire time.”
She told another concerned tweeter that fire officers had been delivering bottles to the thirsty crowds along the way.
Some mourners were in floods of tears by the time they arrived at Westminster Hall as emotions ran high.
They sat, while others prayed and made signs of the cross as they stood before the coffin.
Meanwhile, more than 1.7 million people have accessed the government’s real-time live queue tracker on Youtube to try to plot how long they will have to wait if they opt to make the journey.
One soldier fainted yesterday during his shift guarding the Queen’s coffin, along with a mourner, indicating that stress, exhaustion and grief are marring the occasion.
In spite of that, Susanna was clear that her experience had been worth the seven hour wait as the presenter was pictured inside Wetsminster Hall.
“Once you enter Westminster Hall, it is worth every minute of The Queue. Utterly magnificent. Quiet. Respectful. Historic,” she shared with her followers yesterday.
@ChrisBaylockDJ praised her for her updates, exclaiming: “BrillIant Susanna!! Thanks for all the heads up you’ve given!! Historic event and people would want to know these things before taking it on! Especially the elderly.”