Long queues at Windsor Castle to see Queen Elizabeth's final resting place

First in line were two people who became friends at unveiling of Princess Diana statue

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Hundreds of tourists and royalists were on Thursday queuing at Windsor Castle to see Queen Elizabeth II’s final resting place.

The castle, the monarch’s former home, reopened to the public on Thursday after a period of mourning and long lines formed to see her gravestone at St George's Chapel and a freshly inscribed ledger stone in her name.

The queen’s funeral took place at Westminster Abbey, London and her coffin was then driven to Windsor, about 48 kilometres west of the capital, where she was buried alongside her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

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

“The castle feels empty, gloomy,” Ms Daley said. "Nobody's living in it. You've lost the queen, you've lost the duke, you've lost the corgis.

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

"My father was in the Irish Guards and he did the coronation [in 1953]. So I had an interest from when I was a little girl."

Ms Daley and Ms Gotharg are firm royalists who became friends at the unveiling of the Diana, Princess of Wales statue outside Kensington Palace last July.

They were also among the first people to see the Queen lying in state in Westminster Hall, London, before her state funeral.

"I am from the Commonwealth so I knew the queen before I came here,” Ms Gotharg said.

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

Darren Martin, 43, from near Melbourne in Australia, was next in the queue at Windsor on Thursday. He travelled to the UK two weeks ago after the queen's death.

"I arrived in time to do the queue and camped out for the funeral” Mr Martin said. "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 me throughout my life."

Inside the grounds of Windsor Castle, the queue into St George's Chapel was long, running alongside much of the building's exterior.

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

Once inside, visitors shuffled around 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 section 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 of various colours accompany 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 visitors proceeded slowly through the chapel, past the altar and passed tombstones of previous monarchs.

Updated: September 29, 2022, 12:28 PM
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