Tens of thousands descend on Hyde Park to watch the Queen’s funeral


Tens of thousands of people from across the country descended upon Hyde Park to watch the Queen make her final journey. Despite the vast numbers who gathered on the banks of the serpentine, the area was quiet and hushed. The crowd, not quite sombre, but not jubilant, all sat waiting patiently in front of the screens for the ceremony to begin.

Those who had made the journey to Hyde Park all came for differing reasons whether it be to mourn, show their respects, or soak in the atmosphere.


Speaking with The Independent, Victoria Edmunds, 52, travelled miles from Portsmouth to London for the funeral with her son Harry. She said: "My love for 'queenie' made me come today. She is a beautiful lady.

I first saw her and waved to her in 1977 when it was the silver jubilee and I have a real love and affection for the Queen.

pVictoria Edmunds travelled up from Portsmouth with her son Harry /p

Victoria Edmunds travelled up from Portsmouth with her son Harry (The Independent )

"She was a global queen...I don't think we'll ever see another person like her ever again. "My children are aware as I am, that it's unlikely in our lifetime we'll ever see a Queen on the throne again."

Hayley Anderson-Walsh, 61, who missed the Queen's coffin procession pass by her house in west London by just days, said she had to come to Hyde Park "at the first opportunity" to see the funeral.

pHayley Anderson-Walsh, 61 /p

Hayley Anderson-Walsh, 61 (The Independent)

She said: "The Queen has done a brilliant job, whatever her job is, she's done it well. We're proud to here.

She's kept peace all around and I'm waiting to see the next chapter. I don't think there will be anyone like her, we get more modern don't we, everything is changing.

"It's funny how everyone gets together and everyone is nice to each other. It should be like that all the time."

With his three-year-old son perched on his shoulders, Dominic Cunningham, 51 told The Independent: "I think in this day with so much uncertainty or so much trouble, she gave us some kind of stability and comfort, to so many people. I think she's done that with her life and that kind of duty to the people.

(The independent )

"We've gone through so much recently, just to see everybody coming together. All different ages and backgrounds and it's really very heartening...Something magical like the Queen can pull everyone together.

We need to find other people to do that, other leaders. I think that's what we'll miss." With three screens along the Serpentine, rows of food trucks and thousands of people, from afar it could look as if Hyde Park were hosting a festival - albeit with a very different atmosphere.

pCrowds gather along the Serpintine to watch the Queen's funeral /p

Crowds gather along the Serpintine to watch the Queen's funeral

(The Independent)

Tens of thousands are likely to have been in the park with stewards telling The Independent, 25,000 were counted walking through the south gate by mid-morning. Rob Jackson, 49, working as a fire steward for the event, described the crowds as "grateful" and happy to be watching the Queen's ceremony in the park with others.

pTomo, 36, London (Left) /p

Tomo, 36, London (Left) (The Independent )

Mr Jackson and his colleagues have been maintaining fire cover since last Sunday, ensuring there is nothing which can catch alight, ensuring there are fire engines, and extinguishers.

He says although this is a bigger crowd than usual events the risk is "low."

pPeter Revey, 21, St John's Ambulance Volunteer /p

Peter Revey, 21, St John's Ambulance Volunteer (St John's Ambulance)

St John's Ambulance Service treated more than 1,600 people throughout the last few days, with 120 patients taken to the hospital  - a small amount considering the scores of people who have descended upon the city. St John's Ambulance has 1,000 volunteers throughout the park procession.

Pete Revey, 21, told The Independent "I am proud to be part of it, to be able to support the people that come to pay their respects and also to kind of honour the queen. I think having volunteers has been really positive, to be able to represent the organisation and communities. "It's kind of a mix of people.

People who are sombre [but] it's almost like the community has come together. Kind of similar to it coming out of lockdown, when people are coming out and clapping on their doorsteps and stuff like that.

pJunior Souza, 5, said 'The feeling is very emotional, i'm very pleased to be here' /p

Junior Souza, 5, said 'The feeling is very emotional, i'm very pleased to be here' (The Independent )

As the Archbishop read the Lord's Prayer, murmurs throughout the crowd followed his words.

pJonathan Galvin 22, Colchester /p

Jonathan Galvin 22, Colchester

(The Independent )

Jonathan Galvin 22, from Colchester, "I just came to pay my respects to the queen, to be part of it." Mr Galvin had already made the trip to London twice this week, once to lay flowers, a second time to see the procession, and now for the funeral. "The service showed what she meant to people, to Britain.

I was surprised everyone stood [for the anthem] it was really moving to see everyone stand at the same time."

pMark Payne (Right), Alison, Payne (Left)/p

Mark Payne (Right), Alison, Payne (Left) (The Independent )

Allison and Mark Payne, 54, and 58, travelled from Gloucester for the funeral and were visibly upset watching the Queen as she made her final journey out of Westminister Abbey. Ms Payne described how she'd met the Queen as a young girl, while her husband, a veteran had met the Royal Family.

"It's a big thing for our country. I think she was a great leader. I hope the family continue what she's done.

She was just such a great lady, the right way for this country to lead. That's how a leader does it she never stops right to the end. "The family work tirelessly for the public.

I hope everyone respects that, you can see that here today. God save the Queen and let's move forward and hope and God save the King. Her Husband, a decorated veteran who said served in the army for 26 years said: "She stood for honesty, integrity, She had principles and she maintained them.

Rest in peace. People from far and wide stretch across the crowd some there by design some by accident. Tini Nguyen, a 22 year old master's student from America, by coincidence landed they the Queen's death was announced.

pTini Nguyen, 22 (left) /p

Tini Nguyen, 22 (left)

(The Independent)

"I just decided to pop by Hyde Park to watch...I don't really follow her family too much but she was the Queen for my whole life and a lot of others' lifetimes too. So it's definitely weird. Coming here.

It's just such a coincidence that she's passed." Jude, from New Zealand 70, who is in London visiting her son, said it was an "honour" to be in the city watching the Queen's funeral.


"It was really strange arriving there was virtually a ghost town. It was weird arriving in London is always busy.

The Queen was the most wonderful example of loyalty...There are a lot of people here who are here for the right reasons not just to be part of the crowd.

"I've really enjoyed some of the prayers and eulogies, acknowledging the best she has given us."