Carry on camping! Fans defy tent ban on The Mall to get prime spot for Queen’s funeral

Hardy royal fans defied no-camping rules ahead of the Queen‘s funeral today, as people of all ages set up tents, deckchairs and even a makeshift minibar to grab premium seats for the spectacle.

Scores of people began bedding in to line The Mall in central London over the weekend, despite rules – seemingly loosely enforced – preventing people from setting up camp.

Several said friends and family told them they were ‘mad’ to carry out the overnight vigil, but they insisted they would not miss the occasion.

Among them were school friends Christine Manning, 75, and Dianne Donohue, 73, from Leek in Staffordshire, who slept in a pop-up tent.

Mrs Donohoe, a retired housewife and grandmother-of-three, said: ‘Yes, the advice was not to camp but we disobeyed. We’ve had a good catch-up, we’ve enjoyed it.

People are shown outside Windsor Castle, as Brits camped outside for the night ahead of the arrival of the Queen

People are shown outside Windsor Castle, as Brits camped outside for the night ahead of the arrival of the Queen

People camp out on The Mall on the eve of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London, despite rules preventing people from setting up camp

A group of well-wishers wrapped in Union Jacks prepare to stay overnight on The Mall as night falls on September 18

A woman camping overnight on The Mall ahead of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral is interviewed for TV. Queen Elizabeth II is lying in state at Westminster Hall until the morning of her funeral to allow members of the public to pay their last respects

Scores of people began bedding in to line The Mall in central London over the weekend, despite rules – seemingly loosely enforced – preventing people from setting up camp

Several said friends and family told them they were ‘mad’ to carry out the overnight vigil, but they insisted they would not miss the occasion

Members of the public secure their positions on The Mall in London, ahead of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

The government announced the silence as a ‘moment of reflection’ as the country mourns the death of Queen Elizabeth II

The Mall was a frenzy of activity yesterday, as people arrived to lay flowers nearby, get a glimpse of Buckingham Palace and Horse Guards Parade, and bag their vantage points for the funeral procession as it makes its way from Westminster to Windsor

People camp out with tent by Westminster and Big Ben on the eve of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London

The streets remained packed with mourners overnight as Brits remained determined to pick a good spot ahead of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral

‘We were sleeping in the tent and at 4.30am I woke up and asked Chris if she was awake – she was, so we had a whisky and lemonade and a pork pie.

‘A couple more hours’ sleep, then on to the prosecco. We had to take our tent down at 7am because the police told us to, but we couldn’t do it, so we had to get some lad to help us.

‘We’re out of pork pies sadly but we’ve got sausage rolls, and we’ve got some gin now the whisky’s run out – we’re chipper.’

Miss Manning, a retired waitress, added: ‘My kids said we were mad. Well, ‘mental’ is the word they used. They said we were idiots. I said it had to be done.’

The Mall was a frenzy of activity yesterday, as people arrived to lay flowers nearby, get a glimpse of Buckingham Palace and Horse Guards Parade, and bag their vantage points for the funeral procession as it makes its way from Westminster to Windsor.

Sarah Whitehead and her friend Kerry Bailey took two trains from Derbyshire to reach the capital just before midnight.

Sarah, 44, a development manager from Ashbourne, said: ‘To me she’s a trailblazer for women. If we’d had a King rather than a Queen for these last 70 years, women wouldn’t be where they are now.

‘And she was such an inspiration to us all. The fact she was working until just before she died was incredible. She just kept calm and carried on.

‘I’m not a traditional royalist but I just want to be there with my best mate. It’s something we will never forget and can tell the grandchildren about.’

Civil servant Kerry, 45, from Matlock, Derbyshire said: ‘We’ve got chairs to sit on, or maybe stand on because we are both quite small, a mini bottle of champagne to toast the Queen’s life and a flask with cherry brandy.

‘I am representing my grandma who would have been 97 today. It’s the first time I have done anything like this.

‘I just felt compelled to come. She has been this country’s rock for my whole life. To me she was Elizabeth the Great.’

Civil servant Kerry, 45, from Matlock, Derbyshire, is pictured right, with Sarah, 44, a development manager from Ashbourne on the left. The two friends took two trains from Derbyshire to reach the capital just before midnight

 The Queen will lie in state in Westminster Hall for four full days before her funeral on Monday Sept. 19

It is estimated the number of people set to make the trip could hit more than 350,000, with people from all over the world expected to visit London to pay their respects 

A vigil of the Queen is shown outside the Mall. Officials were forced to shut the queue earlier in the week for ‘at least six hours’ because it was too long, before opening it up again

Lisa Warwick stayed overnight in a sleeping bag along The Mall in an attempt to get a front-row view of Queen Elizabeth II’s Monday funeral procession

Tim Thompson, 35, from New Brunswick in Canada, and Charlie Shirley, 36, from north London, also slept in a tent on the Mall.

The pair became friends after sitting next to each other for William and Kate’s wedding in 2011, and resumed their same spot together on Saturday.

Miss Shirley said: ‘We do all the royal events together, it’s like we’re a family.

‘I saw Tim at the Queen’s Jubilee and we said that the next time we see each other would probably be at the Queen’s funeral – we didn’t expect it to be three months later.’

Mr Thompson said: ‘I keep four days’ holiday a year for royal events, so I had to be here.’

American businesswoman Nicole Alford, 40, paid around £1,300 for a last-minute flight to London on Thursday, and said she would camp out until after the funeral.

David, 79, from Iowa in US, camps out by the Mall on the eve of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London

Members of the public wave to King Charles III, as they as they secure their positions on the Mall in London, ahead of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

Well-wishers planning to stay overnight on The Mall prepare tents and sleeping bags as night falls on September 18

Hardy royal fans defied no-camping rules ahead of the Queen’s funeral today, as people of all ages set up tents, deckchairs and even a makeshift minibar to grab premium seats for the spectacle

Spokespersons for Number 10 would not state what number of people represented ‘maximum capacity’ for the queue 

The cold temperatures and day-long wait time did not deter thousands more from joining, even though the queue was forced to be closed for a second time

It comes as figures from the London Ambulance Service (LAS) show that 435 members of the public have been treated along the route of the queue to see the Queen lying in state and surrounding areas over the past two days 

She said: ‘You don’t come all this way and then watch it on the TV. I want a front row seat for history.

‘My mum said, ‘I can’t believe you’re doing that.’ I said, ‘I can’t believe you didn’t think I would do that’. Everybody thinks I’m crazy, but I managed five-and-a-half hours of uninterrupted sleep on my first night camping out here, so I’m fine.’

Semi-retired teacher Ian Rhodes, 66, and his wife Sue, 58, from Alton in Staffordshire, arrived at The Mall at 11am yesterday to claim their spot – although they said they would sleep in deckchairs rather than pitch a tent.

Mr Rhodes said: ‘The only other time I’ve queued overnight for anything was when Stoke City got to Wembley for the cup final in 1972, and I waited overnight at the club shop with my friends to get tickets. People have said we’re mad, but sanity is relative.’

Mrs Rhodes said the couple’s two adult sons had been concerned about their parents ‘roughing it’ overnight in London, but said: ‘I told them we were going to do it anyway – when has their mother ever done what she was told?’

Paulette Galley, from Boston in Lincolnshire, said she was determined to stay on The Mall overnight. The 54-year-old kitchen assistant, originally from south London, said: ‘I might not get any sleep, but I don’t care.

‘She was my Queen, and I want to pay my respects to her. There is no way I wouldn’t be here.’

The Lord’s My Shepherd, The Last Post, and a poignant National Anthem: Read the Order of Service for the Queen’s funeral

Westminster Abbey, 11am, Monday, September 19

Before the service, the tenor bell is tolled every minute for 96 minutes, reflecting each year of Queen Elizabeth II’s life.


Fantasia of Four Parts

Orlando Gibbons (1583–1625)

Romanza (Symphony No 5 in D)

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)

Reliqui Domum Meum

Peter Maxwell Davies (1934–2016)

Meditation on ‘Brother James’s Air’

Harold Darke (1888–1976)

Prelude on ‘Ecce Jam Noctis’, Op 157 No 3

Healey Willan (1880–1968)

Psalm Prelude Set 1 no 2

Herbert Howells (1892–1983)

In The Country, Op 194 no 2

Charles Villiers Stanford (1852–1924)

Fantasy on ‘O Paradise’

Malcolm Williamson (1931–2003)

Elegy, Op 58

Sir Edward Elgar (1857–1934)

Andante espressivo (Sonata in G, Op 28) Elgar

Sospiri, Op 70 Elgar

The Procession of Religious Representatives (from the Churches in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the leaders of Jewish, Hindu, Muslim and other faiths) moves to places in the Nave and the Sacrarium.

All remain seated.


All stand.

Her Majesty’s coffin enters the Abbey, surmounted by the Imperial State Crown and the Orb and Sceptre, borne by the bearer party including: The King, The Queen Consort, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, The Princess Royal, The Duke of York, Countess of Wessex, Earl of Wessex, Princess of Wales, Prince of Wales, Princess Charlotte, Prince George, Duchess of Sussex, Duke of Sussex, Earl Snowdon, Peter Phillips; Duke of Gloucester, Prince Michael of Kent, Duke of Kent.

The choir sings:


John 11: 25–26; Job 19: 25–27; 1 Timothy 6: 7; Job 1: 21

The Choir of Westminster Abbey and the Choir of the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, sing:

Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts; shut not thy merciful ears unto our prayer; but spare us, Lord most holy, O God most mighty, O holy and most merciful Saviour, thou most worthy Judge eternal, suffer us not, at our last hour, for any pains of death, to fall from thee. Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer, 1549

Heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write, From henceforth blessed are the dead which die in the Lord: even so saith the Spirit; for they rest from their labours. Amen.

Revelation 14:13


By Dr David Hoyle MBE, Dean of Westminster (extract):

In grief and also in profound thanksgiving we come to this House of God, to a place of prayer, to a church where remembrance and hope are sacred duties. Here, where Queen Elizabeth was married and crowned, we gather from across the nation, from the Commonwealth, and from the nations of the world, to mourn our loss, to remember her long life of selfless service, and in sure confidence to commit her to the mercy of God our maker and redeemer. With gratitude we remember her unswerving commitment to a high calling over so many years as Queen and Head of the Commonwealth. With admiration we recall her life-long sense of duty and dedication to her people. With thanksgiving we praise God for her constant example of Christian faith and devotion. With affection we recall her love for her family and her commitment to the causes she held dear. Now, in silence, let us in our hearts and minds recall our many reasons for thanksgiving, pray for all members of her family, and commend Queen Elizabeth to the care and keeping of almighty God.

A brief silence is kept.

All sing:


The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended, the darkness falls at thy behest; to thee our morning hymns ascended, thy praise shall sanctify our rest.

We thank thee that thy Church unsleeping, while Earth rolls onward into light, through all the world her watch is keeping, and rests not now by day or night.

As o’er each continent and island the dawn leads on another day, the voice of prayer is never silent, nor dies the strain of praise away.

The sun that bids us rest is waking our brethren ’neath the western sky, and hour by hour fresh lips are making thy wondrous doings heard on high.

So be it, Lord! thy throne shall never, like Earth’s proud empires, pass away; thy kingdom stands, and grows for ever, till all thy creatures own thy sway.

John Ellerton (1826–93); St. Clement Scholefield (1839–1904)


1 Corinthians 15: 20–26, 53–end, read by Baroness Scotland, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth

All remain seated as the choir sings:


Psalm 42: 1–7, composed for this service by Judith Weir CBE

Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks: so longeth my soul after thee, O God.

My soul is athirst for God, yea, even for the living God: when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?

My tears have been my meat day and night: while they daily say unto me, Where is now thy God?

Now when I think thereupon, I pour out my heart by myself: for I went with the multitude, and brought them forth into the house of God;

In the voice of praise and thanksgiving: among such as keep holy-day.

Why art thou so full of heaviness, O my soul: and why art thou so disquieted within me?

Put thy trust in God: for I will yet give him thanks for the help of his countenance.

The Queen’s funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey at 11am on Monday September 19, 2022


John 14: 1–9a, read by Prime Minister Elizabeth Truss

All stand to sing:


The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want; he makes me down to lie

in pastures green; he leadeth me

the quiet waters by.

My soul he doth restore again,

and me to walk doth make

within the paths of righteousness,

e’en for his own name’s sake.

The choir sings:

Yea, though I walk through death’s dark vale, yet will I fear none ill; for thou art with me, and thy rod

and staff me comfort still.

All sing:

My table thou hast furnished in presence of my foes; my head thou dost with oil anoint, and my cup overflows.

Goodness and mercy all my life shall surely follow me; and in God’s house for evermore my dwelling place shall be.

Psalm 23 in Scottish Psalter 1650 Crimond attributed to Jessie Seymour Irvine (1836–87), harmony by David Grant (1833–93), descant by William Baird Ross (1871–1950)


By the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby

All remain seated as the choir sings:

Queen Elizabeth waves from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the Platinum Jubilee in June


My soul, there is a country

Far beyond the stars,

Where stands a winged sentry

All skilful in the wars:

There above noise, and danger,

Sweet Peace sits crowned with smiles,

And One born in a manger

Commands the beauteous files.

He is thy gracious friend,

And (O my soul, awake!)

Did in pure love descend,

To die here for thy sake.

If thou canst get but thither,

There grows the flower of Peace,

The Rose that cannot wither,

Thy fortress, and thy ease.

Leave then thy foolish ranges,

For none can thee secure,

But One who never changes,

Thy God, thy Life, thy Cure.

Henry Vaughan (1621–95); from Songs of Farewell Hubert Parry (1848–1918)


Led by Mark Birch, Minor Canon and Precentor, the Prayers are read by:

Dr Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland;

Shermara Fletcher, Principal Officer for Pentecostal and Charismatic Relations, Churches Together in England;

Dame Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London and Dean of His Majesty’s Chapels Royal;

Canon Helen Cameron, Moderator of the Free Churches Group;

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster;

Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York

The choir sings Psalm 34:8 as composed for the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 by Ralph Vaughan Williams:

O taste and see how gracious the Lord is, blest is the man that trusteth in him.

The Queen pictured with her son the new monarch King Charles during the Platinum Jubilee


All stand to sing:


Love divine, all loves excelling,

joy of heaven, to earth come down,

fix in us thy humble dwelling,

all thy faithful mercies crown.

Jesu, thou art all compassion,

pure unbounded love thou art;

visit us with thy salvation,

enter every trembling heart.

Come, almighty to deliver,

let us all thy life receive;

suddenly return, and never,

never more thy temples leave.

Thee we would be always blessing,

serve thee as thy hosts above,

pray, and praise thee, without ceasing, glory in thy perfect love.

Finish then thy new creation,

pure and spotless let us be;

let us see thy great salvation,

perfectly restored in thee,

changed from glory into glory

till in heaven we take our place,

till we cast our crowns before thee,

lost in wonder, love, and praise!

Charles Wesley (1707–88)

All remain standing for:


The Archbishop of Canterbury says:

Let us commend to the mercy of God, our maker and redeemer, the soul of Elizabeth, our late Queen.

Heavenly Father, King of kings, Lord and giver of life, who of thy grace in creation didst form mankind in thine own image, and in thy great love offerest us life eternal in Christ Jesus; claiming the promises of thy most blessed Son, we entrust the soul of Elizabeth, our sister here departed, to thy merciful keeping, in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life, when Christ shall be all in all; who died and rose again to save us, and now liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, in glory for ever. Amen.

O forth, O Christian soul, from this world, in the name of God the Father almighty, who created thee; in the name of Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who suffered for thee; in the name of the Holy Spirit, who was poured out upon thee and anointed thee. In communion with all the blessed saints, and aided by the angels and archangels and all the armies of the heavenly host, may thy portion this day be in peace, and thy dwelling in the heavenly Jerusalem. Amen.

All remain standing as the choir sings:


Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Alleluia! Amen.

Romans 8:35a, 38b–end, composed for this service by Sir James MacMillan


God grant to the living grace; to the departed rest; to the Church, The King, the Commonwealth, and all people, peace and concord, and to us sinners, life everlasting; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.

All remain standing for:



All sing:


The Queen’s Piper, Pipe Major Paul Burns, plays Sleep, dearie, Sleep. All remain standing as the coffin leaves the church while sub-organist plays Fantasia in C minor


Allegro maestoso (Sonata in G, Op 28) Sir Edward Elgar


Organ music before service includes works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Dame Ethel Smyth, Herbert Howells and Sir Edward Elgar. 

4pm, coffin enters. Bearer party includes senior royals as earlier, but not including William’s children. Includes senior courtiers from both Queen’s and Charles’s households. 

PSALM 121 

All then sit as the Choir sings: 



By the Dean of Windsor 

Extract: We pray that God will give us grace to honour her memory by following her example, and that, with our sister Elizabeth, at the last, we shall know the joys of life eternal. 

All remain standing. 


All my Hope on God is Founded, by Robert Bridges, based on the German of Joachim Neander (1650–80) 


Revelation 21.1–7, Read by the Dean of Windsor 

Extract: I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 


Read by the Rector of Sandringham, the Minister of Crathie Kirk and the Chaplain of the Royal Chapel, Windsor Great Park. 

All say together: 


All sit as the Choir sings: 


By John Donne (1572–1631) to music by Sir William Henry Harris, KCVO (1883–1973), sometime Organist, St George’s Chapel 

All stand for the presentation, in silence, of the Instruments of State, to be received by the Dean of Windsor, from the Queen’s Bargemaster and a Serjeant of Arms, who places them on the High Altar. 


Christ is Made the Sure Foundation, from Latin 7th century translated by John M. Neale (1818-66) 

At the end of the hymn, The Queen’s Company Camp Colour is placed on the coffin by The King having received it from the Regimental Lieutenant Colonel Grenadier Guards. 

The Lord Chamberlain breaks his wand which is placed upon the coffin. 

Queen Elizabeth II will be buried at St George’s Chapel (pictured) in the grounds of Windsor Castle 


As the coffin is lowered, the Dean of Windsor says: 


Psalm 103, 13–17 

Garter King of Arms proclaims: 


THUS it hath pleased Almighty God to take out of this transitory life unto His Divine Mercy the late Most High, Most Mighty, and Most Excellent Monarch, Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, and Sovereign of the Most Noble Order of the Garter. 

The Queen’s Piper plays a lament 


Pronounced by the Archbishop of Canterbury 


All remain standing. 


Prelude and Fugue in C Minor Johann Sebastian Bach Carry on camping! Fans defy tent ban on The Mall to get prime spot for Queen’s funeral

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