First to pay their respects: Royal superfans who were at front of queue to see the Queen lying in state are also at head of the line to see her final resting place in Windsor

  • Royal fans from across the globe have descended upon Windsor to become the first to visit the Queen’s tomb
  • Anne Daley, 65, from Cardiff, and Grace Gotharg, from Ghana, were the first in line to go in and view it
  • Windsor Castle was closed after the Her Majesty passed away on September 8 in Balmoral Castle, Scotland 
  • Tourists from as far away as Australia were among the mourners queuing to see the Queen’s last resting place

Two dedicated royal fans who were the first in line to see the Queen lying in state have repeated the feat to view Her Majesty’s final resting place in Windsor Castle.

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

They had previously made sure they were the first to see the Queen’s coffin lying in state at Westminster Hall.

Ms Daley said she felt emotional about entering the castle. She said: ‘It feels like empty, gloomy. Nobody’s living in it. You know, you’ve lost the Queen, you’ve lost the duke, you lost the corgis.

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

Both Ms Daley and Ms Gotharg had been supporters of the monarchy for a long time.

Ms Daley said: ‘My father was in the Irish Guards and he did the coronation. So I had an interest from when I was a little girl.’

Ms Gotharg added: ‘I am from the Commonwealth so I knew the Queen before I came here.

Grace Gogharg and Anne Daley looking solemn while leaving after visiting Windsor Castle and St George’s Chapel yesterday

Anne Daley and Vanessa Nanthakumaran were the first to join the queue to see The Queen lying in state in London

In scenes that replicated the lines to see the Queen lying-in-state in London earlier this month, queues stretched across the grounds of Windsor Castle

The enormous line stretched right the way through Windsor as tourists flocked to become among the first people in the world to visit the Queen’s resting place after it was opened

Royal fans had been queuing in line since 7.30am as Windsor Castle reopened to the public for the first time since the Queen’s death

The ledger stone in the Chapel is made from Belgian black marble and has the Queen’s name inscribed in gold lettering, alongside the Queen mother ‘s, the former King and the Duke of Edinburgh , who died aged 99 in April 2021

Hundreds of people have been patiently waiting their turn to view Her Majesty’s final resting place and see the ledger stone in the George VI memorial chapel 

Members of the public walked slowly past the Queen’s tomb, but they did not stop, as they had been instructed not to do so by members of staff.

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

The pair, who became friends at the unveiling of the Diana, Princess of Wales statue outside Kensington Palace in July 2021, were among the first people to see the Queen lying in state in Westminster Hall.

Ms Daley said: ‘We waited at Lambeth Bridge on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, when we eventually got in at 5pm.’

They were among hundreds of royal fans who queued outside Windsor Castle as it opened to members of the public for the first time since the Queen’s death.

It was the first opportunity the public have had to view Her Majesty’s final resting place and see the ledger stone in the George VI memorial chapel which is inscribed with her name.

Wrapped up in coats and jumpers, crowds waited patiently in the chilly autumnal morning, with bright sunshine beaming down.  

Darren Martin, 43, from near Melbourne in Australia, was the next person in the queue.

Crowds were wrapped up in coats and jumpers as they waited in the chilly autumnal air to catch a glimpse of the beloved monarch’s tomb this morning

Once inside the Queen’s final resting place,  the crowd shuffled round the walls of the chapel, passing the tombs of other monarchs and the main seating area.

Darren Martin, 43, from near Melbourne in Australia, is a royal super fan and used to ‘fantasize’ about his grandmother being the Queen

Royal super fans Sky London and John Loughrey were wearing Union flag-themed hats and ‘Queen’ T-shirts as they waited to walk into St George’s Chapel

Soldiers from the Scots Guards, in their distinctive bearskin hats, treated visitors to a photo opportunity as they marched into Windsor Castle on Thursday morning 

Inside the grounds of Windsor Castle, the queue into St George’s Chapel was long, running the whole way along the outside of the building. Signs saying ‘no photography’ were plastered on many posts and pillars.

He travelled to the UK two weeks ago because of the Queen’s death.

Mr Martin said: ‘I arrived in time to do the queue and camped out for the funeral. 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 my throughout my life.’ 

In 2013 Mr Martin brought his two 85-year-old grandparents to the UK and they visited many of the royal sites.

He said: ‘It’s been quite an emotional experience coming back, but I think it was just something I felt really deeply and strongly about doing. 

Members of the public wrapped in blankets wait in the queue to pay their respects

Members of the public file past the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign’s orb and sceptre, lying in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall

People queue to pay their respects to the Queen lying in state at the Palace of Westminster

A satellite image shows queues of people waiting to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth while she was lying in state

The pallbearing team of eight Grenadier Guards inched their way up the steps of St George’s Chapel in Windsor and were followed by members of the Royal family

Her name was inscribed alongside that of her father George VI, Elizabeth the Queen Mother and that of her beloved late husband Philip who died last year

‘It wouldn’t have been the same just sitting at home watching everything on TV. I felt strongly enough to be here in person.’

Inside the grounds of Windsor Castle, the queue into St George’s Chapel was long, running the whole way along the outside of the building.

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

Once inside, the crowd shuffled round 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 part 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 with flowers of various colours remain on top and around 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 queue then proceeded slowly through the chapel, past the altar and over tombstones of other previous monarchs.

Ms Gotharg and Ms Daley said it was ‘sad’ and ’emotional’ to see the Queen’s gravestone.

Ms Gotharg said: ‘It was sad to see her lying down there, like we saw in Westminster. It was so emotional.

‘I’m so glad I’ve seen her for the last time.’

Ms Daley added: ‘That’s finality, seeing the gravestone. It confirms to you that that’s it over and done. Elizabeth II… that’s her reign finished.’

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