SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Britain and the world said farewell to Queen Elizabeth II with pomp and pageantry Monday.
Crowds massed in the streets of London and at Windsor Castle to honor a monarch whose 70-year reign defined an era.
A Sioux Falls woman just happened to be in London for the past two weeks and told us this trip is one she’ll never forget.
Before the service, a bell tolled 96 times for each year of Queen Elizabeth’s life as her flag-draped coffin then made its way through the streets of London.
“You know today I was observing they were throwing flowers on the hearse as it was carrying the queen from West Minster to Windsor Castle,” Linda Barker said.
Barker of Sioux Falls was in England just by chance to do some hiking with a friend and then decided to spend the last three days of her trip in London.
Little did she know at the time she would be witnessing history.
“People in Britain kept saying this is the only monarch, the only queen we’ve known most of our lives and they have a deep deep respect for her, because of her ability to be such a quiet, graceful, wonderful leader and was so accepting,” Barker said.
Atop the queen’s coffin sat a handwritten note from King Charles III.
After a committal service at a chapel in Windsor Castle, the coffin was lowered into the royal vault.
Barker says she got caught up in the moment and was moved to tears.
“I even cried when they played ‘God Save the King’ I cried when I saw the corgis by Windsor Castle and one of the groomers was holding,” Barker said. “It’s been absolutely an incredible experience that I’ll never forget.”
Queen Elizabeth died as Britain’s longest-serving monarch.