A woman has travelled to London from the North East for the first time in her life to witness the historic occasion of the Queen lying in state.

Joyce Dawson, 54, from Middlesbrough, has never visited the capital before, but said she was “inspired” to travel down for the Queen’s lying in state after seeing the first people in the queue being interviewed on the TV news on Tuesday evening.

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The Northern Echo:

She said: “I texted my daughter and said ‘We have to go to London tonight’, so we’re here. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing.”

She and her daughter Shelby, 26, who has also never been to London before, got on the midnight coach from Middlesbrough and joined the queue at about 8am.

Joyce added: “It’s just nice to be a part of this. It’s exciting, I’m dead excited, I’m like a little kid.”

Mourners have already joined the queue to attend the Queen’s lying in state which begins at 5pm, continuing until 6.30am on Monday, September 19, the day of the Queen’s funeral.

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Government guidance says the queue is expected to be very long, with people standing for “many hours, possibly overnight” and with very little opportunity to sit down.

There were emotional scenes on Tuesday evening when the late Queen was brought back to London by plane and taken to Buckingham Palace for the final time.

The Northern Echo:

As the hearse carrying the coffin began its journey from Northolt in north-west London, people stood silently by the road with some recording the historic moment on their camera phones.

The King and his sons will walk behind the Queen’s coffin as she leaves Buckingham Palace for the final time ahead of her lying in state.

The royal family will accompany their matriarch on foot on the journey to Westminster Hall where hundreds of thousands of people are expected to pay their respects after queueing for hours.

Charles, the Prince of Wales and Duke of Sussex, along with the Duke of York, the Princess Royal and the Earl of Wessex, will form part of the procession on Wednesday afternoon.

Anne’s son Peter Phillips and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence will also walk behind the procession, as well as the Duke of Gloucester and the Earl of Snowdon.

The Northern Echo:

The Queen Consort, the Princess of Wales, the Countess of Wessex and the Duchess of Sussex will travel by car.

The procession will leave the palace at 2.22pm and is expected to arrive at Westminster Hall at 3pm.

A service lasting around 20 minutes will be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury accompanied by the Dean of Westminster.

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