'It was incredibly emotional' – Black Country residents join the long queue to pay their last respects to The Queen

It has been an emotional journey for many residents from the Black Country who have been travelling to London over the past few days to see the Queen lying in state.

Wendy and Sean went to London to queue to see the Queen lying-in-state
Wendy and Sean went to London to queue to see the Queen lying-in-state

Thousands of people have queued for hours to pay their final respects to Queen Elizabeth II as her coffin rests at Westminster Hall ahead of her funeral on Monday.

And those who travelled from the Black Country have been reflecting on what the historic event has meant to them.

Wendy Dellicott-Smith and her husband, Sean Smith, from Tipton, travelled to the capital by train on Friday.

Wendy Dellicott-Smith with husband Sean in the queue

They describe themselves as "true royalists" and were "devastated" when they saw the news that the Queen had passed away.

Wendy, 46, who works as a logistics operator, said: "We're utterly devastated. We'd just got back in from work and we put the TV on, to see Huw Edwards announce her death.

"We're heartbroken. We're big royalists and we support all of them - we're incredibly proud to sing God Save The Queen at the rugby or football.

The queue to see the Queen lying in state. Photo: Wendy Dellicott-Smith

"She's the stalwart of this country, she's always been there. Whenever you see a picture of her, it always makes you smile, with those sparkly eyes and lovely little grin.

"The nation has lost a massive part of itself."

She said the couple had queued for nearly 14 hours to see the Queen lying in state before travelling back on Saturday, adding: "We had to join the queue for the queue for about an hour before we reached the actual queue.

"It was very, very cold – they had given us blankets at the start, but the sunrise came and we got revitalised at that point.

"It was incredibly emotional. We bowed our heads to the Queen as we passed. Every second was worth it. It was absolutely amazing and I would do it again."

It wasn't the first royal event for the couple from Great Bridge, who went to the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012, as well as a Trooping of the Colour this year, where Prince William took the salute from the Irish Guards regiment, of which he is honorary head, and presented them with their new colours.

Wendy and Sean at the Trooping of the Colour in London, earlier this year

Wendy said the couple also travelled on behalf of her parents who are elderly and unable to travel.

Her mother, Diane Dellicott, turns 80 next month and was only 10 when King George VI died. Like her husband Peter, Diane remembers the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and was "quite upset" when she found out about her death.

Also experiencing the historic event was Laura Deeley, 32, and her husband Tom, 35, from Wolverhampton, who drove down to London on Saturday.

The mother-of-two said: "My great nan passed away when she was 97. She was like my mum. I was brought up with her watching the Queen's speech.

"I wanted to go for her."

Laura and Tom Deeley in the queue

She said the couple queued for 10-and-a-half hours, describing the community spirit as "amazing", and had also taken some floral tributes down to Buckingham Palace.

"I am a funeral director and didn't think the emotion would be as much as it was," Laura said.

"It was a most sombre and incredible thing. It was an amazing moment in history."

Laura Deeley in the queue

Paul Banks, of Willenhall, travelled down on the train by himself on Saturday and queued for 11 hours to see the Queen lying in state.

The 57-year-old said: "It was so well organised. People in restaurants were coming out and giving us free pizzas. There were people going around with tea and coffee. Houses had signs on their doors and in windows which said people could come in to sit down and use their toilet."

During the lying in state period, Her Majesty The Queen’s closed coffin rests on a raised platform, which is called a catafalque, inside Westminster Hall in the Palace of Westminster - also known as the Houses of Parliament.

"It was overwhelming because it's so silent when you get there," Paul said.

Paul Banks

"There's so many people in there but you can hear a pin drop.

"I'm so glad I did it. I feel very, very privileged to have done it.

"I've grown up with the Queen, I've never known anything else.

"I just had a compelling feeling to go and pay my respects. It's a massive change in history."

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