A NURSE from Cirencester met and spoke with King Charles III and Prince William while she was in the queue waiting to see the Queen’s coffin.
Nicola Rawson, who works at Cheltenham General Hospital and Gloucestershire Royal, queued for 15 hours to pay her respects to the Queen at Westminster Hall during the lying in state period before Monday’s funeral.
During that time she was met by a surprise visit from King Charles III and Prince William.
“We did not expect to meet them,” said Ms Rawson.
“I congratulated Charles on becoming king on behalf of Cirencester.
“He seemed pleased and said there are three people from Cirencester in the queue.
“I also mentioned that my friend had been his housekeeper for 30 and how beautiful Highgrove was.
“Prince William oozes empathy and he seems a genuinely nice chap.
“When we met them we were bedraggled and sleep deprived, struggling to string a sentence together to them.
“There were a number of people on their own and from the start of the queue I met three wonderful people – we looked after each other from beginning to end.
“My companions were a fellow nurse, a banker and a primary school teacher.
“We were all from different parts of the country and all had different reasons to be there.
“Very poignantly the teacher, Sylvia had come because her mum had been at the coronation, so it completed the circle in some respects.
“The route took in the most joyful sights of London such as the Globe, the Tate Modern and London Bridge.
“Most movingly it passed the Covid Memorial wall where I searched for my friend’s father Vincent.
“The hardest part was at London Bridge as it suddenly became freezing and no coffee shops were open, but blankets had been given out to people and I had bought my own.
“We then had the airport-style security before we reached Westminster Hall.
“There the atmosphere changed from a frenetic bustle to a beautiful calm.
“Most people bowed – it was beautiful.
“My friends and I were so emotional at the end.
“A few tears were shed and a reflection on a wonderful 15 hours of which we could not have endured so well without the care and companionship of each other.”