Reporter Notebook: Day Two featured a procession for the ages and a peaceful night

English citizens lined the streets on Wednesday as Queen Elizabeth left Buckingham Palace for the final time.
Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 6:45 PM EDT
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LONDON, U.K. (WBTV) - I witnessed a somber day in London as the casket bearing the body of the late Queen Elizabeth II led a procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminister Hall where she will lie in state for 5 days. Hundreds of thousands lined the streets to see the flag-draped casket topped by the Imperial State Crown. The children of Queen Elizabeth, including King Charles III walked slowly behind.

For my first full day covering the events surrounding the death of Elizabeth II, it was a lot to take in. Many along the route were emotional, people stood along the roadsides in thick crowds, many only able to see what they could capture with their phone held high.

If folks were on the first few rows or watching on television, they were treated to the site of a family mourning the loss of loved one and a nation mourning the loss of an icon.

It featured all of the rich tradition you associate with the British Royal Family. The splendid uniforms, Big Ben tolling in the background, and the raised coffin or catafalque atop a gun carriage with the imperial state crown.

Queen Elizabeth's body will lie in state at Westminster until Monday.

I asked a London woman why it was so important to be there in person today.

“To say goodbye to the Queen,” she said. “She’s been the Queen for Great Britain and the Commonwealth, the only Queen they’ve known and she was so friendly and had a lovey smile.”

Before the procession began I spoke with a family from Swansea in Wales. They hopped in one of London’s famous black cabs to find a good spot to watch the procession.

“Because I feel like I’m living in a part of history I’ll never see again,” a young girl said.

Americans too wanted to witness a part of history that included the appearance of the new King. Angela Haufschild from Wisconsin just moved to London this week.

“In light of the queen’s passing we knew that the celebrations of her life would be going on, so we wanted to just attend because it’s a pretty incredible thing to be able to be here for a moment like this. We just wanted to join in with the rest of London and pay or respects.”

It was an amazing day and a beautiful night across London. Now thousands are standing in a line that stretches for miles around Westminister Hall so that they can walk inside for a quick glimpse of the coffin.

Thursday will be the first full day for the lying in state at Westminster Hall. It will continue daily through Monday, the day of the official state funeral.

Related: Reporter Notebook: London Journal Day One