Shropshire Star

Shropshire woman's journey to London out of duty to her 'boss' the Queen

An ex-police officer has described journeying "on impulse" to London to pay her respects to the late Queen.

Flowers laid outside Windsor Castle in tribute to the late Queen. Photo: Dawn Hughes

Dawn Hughes, a former police officer from Wellington, felt compelled to join mourners in the capital to remember the monarch, who she always considered her "boss".

"45 years ago," Dawn explained, "I swore allegiance to the Queen as a police officer, so I've always thought of her as my boss.

"It was all on impulse, I felt compelled to go. It felt right to go down there and pay my respects in person."

Dawn gathered with mourners outside Windsor Castle to pay respects to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: Dawn Hughes

Dawn, 64, stayed in Windsor on Tuesday night, visiting the castle in the morning to lay flowers.

"It was very quiet early in the morning, and they were taking flowers away from the gate daily. But if you look through the gate you can see them all laid out, and there's lots. It's very lovely."

Dawn spent time talking to staff at the castle, before going into the capital to join the thousands of mourners lining the route her late Majesty’s coffin took from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster.

"I walked and walked, while it was very well-organised there were a lot of places cordoned off. Lots of people were being moved on because places were full to capacity.

"I went up to Horse Guards but people were 30 deep and you couldn't get through. In the end, I thought I would just go back to where I was staying and watch it on TV.

"But I went, and I tried, and it meant such a great deal to go in person and lay flowers."

Flowers laid outside Windsor Castle to mark the death of the late Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: Dawn Hughes

Dawn said she hoped visitors to the city would bring some comfort to the Royals.

"I really feel for them," Dawn added: "Anyone else in the same position would be able to just close their doors and reminisce, but they have to do it all in public.

"It must be emotionally and physically relentless. I think they're doing amazing, and their mother would be so proud."