Shropshire Star

Shropshire's Lord Lieutenant speaks of emotional scenes as thousands pay respects to Queen

The county's Lord Lieutenant has spoken of the moving emotions of paying tribute to the Queen as she lies in state.

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The Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire, Anna Turner, laying flowers in tribute to the Queen at Shrewsbury Castle

Anna Turner, Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire, the monarch's representative in the county, joined thousands of people in paying their respects to Her Majesty Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall.

On Monday, Mrs Turner will be present at the funeral of the Queen at Westminster Abbey.

She said the strength of feeling over the loss of the monarch had been evident in the number of people making the effort to pay their respects in person – with queues for Westminster Hall stretching up to 11 hours.

She said: "I went to the lying in state yesterday and the feeling and the mood in London is surreal, it is so quiet and people are very calm, just queuing and walking. I was so glad that I had been and it was a very different feeling going in and paying your respects.

"They have done it so brilliantly; there is a light shining onto the coffin which makes the crown sparkle and you remember wonderful things about her.

"Everyone was walking past, bowing, curtseying, paying their tributes and walking on.

"They changed the guard while we were there and the silence, you just hear the marching and the clicking of boots. It happens solemnly and away they go. It is an incredible formal thought-provoking moment."

She added: "It is a very solemn, sombre and emotional moment and there were a lot of tears and feeling as people pay their respects."

The Lord Lieutenant said she had also witnessed a rare sight – of a full dress rehearsal ahead of the funeral, on The Mall, in the middle of the night.

She said: "In the night I woke up to hear a drum beating at 3am and then music started and it was a full dress rehearsal on The Mall. I shoved some clothes on and got out there and in the pitch black I witnessed a full dress rehearsal, and I was so glad the drums had woken me up to see it."

The Lord Lieutenant will attend a memorial service at Shrewsbury Abbey on Sunday before travelling down to London to take her place for the funeral on Monday.

She said it was an honour and a privilege to be invited, and to have the opportunity to pay her respects in person at a historic occasion.

"I am incredibly proud to be there and show my respects," she said.

"For me The Queen was an icon and I feel honoured to have served her."

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