'A moment of history': Pub customers in Shrewsbury reflect on pomp and pageantry of the Queen's funeral

Pub goers in Shrewsbury watched moments of pageantry and history on TV screens together as the funeral ceremony for the only monarch they have ever known was broadcast live.

Kay Ruth and Jarrod Ruth who have stopped off in Shrewsbury during a trip to Wales
Kay Ruth and Jarrod Ruth who have stopped off in Shrewsbury during a trip to Wales

Community pubs including The Royal Oak in Coton Hill, the Red Barn in Longden Road, and the Nags Head in Wyle Cop opened their doors to allow people to watch the events of the day.

Hardly any cars were on usually busy streets of the county town as many of the town's businesses, including the Darwin Shopping Centre chose to close to allow their staff to watch the events of the day.

Emily Bates, 28, the licensee of the Bird in Hand, at Coton Hill, is also the recently appointed manager of the Black Country Ales inn The Royal Oak, just across the road.

Ms Bates said she had been worried that she might have been the only person in the pub but her fears proved groundless as a good number of customers took the opportunity to share the occasion with other people.

"It has been a sensitive and respectful service," said Ms Bates. "People have been coming and going all morning. I had been wondering whether to open but I think it has been worthwhile."

The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II is streamed live at The Royal Oak Pub in Coton Hill, Shrewsbury

Among the fair crowd of people at The Royal Oak were Liam Man, 20 and Kasia Zalucka, 32, who were taking a break from London.

"Everyone here knows they are watching something something historic," said Liam. "It has been calm, quiet and respectful."

Ms Zalucka , from Poland, has been living for six years in the UK. Poland has an elected President but she has "no opinion" on the monarchy.

"I have been to many countries and I am used to many systems. Is a monarchy necessary? Probably not but it is very interesting to see," she said.

Liam said: "It was not unexpected but it is interesting to see how it was all prepared for, there was time for people to process the news.

"It was interesting to hear how the sermon was reflecting on values of leadership - more about the principle, not dealing in the past."

The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II is streamed live at The Royal Oak Pub in Coton Hill, Shrewsbury

Married couple Gaynor and Brian Lowe, from Sedgeley, were in town as part of a break to celebrate their 27th wedding anniversary. Staying at Darwin's Townhouse they were keen to watch the funeral somewhere, and not simply watch it in their hotel room. They Googled for somewhere to go and ended up walking across town to the Royal Oak.

Mrs Lowe, 52, said she thought the ceremony was "reflective" of the life of the "only monarch we've ever known".

They had been involved in a street party for the jubilee so felt compelled to watch the occasion, she said.

Mr Lowe, aged 54, who works in Telford, said he had been a member of the Scouts and had made his promise to the Queen, just as she had made her promise to serve the nation at the beginning of her 70-year reign.

"The service was impeccable," he said, with Mrs Lowe adding that it was "outstanding".

As for the new King Charles III, Mrs Lowe said he had "years in the making" but must have found it all "daunting" with the grief of his mother's death at the age of 96.

Also making a conscious effort to watch the funeral were Kay and Jarrod Ruth, who stopped off in Shrewsbury on their way to a holiday in Wales.

Ms Ruth, 36, a nurse from London, said: "We made a conscious effort to stop. My mum Teresa is a big royalist and my parents watch every royal occasion. I wanted to make sure I saw it as it was happening."

She added: "I think it is a magnificent display of pageantry, extremely well organised and something to be really proud of."

The couple had been to Buckingham Palace on Friday and saw the King and Royal Family. But they had decided not to join the now famous queue.

"I couldn't queue up for hours and then go to work the next day," said Ms Ruth.

"I am pleased that I watched it," she added. "We will remember it - we've never seen anything like this before."

Mr Ruth, whose family is from Jamaica, where opinions on the monarchy are much more mixed, said he is "agnostic" about the institution.

But he added: "It's quite interesting to watch it, all the pageantry and organisation that goes into it. It is a moment of history. We will be able to look back and say that we saw it."

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