Alastair Jamieson and Maryam Zakir-Hussain
Mon, 19 September 2022 at 4:20 pm
From giant screens in city squares to British pubs around the world, thousands watched the Queen’s funeral from afar on Monday.
The ceremony was broadcast live at around 125 cinemas and several cathedrals in the UK, and on a big screen in Holyrood Park in front of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh.
Several big screens were also set up in London’s Hyde Park and in the centre of Manchester, Sheffield and Newcastle among other cities.
Passengers flying long-haul on British Airways were able to watch the service on inflight entertainment screens while those on the ground at Gatwick Airport gathered around screens in departure lounges.
In Paris, well-wishers gathered in the Bombardier, an English pub in the city’s fifth arrondissement, which had opened early for the occasion.
Nathan Shreeve-Moon, 31, found himself in Paris at the time of the Queen’s death because he has been working on a production of Romeo Et Juliette with renowned choreographer Benjamin Millepied.
Mr Shreeve-Moon, who is originally from the Yorkshire Dales but who has lived in New York for the past 10 years, said he wanted to watch the funeral to feel “a sense of connection” with his home country”.
“I can’t say I had a tremendous emotional connection to the Queen,” he said. “But since I moved to the US, with the state of American politics over the past 10 years and the constant state of change and shift, I can really see the benefit of someone who was always there – someone who was apolitical.”
Mr Shreeve-Moon added: “The root of the tree never moved, and for that to be gone is very strange.”
Betsy Herst, 63, was among those watching the Queen’s funeral from the Bombardier Pub in Paris.
Ms Herst said she wanted to watch the occasion to pay her respects. “I had huge admiration for the Queen, she devoted her whole life from a very young age,” she said. “She was steadfast in upholding the tradition of the roles and task put in front of her.”
Spectators sat silently watching the funeral at a British bar in Majorca, while some in the UAE kept up with the ceremony while aboard the former ocean liner Queen Elizabeth II, which is now permanently docked at a port in Dubai.
Lucy Davis, a UAE resident from London, travelled from Abu Dhabi to the QE2 with her six-year-old daughter to watch the funeral.
“It was quite a long way to come, but with everything that had happened over the past few days, I felt very far from home,” she told National News UAE.
In Japan, floral tributes were laid outside the British embassy in Tokyo, while mourners gathered at an English pub in Washington DC in the US to watch the funeral.
In Britain, many who travelled to London resorted to watching proceedings on their mobiles due to railway disruption.
No trains could enter or leave Paddington station, west London, from 6.30am because of damage to overhead electric wires near Hayes and Harlington station. Services run by GWR, Heathrow Express and the Elizabeth line were expected to be disrupted for the rest of Monday.
Gaby Thomas, 29, who travelled from Castle Cary, Somerset, said: “It’s just about being there. We were meant to arrive in Paddington at about 8.30am. We are still hoping to catch the end of the procession.”
Mike Brooke, 69, from Walker, Newcastle, joined the First Battalion Light Infantry in 1970 and later served with the Territorial Army and was with members of the Joint Ex-Services Association guarding the War Memorial in Old Eldon Square in Newcastle.
He said: “It’s most important we gave our respects up in the North East, not a lot of people have been able to travel down to London. Old Eldon Square is very close to our hearts.”