I just viewed the Queen's coffin lying in state
54isanopendoor · 13/09/2022 10:51
I am not a royalist (I had a lot of respect for HM QEII but not the institution itself)
I surprised myself wanting to go (I didn't get caught in Diana hype / other royals)
But my partner died in March & my Mother in May.
Neither had funerals so I am aware that this is part of the reason I went - I am also very much 'saying goodbye' to them by partaking in the funeral rites of the Queen (& that's okay I think - as I'm aware of it & if it maybe helps me to move on).
I am (ambulant) disabled & thought I'd post to encourage anyone else disabled who wants to go but is put off by the publicity re the length of the queue.
I'd given up hope & was trying to get across to the station when I asked a copper which roads were still closed. He told me to go along to a disabled 'help hub'
(part way along the queue) where I was given a green wristband & I then had the choice to join the remaining queue for the last 2 hours or wait for a taxi which was ferrying folk up as & when Police allowed. I couldn't walk at all any more so I waited. After about 90m I joined some others in a taxi which took us up to the security clearance area (strict).
Then it was about 10mins until we were inside St Giles Cathedral (no pics at all)
It was slightly surreal. Some people were crying, most just quietly shuffled past (some nodded, some did a 'bob') I am glad I went. I met friendly strangers who also talked about their personal losses as well as HMQEII which helped me too.
I cannot move today & am on max painkiller dose but I think I'm glad I went.
OneFrenchEgg · 13/09/2022 10:55
Was it a bit of a let down?
How does the disabled access work - you get a green band and then priority/timed entry? Do you think it will get abused?
NiqueNique · 13/09/2022 10:56
for your partner, and your mother. I understand why you wanted to go and I’m glad that you’re glad you went.
21secondstogo · 13/09/2022 10:57
Thanks for that. I found it interesting to hear your experience. If I lived near Edinburgh or London I would definitely go myself.
Nightmanagerfan · 13/09/2022 10:59
Thank you for sharing and so sorry to hear of the loss of your partner and mum. I can relate to the public grief for the Queen providing a channel for our own losses, and I’m moved to hear it being so for you.
Hope you get some rest today.
54isanopendoor · 13/09/2022 11:16
@OneFrenchEgg yes everyone is given a coloured band - you can then leave the queue briefly for a loo / coffee trip but not go home overnight as you are admitted in your coloured band groups.
I got a disabled coloured band so was given priority entry: I could not have attended otherwise. No I dont' think it was being abused at all - in fact most didn't know about it, inc many disabled people. I only found our by chance. Another lady in a disabled buggy had been sent off round the city earlier & her buggy battery had died, before a copper rescued her & brought her to the correct place. People were okay about us being fed back into the main queue at the top (I think we looked fairly pitiful by then). People were more grumpy at having to dump their energy bars / drinks before the security clearance than us taxied folk
I posted here to let other disabled people know that it should be accessible if they want to try it.
OneFrenchEgg · 13/09/2022 11:24
Im glad they've thought of it, was it easy to access (steps etc) and move round? How long did it take to go past?
54isanopendoor · 13/09/2022 11:34
@OneFrenchEgg yes. a small ramp set up both in & out of the Cathedral.
it was the free taxi service up the road I was really impressed with (& grateful for!) The group I came in with had travelled from over 200m so were already tired & sore before they got to Edinburgh & couldn't have queued for X ++ hours.
it only took about 5mins to walk across the Cathedral (St G is small)
only about 2m to walk past the actual coffin - draped with Scottish flag, with a wreath & the crown (which looked small on top of it) & the 'guardians' (& plenty of Police) there. but it wasn't 'rushed' just peaceful & really dignified. when we came out my new disabled friend was thanking a policewoman who was then in tears herself. All a bit bizarre really but somehow it wasn't. I shall remember it.
JugglingJanuary · 13/09/2022 11:47
I'm glad you were able to go.
I want to go & the train London is only an hour, but I'm not physically able to queue for the estimated time of 36 hours.
I feel a bit (well a lot!!) pathetic at not being able to do that for our Queen, after all she has done and who was working right up to the last few hours of her life, at ninety six!
I also feel that as history is in the making, I want to be 'part of it' rather than just watch it on the TV. But that feels a bit ghoulish too.
maybe I'll go to Windsor on Monday to see her arrive there (with millions of others) , but then I'll miss the service on the TV.
I just don't know!
Georgeskitchen · 13/09/2022 11:55
That's good news that you were able to get in. My son queued for 5 hours and got in about midnight (he's not disabled) I can't even begin to imagine what the queues will be like today x
54isanopendoor · 13/09/2022 12:08
@JugglingJanuary I'd wondered a bit if I was being 'ghoulish' too!
I remember my Mum weeping buckets over Diana & spending £££ she didn't have on train fares to London & an extravagent bouquet: crazy I thought!
I got the bus (free bus pass) & didn't take flowers (the Police here were taking any flowers even single stems off folk for the procession as well as the Cathedral for security I expect). I gave £10 to a dog charity instead (it's what the Queen would have wanted, ha ha).
I can clearly see how it 'helped' me in my circs re my Mum etc. I wonder if it is something people feel drawn to to 'be part of history' but also it was just so nice that lots of strangers had time to stop & chat to each other which in our busy disconnected lives is quite a rare thing these days?
Kissingfrogs25 · 13/09/2022 12:09
I really wish I could go. Thank you for sharing, and I am so sorry you are in so much pain today. It brought a lump to my throat that you were prepared to do that for the Queen, she would have been massively moved to know the lengths we are going to pay our respects. Unheard of in my life time.
Adultchildofelderlyparents · 13/09/2022 21:07
Hello, thanks for posting this, very interesting to hear about. May I ask, did you have to prove disability? My mother is disabled just through old age, would not be able to stand in the queue more than half an hour, but she is not registered disabled.
(Asking as I'm hoping a similar arrangement will be available in London)
54isanopendoor · 14/09/2022 08:51
Hi @Adultchildofelderlyparents sorry just saw your post.
No, no proof required (though I'm on double crutches so visibly disabled) I did see some others who were not 'visibly disabled' but wearing lanyards (ASD perhaps?) but the officials / volunteer helpers were defo in 'HELP those who ask' rather than stern decision maker mode. Whether London will be the same I dont know but i hope so. I actually waited only around 2 hours though another lady in a powered wheelchair had been sent by officials right around Edinburgh just an hour before so it wasn't very organised so I'd say persistence might be needed?
Yesterday I couldn't even walk around the house, today I will be okay with usual pain meds I think. Daft really but it was something I will always remember.
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