The King’s last night – laying in State in Westminster Hall

The 13th February had moved into the 14th as people came to say farewell to their King. At 2.00 A.M. the last had left.

The Daily Mail of Friday 15th February reported that, on the evening of the 14th the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Margaret had stood for some 10 minutes in the shadow of a doorway opposite the coffin, almost unnoticed by the endless line of mourners filing past.  The Queen and the Princess, both unveiled, stood side by side under the stone lintel of the Star Court entrance to the Hall Behind them, in deeper shadow, were the Duck and Mr. David Eccles, the Ministry of Works.

At 7.47 p.m. the Queen whispered to her sister and her husband: “We must go.”  Simultaneously she and Princess Margaret made another deep curtsy, almost to the carpeted floor, rose, turned to their eight, and passed through the great oak door.

The Queen Mother, last of the Royal Family to visit Westminster Hall, arrived at 11.25 p.m.  Standing where the Queen had stood nearly 4 hours earlier, she remained in the shadows of the East Door – 15ft from the catafalque – for 22 minutes,

In the morning the next stage will begin.


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