Moment crowd breaks into spontaneous applause for cleaners clearing central London streets before Queen’s coffin procession
- The Westminster Council cleaners were clearing streets in the Whitehall area
- Hundreds of people lining the street broke into cheers to thank the workers
- It came just hours before the Queen’s coffin was moved to Westminster Hall
- 800 military personnel and the royal family were involved in the procession
- The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage
Street cleaners in central London received cheers and applause yesterday after cleaning Westminster’s streets in preparation for the royal procession which saw the Queen’s coffin moved from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall.
Cleaners in high-vis clothing were seen walking along the route during a final check and picking up any litter or obstructions which could get in the way of the procession.
Video on social media showed the Westminster City Council cleaners being greeted with applause and cheers as they walked down Whitehall yesterday in the early afternoon.
Crowds that were four or five deep in some places had already gathered to await the Queen’s coffin, which would be pulled past on a gun carriage dating from the Victorian era.
It came as the Queen left Buckingham Palace for the last time at 2.22pm on Wednesday and was transported to lie in state for four days in Westminster Hall.
Members of the public will have the opportunity to say goodbye to the monarch as they file pass her coffin – but could face a wait of up to 30 hours to do so.
Parliamentary worker Sarah Jane-Sewell captured the moment the 17 workers were praised on her phone, MyLondon reports.
Sharing the footage online, she wrote: ‘Applause from the crowds breaks out for the City of Westminster workers who’ve been cleaning and prepping the streets this morning.’
The cleaners, wearing high-vis jackets, walked along the busy Whitehall street shortly before the procession
Crowds which were already four and five deep broke into spontaneous applause and cheers for the council staff
Parliamentary worker Sarah Jane-Sewell captured the moment the 17 workers were praised on her phone
Others on social media were quick to support the cleaning staff, and praise the crowds for recognising their hard work.
One person said: ‘Absolutely amazing work they are doing! Unsung heroes!’
A second added: ‘Behind every successful event there is a team of hard workers. Glad to see them getting the recognition they deserve.’
A third said: ‘That’s lovely. People doing jobs like this rarely get any credit but people soon notice if they aren’t there.’
Ms Jane-Sewell was also able to watch the Queen’s coffin pass during the procession, after which she said: ‘I’m not sure I can find the words to describe the emotions I’ve felt this afternoon. God Save The King.’
There was a sombre air throughout central London yesterday as tens of thousands gathered along the procession route to catch a final glimpse of Her Majesty, whose coffin was followed by members of the royal family including the new King Charles and Princes William and Harry.
Members of the Royal Family follow the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II through Westminster this afternoon
Once the procession reached Westminster Hall, Queen Elizabeth’s coffin was placed on a raised plinth, ready for the lying in state
(From left) Prince William, King Charles III, Prince Harry, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Lawrence, Princess Anne, Peter Phillips, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward walk behind the coffin during the procession for the Queen in London this afternoon
King Charles II is followed by other members of the Royal Family including Prince William and Prince Harry this afternoon
The staff will no doubt be kept busy again ahead of the Queen’s state funeral on Monday, September 19
A huge operation went into organising and carrying out the parade, which involved around 800 members of the armed forces.
Police now have faced an unprecedented challenge in recent days as the capital builds up to Her Majesty’s state funeral on Monday.
Earlier this week, police snipers, heavily armed officers and members of the security services formed rings of steel outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse and St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh after the late Queen was taken to both venues.
Up to 10,000 officers are now preparing to be involved in the biggest single security operation the country has ever seen.
As well as officers and members of the forces, cleaning staff, other emergency services and various other key workers are all readying for hundreds of thousands of people to engulf London on the bank holiday.
It is not the first time that staff from Westminster City Council have had to clean up before or after a big event.
The council is responsible for keeping landmarks including Hyde Park, Leicester Square and the area around Parliament free from rubbish, especially in the aftermath of sporting events such as the Euros.
This clean-up came ahead of the widely-anticipated royal procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall for the Queen’s coffin to lie in state, allowing the public to bid goodbye to her for four days before her funeral on Monday, September 19.
Prince William and Prince Harry walked together behind their father King Charles III in a show of unity as they followed the Queen’s coffin from Buckingham Palace ahead of her lying in state.
The presence of Charles, William and Harry in the procession through London this afternoon saw the father and sons united in their grief for a mother and grandmother who left the palace for the final time.
The Royal Family accompanied their matriarch on foot on the journey to Westminster Hall where hundreds of thousands of people are expected to pay their respects over the next four days after queueing for hours.
William’s wife Kate Middleton followed behind in a car with Queen Consort Camilla, while Harry’s wife Meghan Markle travelled in a vehicle with Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
Kate and Meghan then later walked into Westminster Hall together with William and Harry, and they stood side by side during a 20-minute service.
Charles, the Prince of Wales and Duke of Sussex, along with the Duke of York, the Princess Royal and the Earl of Wessex, also formed part of the procession.
Anne’s son Peter Phillips and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence also walked behind the procession, as well as the Duke of Gloucester and the Earl of Snowdon.
The procession left the palace at precisely 2.22pm and arrived at Westminster Hall at 3pm.
Members of the public were allowed to enter Westminster Hall from 5pm on Wednesday, with some queuing up to 48 hours in advance to be among the first to set eyes on the Queen.
It is estimated that up to a million people could line up as they hope to see Her Majesty’s coffin.
On Thursday the queue stood at around 4.2 miles long for the majority of the day, stretching as far east as Bermondsey Beach.
The maximum queue length will be 10 miles, and should the queue reach this length, it is thought people could be waiting as long as 30 hours.
There is a separate queue for those with accessibility requirements.
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