The royal superfans who have been camped on The Mall since the Queen died to wait for state funeral

Royal fans who have been camped on the Mall for the past ten days are tired, cold and soaked through – but have no intention of moving before tomorrow’s state funeral.

Almost all have remained outside Buckingham Palace since the Queen’s death was announced on 8 September.

On Tuesday, when the Queen’s coffin returned for the final time, “the heavens opened” said John Loughrey, from Streatham, London.

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He said: “It poured it down for about ten minutes.

“Our tents were soaked, our food was soaked, all our belongings were soaked, even those we have put in black bin liners. Our newspapers were soaked.

“We had to get rid of it all and start afresh.

“The tent was wet inside and it took us at least two hours before everything was cleaned.”

He has been camped out for the last ten days and is a seasoned royal watcher, having been outside Diana’s inquest, in London for the Jubilee and in Windsor for the birth of Archie.

He plans to bow as the Queen’s coffin is driven past and said he will be thinking “about how much we miss [her], and what [she] did to the nation”.

He said that moment is “going to hit me pretty hard because that’s the last time I’ll see the coffin”.

“She was an icon, she was so special, she was loved throughout the world,” he added.

Having met the Queen in the past, he told Sky News he would “especially miss her” at Christmas and it would not be the same without her annual speech.

But, he said King Charles will be a good monarch because “he has had 70 years’ training”.

‘I love two things: history and pageantry’

“I have always been a royalist,” Ronny Braganza from Portugal told Sky News.

“The two things I love in life are history and pageantry, and we don’t have these kinds of things in Portugal because we used to have a monarchy and it’s now a republic.”

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From a young age, he said he was “fascinated with the Royal Family”, adding: “My story started when I was 10 years old after the Charles and Diana trip to Portugal.

“We always thought she would be eternal – it was remarkable. But we saw her with the new prime minister and then two days later she was gone.

“But I think following Prince Philip’s death, she (the Queen) deteriorated and lost lots of weight. That’s life isn’t it.”

A final night together

Caryll Foster said the band of royal super fans will cherish their final night together ahead of tomorrow’s funeral.

She travelled to the Mall from Kingston shortly after the monarch’s death was announced, but knew from the news coverage during the day it was coming.

“[Newsreaders] were wearing black already even though the announcement hadn’t been made,” she told Sky News.

When asked about her vigil, she said she “wanted to remember the Queen’s life and be there for her”.

Read more on Queen:

Prince Andrew’s tribute to ‘mummy’
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However, temperatures have dropped in recent days – something Ms Foster said Prince Edward commented on when he came to meet the crowd.

They have since been provided with foil blankets by St John’s Ambulance to keep them warm.

SOURCE: UK News – The latest headlines from the UK | Sky News   (go to source)
By Victoria Bird and Megan Baynes, news reporters

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