Staff of Queen Elizabeth II’s family lined up to pay their respects and a final tribute to the late monarch outside Buckingham Palace on Monday after her funeral in central London.
Staff were present along the funeral procession route as Elizabeth’s coffin was making its way to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle from Westminster Abbey, where the state funeral was held. The coffin was carried through the Palace, the Queen’s main residence while in the UK capital and the King’s residence, during the procession.
Police protection officers who guarded the Queen during her lifetime were also invited to Monday’s commissioning ceremony at St George’s Chapel.
A private family burial will be held later Monday evening.
“[The queen’s staff] They were loyal to her. Elsa Anderson, the Queen’s former press secretary and royal contributor to ABC News, said on Monday she had people on her side who felt strongly about protecting her and really took on those roles with a great sense of responsibility.
Anderson said many of the staff – including the Queen’s personal chefs, her servants, her man, and other assistants, as well as personal protection officials – had developed a close relationship with the Queen, who became more than just their employer and boss.
“I’ve seen the Piper there playing at the end of the funeral service. It will also play again in St George’s Chapel and successive people have filled that role and talked about how to really get to know the Queen and how I learned about their personal lives and was often very sympathetic to whatever situation they might have They have,” Anderson continued. “That’s what we hear, that she was very interested in the lives of the people who worked with her and became friends with many of them as well.”
Anderson herself shared fond memories with the Queen, who she worked for from 2001 to 2013.
“I have a scrapbook here and I’ve been browsing through it with my kids. She sent a letter on April 26, 2003, then – I think it was her 80th birthday, from her home in Sandringham, and she just said and Anderson recounted, ‘Thank you, I’m very happy with the Chinese given to me’ me on my birthday. Now we can have a tea party. Please convey my grateful thanks.”
“And this is just a role model for the Queen when she wants to convey her thanks to people for always putting others first. Looking at the photos today and seeing many of her former staff members and current staff, either standing outside Buckingham Palace or walking in the procession, I was deeply moved. I was deeply moved. When the coffin entered Westminster Abbey. I admit I feel very emotional. And I think being a part of something like this today would be really important to the staff,” he added.
Anderson said she felt honored and that it was “a great privilege” for her to work for the Queen, whose character appears to have been shone through the formalities and traditions of a long-running monarchy.
“I think it was just a sense of duty, it was a huge work ethic, it was the humour,” Anderson said of working with the Queen. “The story I’ve been told several times before is that the Queen was about to enter a private council meeting where her advisors and those in the government were there, and someone’s cellphone exploded–and the Queen, as fast as you could, ‘Oh, you’d better answer that,’ said Flash. He might be an important person.”
“Its sense of irony and humor is second to none,” she said.
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