More than 7,000 kilometres away from Windsor Castle’s chapel in London, England, those of all ages woke up early in Alberta to pay their respects to the life of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday, the day of Her Majesty’s state funeral.
Due to the time change from across the pond, the seven-hour difference had those in the province having to wake up early — or perhaps even stay up late — to watch the procession, which would have started around 3:30 a.m. MT.
In Edmonton, the Waldon family chose to pay their respects having lived in the U.K. since 2014 before moving to Canada.
Alison Waldon said when the news came about the queen’s passing it was a shock at first and felt it was unexpected.
“I didn’t think we expected it to happen when it did and obviously, since there was a lot of emotions, it’s been kind of a roller coaster, really,” Waldon said alongside her two daughters who also woke up early to pay their respects.
“It’s the first time for me with something like this, but it’s lovely. They’ve done a fantastic job, you know, it really is beautiful to see all the family there and it’s definitely emotional, you know. But I’m very proud, very proud.”
Waldon added the day was also a bit of a family affair as they typically do a weekly family FaceTime visit with those who still live in England and chose to have it on Monday so that they could share memories with one another.
She added her dad was part of the Coldstream Guards Band and was able to share why people were in the positions they were, but also what was to happen next during the procession having been in a few himself.
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“He has a lot of stories to tell. In fact, the last state funeral he was at was Winston Churchill’s funeral,” she added.
Meanwhile, in Calgary, a group of 11 ladies gathered in a home to watch the events roll out overseas.
Along with a traditional English breakfast and tea and crumpets, the ladies shared memories of the monarchy and what it meant to them.
For Alex Clark who moved to Calgary in 1986 from England, she said the royal family will always have a place in her heart.
“Growing up in England the monarchy is so big. It was just a part of our lives. Then I moved out to Canada and none of that goes away. You still have part of that in your heart. I’ll always be English,” Clark said.
“I knew I was going to get up (really early to watch the Queen’s funeral) because I got up for the funeral of Lady Di (Princess Diana) and we have been up for all the weddings.”
And though many will continue to mourn the Queen’s death, one thing is for certain: the sense of pride for the monarchy will forever remain.
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