Sarah Clarke: Queen’s Black Rod wipes away tear as she walks back from late monarch’s coffin in emotional moment

Sarah Clarke OBE was dignified in her grief as she was the last person to see the Queen lying in state after the service was closed to the public

Sarah Clarke: Queen’s Black Rod wipes away tear as she walks back from late monarch’s coffin in emotional moment
The Lady Usher of the Black Rod, Sarah Clarke OBE, appeared to wipe away a tear after paying her last respects to the Queen (Youtube/Daily Mail/Gareth Cattermole/Pool Photo via AP)
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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: Hundreds of thousands of people filed past the coffin both in St Giles Cathedral Edinburgh and then in Parliament’s Westminster Hall before the Queen's funeral. The last of the mourners, who had queued through the night, left the cavernous medieval hall early on Monday morning. The Queen 's lying-in-state has officially come to an end ahead of her funeral today, with an estimated 400,000 mourners thought to have passed through Westminster Hall over the past five days. 

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The line opened at 5 pm last Wednesday. A Black Rod - a senior officer in the House of Lords who is responsible for controlling order within the House - helped run the lying-in-state service and maintained the procession each day. 

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In an emotional moment, Black Rod Sarah Clarke OBE was seen wiping away a tear by the Queen's coffin ahead of the funeral. People were admitted to the line to see the Queen's coffin as late as 10.30 pm last night, which gave them time to make it through before the closure at 6.30 am in the morning. The last member of the public to be allowed in was Christina Heerey, who serves in the Royal Air Force, after Ms Mansouri, 55, originally from Iran, who lives in South Croydon, London. Members of parliamentary staff then followed her, with Black Rod Sarah Clarke being the last person to walk past the coffin.

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Lady Usher of the Black Rod wiping her tears at the funeral (Sky News)
Sarah Clarke OBE wiping her tears at the funeral (Sky News)

After escorting the last member of the public through, Sarah Clarke OBE turned to the Queen one last time. After bowing, she turned and walked on, and appeared to wipe away a tear as she did so. You can see the video here.

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The funeral process has seen thousands of people spiraling along the Thames around the clock, with members of the public, celebrities, and foreign dignitaries filing beneath Westminster Hall’s hammer-beam roof. Some bowed and curtsied while others made the sign of the cross as they paused beside the coffin. The Coffin was draped in the Royal Standard with the jewels in the Imperial State Crown, scepter, and orb placed on top.

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For the Queen, it was her final duty in Parliament, an institution which she visited often during her 70-year rule. She delivered her first Queen's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament on November 4, 1952.

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