War veteran, 96, who attended funeral of King George V in 1936 joins queue to mourn the Queen 86 YEARS LATER
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: The death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has seen people from all over come to pay their last respects. Now, a 96-year-old war veteran joined the queue to honor the Queen as she lies in state, while recalling a similar instance in 1936 when as a young boy of 10, he stood in a similar queue for the lying in state of King George V.
According to the Daily Mail, Frank Wells was one of the last mourners to join the accessible queue before it permanently closed on Saturday, September 17. The 96-year-old feels a special connection with the late Queen, having been born six days before her in April 1926. "It feels like we grew up together, so I was determined to get here," he said.
Despite being wheelchair-bound, the nonagenarian traveled from his home in Worthing, West Sussex in order to pay his respects to Britain's longest reigning monarch as she lies in state at the Westminster Hall before her funeral on Monday, September 19. Wells arrived with his friend, Nick Beadnell, 66, at 4.30 pm, merely one hour before the queue closed after reaching its full capacity. Beadnell spoke of his friend's tenacity, "Officials told us that we would be waiting six hours and I was ready to turn around, but Frank was not giving up."
Wells suffers from vision impairment and is partially sighted. He, however, intends to use his memories as a little boy, visiting Westminster Hall during former King George V’s lying in state to help him understand and figure out the outlines inside the iconic hall.
Recalling the previous event, he described, "I was nine when I saw the Queen’s grandfather lying in state. I remember queuing for hours and as a young boy it felt like an extremely long time." Noting that not much has changed since then, Wells added, "This queue feels very similar. People are very friendly, and it just shows how quickly you make friends."
The Queen has been lying in state since Wednesday, September 14. Her funeral will be held on Monday, September 19 at the Westminster Abbey.