‘I never thought I’d meet the King:’ What the mourners greeted by Charles and William said

People who had been waiting more than 12 hours to meet the Queen have expressed their gratitude after a surprise visit from King Charles and Prince William.

Brittany Alverson, 34, from Cheshire, was stunned to see the King and Prince of Wales as she queued along the Southbank on Saturday afternoon, just a few hours out from Westminster Hall where the Queen is lying in state.

“King Charles said ‘you have all been waiting so long and you are almost there, well done’ – he was so lovely,” she told i.

Ms Alverson has been waiting in the queue since 1.30am this morning, and said she was “proper crying” after she saw the King and Prince William.

King Charles III talks with members of the public waiting in the queue to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II (Photo: ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty)

Tony Mills, 58, from Manchester, shook his head and said: “I can’t believe it, I said ‘well done lad’ to the King”.

Carys Daughtry, from Bedfordshire, said she shook Prince William’s hand. Ms Daughtry said the Prince had said “thank you very much” to her. She said she felt “energised” after the surprise visit from the royals.

Carys and Rachel Daughtry, who shook hands with Prince William, have been queueing since 2 o’clock in the morning. They said they were tired but felt energised after the King and Prince came and shook their hands.

Alfie Matley, 12, said the King took the picture he drew of the Queen. His grandmother, Christine Matley, 65, from Manchester, who has been queueing for 12 hours by the time she reached Lambeth Bridge, said she was absolutely “over the moon”, the King and Prince visited those queuing.

She was stunned he took her grandson’s picture. “I never thought I would meet the king in my lifetime”.

Dozens shouted “hip hip hooray” as Charles and William moved down the line, stopping for a few moments with each person.

Several people called their friends and relatives on the phone to tell them what they had just witnessed.

Others also shouted “God save the King” and “God save the Prince of Wales” as each passed.

William could be heard discussing how long people had waited and whether they were able to keep warm.

Charles left before William, both of them in cars surrounded by police vehicles.

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