Family from Leeds abandon West End show to camp out for Queen's funeral

Five-year-old Olivia and her family wanted 'front row seats' for the Queen's funeral procession. Credit: ITV News

A family of nine from Leeds cancelled their plans to attend a West End show, ditched their hotel and bought camping equipment to sleep out overnight for the Queen's funeral procession.

Lesley and Craig Walton, from Halton Moor, had booked a trip to London to see the Lion King on Sunday, 18 September, with their five children and the children's grandparents.

However, when they arrived in London, their children, aged five to 15, asked not to go to the theatre anymore as they wanted to watch the Queen's funeral the following day, and "be part of history".

The family camped out to watch the funeral procession. Credit: ITV News

Mrs Walton said: "We came round to Westminster and [our son] Matthew said 'I don't want to go mum, I want to stay here and camp out', so we had to dash and get sleeping bags and everything last minute.

"We wanted to be front and centre. It's historic, it's never going to happen again and she was amazing so why wouldn't we give up just one night.

"It's a memory for the kids, it's part of history and it's an adventure."

  • Lesley Walton told ITV News how she felt watching the funeral procession.

Matthew Walton said that he wanted to camp out with his family because "the Queen was on the throne for 70 years and she did a lot for the country".

He added: "My friends think I’m a lunatic for camping out but they’re quite sad that they didn’t get to come."

After the funeral procession came past, Mrs Walton said it was "emotional and mesmerising".

She told ITV News: "You're crying for a woman who didn't even know your name but she was amazing.

"I feel proud. Proud to be British, proud that we could do that for her."

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