'I loved her dearly' - Veterans moved to tears as they watch Queens funeral

Betty Tring was moved to tears watching the Queen's funeral

A number of veterans who served in The British Armed Forces watched Her Majesty’s funeral at their care home in Ovingdean in East Sussex today.

Blind Veterans UK helps vision-impaired ex-Servicemen and women to rebuild their lives after sight loss.

However, their visual impairments did not stop the men and women from taking in the full pomp and ceremony of today's service.

Some of the residents were overcome with emotion - like 96-year-old Betty Tring.

“I feel very privileged to have known the Queen," she said. "I was born just a few days after her.

"I’m a royalist at heart and I served in the Armed Services during the war. I feel like today is just another era in my royalist book of memories.

"She has paved the way for all of us as an example and I’ve loved her dearly.

"It’s sad but proud.

"What a wonderful send-off for her - one she would have thoroughly agreed with. And now I pray she’s at peace with Philip."

The men and women experienced the funeral in the care home’s lounge, cinema room and in their own bedrooms.

Among those was 99-year-old D-Day veteran Ken Hobbs.

During the service he said he felt compelled to put on his medals - including the Legion D’Honneur (Legion of Honour) which is the highest French order of Merit.

D-Day Veteran, Ken Hobbs wore his Legion D’Honneur ( Legion of Honour) for The Queen

He also wore his father’s medals from World War One. Ken described the funeral service as ‘touching’.

While, others shared their memories of meeting the Queen.

97-year-old Maureen Atkinson, who once served in the Royal Navy, recalled a special invitation.

As an ex-pat living in Saudi Arabia, she was invited to a reception on board the Royal Yacht Britannia.

Maureen Atkinson recalls meeting the Queen during a reception on board The Royal Yacht Britannia

“We were invited to the reception in the evening. It was a tremendous honour. We got to the Quayside, where we had to wait and keep out of the way because the King of Saudi Arabia had had dinner with the Queen.

"When we got on board - just inside, were the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

"They shook hands with every single one of us. I thought it was tremendous. They must have been exhausted with the heat.

"They didn’t say anything but I had a slightly tricky knee and I was worried about curtsying. She took my hand and I said ‘Your Majesty’ and I thought 'what am I doing - I’m not supposed to say anything!'

"Then I tried to get up and my blasted leg wouldn’t let me get up, so I was struggling like mad. She looked down at me and gave me one of those beautiful smiles that she was always so famous for.

"I looked around in desperation and then the Duke of Edinburgh, was there in a flash.  It was a wonderful experience.“

Maureen also said this wasn't a time for tears but to be thankful for what we've had and to give good wishes to The King.

At the end of the service, the veterans and their carers all stood and sang The National Anthem.

The Veterans stood to sing the National Anthem