Queen death: Devoted royal fan flies 11,600 miles from New Zealand to say goodbye

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“I think the reality really hit me when I saw the car, it was very emotional.”

A woman dubbed the world’s most devoted royal fan has made an 11,600 mile trip from New Zealand back to Britain to pay her last respects to her beloved Queen.

Julia McCarthy-Fox, 57, had to fork out around £2,500 to make it home in time to say her goodbyes in person

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Since arriving back on British soil she has set up camp on The Mall where she had front row seats to see the Queen arrive back at Buckingham Palace for the final time.

Julia McCarthy-Fox, 57, had to fork out around £2,500 to make it home in time to say her goodbyes in person. Photo: SWNSJulia McCarthy-Fox, 57, had to fork out around £2,500 to make it home in time to say her goodbyes in person. Photo: SWNS
Julia McCarthy-Fox, 57, had to fork out around £2,500 to make it home in time to say her goodbyes in person. Photo: SWNS | Courtesy Julia McCarthy-Fox SWNS

When Julia moved to New Zealand from Horsham in West Sussex in 2019, her devoted love for the Royal family remained steadfast.

She said: "It was quite odd when she arrived, but it was very moving, as her coffin was lit up like a spotlight as the hearse arrived in the dark and rain.

"I think the reality really hit me when I saw the car, it was very emotional."

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Members of the public in the queue on the South Bank near to Tower Bridge, London, as they wait to view Queen Elizabeth II lying in state ahead of her funeral on Monday.  Credit: PAMembers of the public in the queue on the South Bank near to Tower Bridge, London, as they wait to view Queen Elizabeth II lying in state ahead of her funeral on Monday.  Credit: PA
Members of the public in the queue on the South Bank near to Tower Bridge, London, as they wait to view Queen Elizabeth II lying in state ahead of her funeral on Monday. Credit: PA | PA

After seeing the Queen’s coffin heading up The Mall, she headed off to join the long and winding queue to see her lying-in state.

She said: "I’m hoping to get to the front this morning.

"I can sleep standing up so I will have to do that in the queue, but I don’t know if I can sleep and walk."

She said she was well prepared for the long wait, adding: "I have packed lots of chocolate so I will be living off that."

For the funeral she plans to be in London the night before and head out at around 3am to say her final goodbyes to the Queen.

She flies back to New Zealand on September 27.

She said: "While it has been hard and frustrating at times I am so glad I have come.

"I would have regretted it if I didn’t."

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