Who Is The First Person To See The Queen Lying In State?

Mourners have been lining up outside Westminster Abbey since Monday (September 13) waiting for the chance to pay their final respects to Queen Elizabeth II. The queen died on September 8 in Scotland at Balmoral Castle. She finished her final departure from Balmoral to Westminster on Wednesday (September 14) where she'll lie in state until 6:30 am BST on September 19, the morning of her funeral, per Metro News.

Despite warnings not to wait or camp along the route taken by Queen Elizabeth's coffin, Metro News reports Vanessa Nathakumaran — a 56-year-old woman from London's Harrow neighborhood — was in line at Lambeth Bridge two days before the Queen's casket was expected to arrive. Originally born in Sri Lanka, Nathakumaran moved to the United Kingdom in the 1980s to study, per the Evening Standard.

When talking to the PA news agency, Nathakumaran shared she had started "admiring the royal family" when she was only 10 years old and has always had "huge respect for them" (via Evening Standard). The Guardian adds that she is no stranger to waiting to pay her respects to royals; Nathakumaran shared with reporters that she had lined up to pay respect to Princess Diana, the former Princess of Wales.

Nathakumaran also shared her personal connections to the queen. Her great-uncle, Sir Vaithilingam Duraiswamy, was knighted by King George VI for "services to Sri Lanka," then called Ceylon, ITV reports. Praveena, her daughter, also met Queen Elizabeth II when she was serving as an air cadet.