STRICTLY Come Dancing star Neil Jones has revealed he queued for more than 12 hours to see the Queen lying in state with members of the public – including a woman who was pushing her disabled son in a wheelchair.
The pro dancer shared his experience on Instagram today after calls for This Morning hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby to be sacked for using media passes to access Westminster Hall.
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield host This Morning
Strictly star Neil Jones has shared his experience queuing for hours to see the Queen lying in state
Recalling his own experience of queuing, Neil, 40, was gripped by emotion when one family refused to skip the line despite being eligible due to their health condition.
He wrote: “As you could see from my stories we queued for over 12 hrs to pay our respects to the Queen lying in state.
“I have to say this is one of the most incredible moments of my life which I will never forget, I want to thank everyone we met while walking yesterday, thank you for the conversations, laughter and entertainment, most of all sharing the experience all together.
“We had a mum and daughter who were pushing her son in a wheelchair and were told many times they could skip the line and fast track.
“But they declined every time because they wanted to walk with us all.
“Your Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Thank you.”
Speaking on the BBC last night, Huw Edwards also made his point clear when he said: “There have been quite a few familiar faces in the queue for that lying in state at Westminster Hall.
“We did of course see a certain David Beckham there on Friday. He was widely praised for queueing for hours and hours, not jumping the queue because he’s a superstar VIP.”
Phillip’s previous This Morning co-host Fern Britton also waded into the debate with a subtle dig.
She wrote on Instagram: “There’s a VIP queue?” which appears to be in reference to Phil and Holly’s queue jump controversy.
Eamonn Holmes also liked a Tweet from a fan who said: “Does this mean we can have Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford back on @thismorning please?!”
Princess Charlotte pays sweet tribute to the Queen with jewellery
ITV insists they “did not file past the Queen’s coffin”, but were being escorted to work from the press gallery by government staff.
Access to the official queue ended on Sunday night, in order to meet the 6.30am closure of the lying in state period today.
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield have been the subject of much controversy