PM Jacinda Ardern has visited Westminster Hall to attend the lying in state of the Queen. She was accompanied by her partner Clarke Gayford and New Zealand’s governor-general, Dame Cindy Kiro.
The party entered the hall by a the side door, bypassing the public queue that has now grown so large that officials are warning of 24 hour wait times.
Ardern said it was a privilege to join those willing to go to such lengths to pay their respects.
“To see them doing so with such patience and in such a quiet and reverent way was very humbling to see. Each of these activities today has reminded me of just the sincerity in which everyone is grieving here in the UK, but also of what a historic occasion it is, that we are a part of as well.”
Earlier in the day Ardern met with the Prince and Princess of Wales, offering them the condolences of New Zealand for their loss.
“She served for a long, long, time and had a long, long life,” Ardern told the media later. “But it’s nonetheless extremely sad when you lose someone who has been such a constant in your life, let alone your grandmother. I felt my job today was simply to convey New Zealand’s sadness.”
Tomorrow, Ardern will be part of an audience with the King, alongside other Commonwealth leaders.