The artist captures “solemn merriment” in the queue to see the Queen’s coffin

The artist captures “solemn merriment” in the queue to see the Queen’s coffin

A freelance illustrator struck by the “impressive but mundane sight” of the queue to see the Queen’s coffin has captured it on paper.

The line that stretches for miles through London has taken on a life of its own, with people waiting for hours to pay their respects.

Gracie Dahl, 23, a freelance illustrator from south London, said she was on her way home when she realized she wanted to skip the queue.

The queue

Freelance illustrator Gracie Dahl pulled the queue in London on her way home (Gracie Dahl/PA)

“I had my sketchbook with me. “When I saw it, I realized it was such an impressive yet mundane sight that I really wanted to try to capture it in pencil,” she told the PA news agency.

“I didn’t want to participate, but I also didn’t want to let such a big event pass me by completely, so drawing seemed like the best way to create memories of the occasion.

“I was a little surprised at how big it was. I had seen the maps so I thought I knew, but it really stretched further than you could see.

“I was also quite surprised at how cheerful the people in the queue were, considering some of them had been standing in the cold for over 10 hours.

“I think the buskers, screens showing old footage and food stalls helped it.”

The queue

Gracie Dahl shared her finished works on Twitter (Gracie Dahl/PA)

Dahl shared his finished works on Twitter on Saturday, writing: “Last night I went to see #køen #køfordronningen.

“I didn’t join but found it fascinating to observe – it’s a huge, massive queue. Full of people. Thousands of people stand in a line. For miles and hours.

“Here are some drawings I made to process it all.”

The finished works show the queue and participants in orange, blue, green and red, with London landmarks, such as Big Ben, in the background.

People remained undeterred by low temperatures on Saturday as they queued to see the Queen lie in state, amid warnings of a 24-hour wait and government advice not to travel.

Freelance illustrator Gracie Dahl

Freelance illustrator Gracie Dahl (Gracie Dahl/PA)

Dahl walked the route from Blackfriars Station to Lambeth Bridge, capturing a number of different locations in about an hour and a half as people continued to wait.

“Drawing crowds is always a challenge and the queue was sometimes moving faster than I could catch it, but I love drawing on location and it was an interesting subject,” she said.

“I think they capture the mood, of a kind of solemn gaiety, quite well.”

To find out more about Dahl’s work and depictions of the queue, visit

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