Hardy royal fans already camping out on The Mall to watch Platinum Jubilee

The campers have been coming for years, some from as far away as North Carolina.

01 June 2022

As the nation prepares to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, a determined band of fans are already queuing on The Mall for the big weekend.

The campers have been coming for years, some from as far away as North Carolina.

This isn’t their first rodeo, and many of them have become firm friends from camping outside for previous weddings and jubilees.

Mary-Jane Willows, 68, a retired charity executive from Cornwall, told the PA news agency that she first camped out for the Diamond Jubilee, followed by the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and the Queen’s 90th birthday.

“Several of us met at those events and have stayed friends ever since,” she said.

She inherited her love of the royal family from her mother, along with an original copy of the Queen’s coronation album.

Mary-Jane said she was camping out this time to thank the Queen for 70 years of service.

“She has given 70 years of her life to serve us, the country,” she said. “That’s what she said at her coronation and she’s done it every second of every day.

Platinum Jubilee
Crowds line The Mall, in central London, to watch the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas, as well-wishers camp out for the best spots (James Manning/PA)

“She’s never taken a wrong step, and so we’re here to thank her and to celebrate.”

With Mary was her friend Donna Werner, 70, from Connecticut. They met while camping out at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding, and have remained friends.

Donna first developed an interest in the royal family after taking a bicycle tour through Britain in her youth.

“I just fell in love with the country,” she said.

Her first royal event was the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of York in 1986.

“I was pregnant, I slept on the street for two nights. That was quite an event, she was a beautiful bride.”

Donna added that she would love to see the United States re-join the Commonwealth.

“We should never have had that tea party,” she said.

“I love the history, I love the pomp and circumstance. I just love everything about it.”

However, another camper, Melanie Deal, 59, from North Carolina, said she was interested in the royal family for the “celebrity” and would rather see the United States remain outside of the Commonwealth.

“It’s strictly just celebrity for me, and to know that the Queen is a constant for you all.

“It’s not a constant in the United States that we have a government, it fluctuates, here you’ve had the Queen for 70 years. That’s a big deal.”

News

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