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Sonya, 56, and Diane, 58, from Nottinghamshire both work in schools.

The pair happened to be coming to London anyway but decided to stay longer for the Queen’s funeral today.

Sonya said: “The Queen has always been in our lives, she’s always been part of our lives. She’s part of Great Britain.”

Diane added: “She was just such a figurehead. As a woman she was always someone you’d respect, and she always showed duty to her country.

“We’ve both got grandchildren – mine is two and a half, and she’s not going to know the Queen. It feels weird – we’ve known her, our children have known her, but she never will.

“We just wanted to come and be part of the day in whatever little way we could.”

Asked what people should know and remember about the Queen, Sonya replied: “Her sense of humour, and her devotion to her family.

“That always came through, didn’t it? And how hard she worked, without people really knowing how hard she worked. Even in her final days, she was doing her duty. Who else would have done that?”