Queen's funeral: Care home residents break into song during service – BBC

By Tom Airey
BBC News

Approaching Berkeley Court care home's main entrance, you're greeted with bunting and a makeshift flagpole with a Union flag at half mast.
"I think we've accidentally hung it upside down," says home manager Jane Carr.
Situated behind rows of terraced housing and next to a supermarket, the home in the Harehills area of north-west Leeds currently has 56 residents.
Its TV lounge is usually reserved for daytime television or film screenings, but on Monday morning there isn't a spare seat as Queen Elizabeth's II funeral begins.
Sat at the back of the narrow room, which is decorated with pictures of American film stars and laminated images of the Queen, a couple are holding hands while watching on.
Residents Malcolm and Christine Jones are celebrating their 52nd wedding anniversary today, with Christine proudly showing off a colourful bouquet of flowers from her husband.
"I'm her toy boy, I think she still loves me" says 76-year-old Malcolm, who married Christine, 78, in 1970.
"Yeah I do," Christine replies.
"I was six years old when King George VI died, I remember the Queen's coronation in 1953 – we went round to a neighbour's house to watch it," says Malcolm.
"I remember the drinks, the sandwiches, there was only one flavour of crisps, Smith's salted."
It's a proud day for the family for several reasons, as their 24-year-old grandson is in London with the Royal Air Force.
Malcolm says: "He was on guard duty at Buckingham Palace at the weekend and he's in the parade today – boy done good, I'm very proud of him."
At the front of the room is Christine Moran, who's sat with a cup of tea, a plate of biscuits and a framed invite to a garden party at Buckingham Palace in 1986.
"I remember talking to a boy sat next to me as we watched her coronation and my father clipped me around the earhole and said, 'this is history, you might never see another coronation again'.
"He was nearly right," she laughs.
Christine, 81, now a great-grandmother, is staying at Berkeley Court for five days of respite care, with husband Paul watching the funeral in his room upstairs.
"He has Alzheimer's, I miss him dreadfully," she says.
The former school nurse says her husband was invited to a garden party to represent Waddingtons, the Leeds-based board game manufacturer which made Monopoly at the time.
"It was very exciting and I was so proud of my husband, who worked as a lithographer," says Christine.
As Prime Minister Liz Truss appears on screen, she says: "Paul's brother, my brother in law, taught her maths and physics at Roundhay High School, he says she was always very clever."
The room falls silent as the choir starts at Westminster Abbey, with the TV lounge's occupants breaking into song during Love Divine, All Loves Excelling and the National Anthem.
The silence only breaks a couple of times, including an "oh, bless him" when Prince George of Wales is pictured entering Westminster Abbey.
Earl Hendricks, sat in the second row, was born in Jamaica and first saw the Queen during a royal visit to Kingston in 1953.
"She came to open a university and visited all over the island, she was lovely," he remembers.
Earl says he came to the UK in the early 1960s to set up a new life, adding: "There wasn't much work, so I moved to Huddersfield as they were getting people to work as labourers and welders at chemical plants."
The 87-year-old, who later moved to Leeds and got married in 1972, says his memory is fading with age but he will remember watching the funeral.
"I don't think I'll ever forget all of this," he says.
Stephen Barker, who has been at the care home for five months, says he's recovering from a fall where he fractured his pelvis, adding: "They've wrapped me up in cotton wool and put me here for safe keeping."
The 62-year-old from Leeds, who's watching the funeral in his ground floor room next to a photo of his wife, worked in the Royal Air Force for 15 years as an aircraft engineer.
"It has been a very emotional few days, it's an upsetting time for millions of people," he says.
"The girl did good."
Back in the TV lounge, the cake and scones have been served and the smell of carrot and coriander soup is drifting from the kitchen as staff prepare lunch.
Malcolm Jones is still gripping his wife's hand, with a nearby care assistant describing them as "relationship goals".
Reflecting on the hour-long service, Malcolm says: "The Queen served us well and did what she said she would do, 'I would serve you until the day I die'."
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