An eerie silence ends as mourners – and armed police

Melissa Stokes sees the mood in London changing after the Queen’s coffin arrives in the British capital.

Every morning the 1News team prepares for the 6pm newscast around 5am UK time.

There’s something about being in a city in the early hours before dawn, when it wakes up and stretches its legs. And London isn’t often quiet.

But this morning, due to the closure of much of the capital to traffic, we walked through Parliament Square and past Westminster Abbey in silence.

London’s most famous landmark, Big Ben, towered over us. You can’t help but be amazed by the centuries-old history and tradition linked to this small part of the capital.

Usually busy and full of tourists, this morning the only other company was the many police and security guards on duty.

It’s calm and quiet, until we hear the clapping of horses carrying police through the streets and adding to the eerie vibe of the morning.

After the 6pm New Zealand news broadcast, we walked through St James’s Park to Horse Guards Parade with the London Eye ferris wheel looming just above.

This is part of the route the Queen’s coffin was to take today. They expect tens of thousands of people to come watch.

Security guards are everywhere, flocking in groups to maintain their position. The Metropolitan Police is armed and numerous.

At the end of The Mall, atop the majestic Admiralty Arch, snipers make themselves comfortable.

London will look hugely different tomorrow, with some predicting a million mourners will fill the city.

The eerie calm will be gone.