The people of Evesham came together to pay respects to Queen Elizabeth II.

Her Late Majesty’s funeral was held this morning, with thousands gathering in London as the Queen began her final journey.

In Evesham, pubs, cafes and the Regal Cinema all opened to offer residents a chance to mourn as one.

Manager at the Regal, Lawrence Wiper, said: “It is a community-run, independent, cinema and that was really proved during the pandemic.

“We survived Covid thanks to the support of the community.

“This is one of the biggest moments in our nation’s history and if people want to come together as a community for it, then we want to do what we can to make that happen.”

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Dozens of locals filled the seats of the historic picture palace, which opened its doors for free, allowing well-wishers to come and go as they please.

The usual sound of laughter and crunching popcorn was replaced with the occasional snuffle from a weeping audience member as others sipped on tea or raised a glass in honour of Her Majesty.

As the service came to a close with the national anthem many in attendance rose from their seats to sing God Save the King.

One such attendee was Julie Ann, who has lived in Hampton for two years but had never been to the Regal before.

"I needed to switch off so that environment was just perfect," she said.

"I felt like Royalty myself being waited on at my seat!

"The funeral was as would be expected, quite extraordinary.

"A fitting send-off to our loyal Queen of 70 years. She has reigned during my entire life."

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Some of the only other businesses in Evesham to open during the funeral were a handful of pubs and cafes.

The Valkyrie, in Market Square, opened earlier than usual to give the community a place to come together.

Owner Steve Richford said: “We just wanted to open so that if people needed a place to come, we are here.

“If people are going to be watching alone, then they can come here instead and be with others.

“It is not about money, we are offering everyone free tea and coffee and a place to be together.”

Also open was The Trumpet Inn on Merstow Green, who did so “for the community” the landlady said.

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