5:04 PM September 14, 2022
A couple from Norfolk have spoken of their disappointment after hotel prices in London soared ahead of the Queen’s funeral.
People planning to visit the capital have been met with hotel bills four times higher on Sunday night (September 18), the evening before the funeral, compared with a week later.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to line the streets of the capital during the funeral at Westminster Abbey.
Many visitors travelling long distances will need to spend the night before in a hotel as the service begins at 11am.
Mark Godfrey, 60, who grew up next to the Sandringham Estate in Dersingham and now lives in King’s Lynn, was planning to travel to the capital with his partner Neil Marcham, 46.
“We had been looking at booking a hotel but didn’t want to book until the date had been confirmed,” the healthcare assistant said.
“As soon as it was I looked at hotels but the cheaper ones we were looking at had all sold out and we saw some that were charging as much as £3,000 for a night.
“We are really disappointed we can’t go and annoyed that we were priced out.
“My partner spent 20 years working at Buckingham Palace as a member of household staff, so for him to be able to go to London to pay his last respects would have been of immeasurable importance.
“He would have been able to say farewell after many years working within the household but instead we’ll watch it on TV.”
The cheapest room at Park Plaza County Hall, one of the closest hotels to Westminster Abbey, costs £999 for a one-night stay on Sunday, compared with £269 seven days later.
Rooms at Novotel London Waterloo cost £500 on Sunday and £216 a week later.
The closest available Travelodge hotel is London Central City Road, 2.4 miles away.
A one-night stay on Sunday is £160, while someone visiting on September 25 will pay £57.
When news of the Queen’s declining health was announced, Mr Godfrey and his partner had visited Windsor Castle hours before.
He added: “It was very surreal watching reports outside the castle where we were there moments prior oblivious to what was happening.
“We went to Sandringham that evening to lay some flowers.”