Alongside and across where the old Thames does flow, another slow moving behemoth trudges towards history.

Thousands upon thousands upon thousands lumber forwards across the capital, many through the night, to say their own final goodbye.

Each individual has their reason, whether it be respect or simply wanting to be part of a moment of world history that will never be repeated.

There will be people in other countries looking at the extraordinary scenes in London asking themselves if some kind of collective madness has swept over a once very sane, stoic and stable nation.

Because who would consider queuing in the cold, in the rain and in the dark for hours on end just to wander next to a coffin a normal thing to do? But they don’t understand.

Having a president or a prime minister is not the same as having a monarch like Queen Elizabeth II.

Being proud of a nation is a difficult notion. How can any person be proud of an accident of birth?

But you can certainly be proud of the people of a country. And watching those weary but determined souls in that huge queue has made me proud.

The stories of folks making friends, sharing snacks and making each other laugh are fantastic. How very British – standing in a ginormous queue will be something these people will remember for the rest of their lives.

I am going to draw back the newsroom curtain now and let you all in on a few secrets. Ever since I have been in the industry – it’s quite a while now – there have been plans in place for the death of the Queen.

And each year with her advancing age those plans became more serious. And yet with each passing year it seemed less and less likely it would ever actually happen.

Then, on the fateful day, the leaders of the political parties were handed notes in the Commons. A reporter called me over and pointed out how the faces changed on reading the messages.

I had only two thoughts: either some catastrophic terrorist attack was in train or the Queen was gravely ill.

Buckingham Palace never comment unprompted on the health of any members of the Royal Family. And then, soon afterwards, they did – a huge break from protocol.

This was around lunchtime on September 8. At that moment we knew that within the next few hours it would be confirmed.

I had often imagined what it would be like in the hubbub of the newsroom when the news broke. I have been at the heart of the action for pretty much every huge story for the past two decades, I thought there would be panic and shouting and reporters rushing back and forth.

But this was different. A calm fell over the whole place. Everyone knew what they had to do and without question they did it.

The wall-to-wall coverage from all of the British media has been superb. The right mix of fresh news lines and remembering the 70 glorious years of her reign.

And our coverage has been exactly what I wanted. Solemn yes, but with our usual style and lots of stories from the people in our city.

And what a thrill that in 100 years time historians will look back at the copies of the Evening News from that momentous week. In a small way the paper you hold in your hand is the first draft of history.

It has been an honour to have been able to report on the incredible years of service our beloved Queen gave her subjects. Her like won’t be seen again.

And it will also be an honour to discover what type of monarch King Charles will become. He will be different from his mother. But if I were to offer him any advice at all it would be to not be too different.

But for now that meditative, mammoth queue keeps building and moving – a final tribute to the now gone New Elizabethan age.