The Queen’s favourite hotelier has arrived at Westminster Abbey ahead of her state funeral.
David Morgan-Hewitt, affectionately known as ‘Big Dave’, is the managing director of The Goring, the only hotel to be awarded Royal Warrant for hospitality services.
The five-star London hotel was often chosen as the venue for the royal staff Christmas party, and the Queen enjoyed dining there with close friends and family.
Today, Mr Morgan-Hewitt looked dapper in his black suit and signature thick-rimmed glasses as he joined world leaders, royals and charity representatives for the Queen’s funeral at Westminster Abbey.
The Queen’s favourite hotelier has arrived at Westminster Abbey ahead of her state funeral. David Morgan-Hewitt, affectionately known as ‘Big Dave’, is the managing director of The Goring, the only hotel to be awarded Royal Warrant for hospitality services
The five-star London hotel was often chosen as the venue for the royal staff Christmas party, and the Queen enjoyed dining there with close friends and family. Pictured, leaving with Mr Morgan-Hewitt
The privately-owned hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 2010, is a firm favourite with the royals and was given the highest honour when it was chosen by the Middleton family as their London base for the Royal wedding in 2011
Mr Morgan-Hewitt is as much of an institution as The Goring itself, having been at the hotel since 1990.
During her visits, The Queen was personally hosted by Mr Morgan-Hewitt, who was often photographed escorting Her Majesty to her car following her visits.
The privately-owned hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 2010, is a firm favourite with the royals and was given the highest honour when it was chosen by the Middleton family as their London base for the Royal wedding in 2011.
The Middletons famously booked out all of the hotel’s 71 rooms for their family and friends and held their own reception there for those not invited to the Buckingham Palace bash.
Mr Morgan-Hewitt joined the hotel as restaurant manager after years working in restaurants.
However then CEO George Goring needed some persuading as he was unsure about the ‘flamboyant’ Mr Morgan-Hewitt and his ‘stripey shirt’, according to an interview with The Caterer.
British minister Nadhim Zahawi was among one of the first guests to arrive at the Abbey
Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty, takes his seat in the Abbey
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and Chris Heaton-Harris, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, arrived with VIPs on a coach
Former MP turned Facebook executive Sir Nick Clegg followed Lib Dem leader Ed Davey
The Abbey fills ahead of the Queen’s funeral today
The congregations queues patiently to enter the Abbey at 8am this morning
He worked his way up to general manager and was appointing managing director in 2005. He told the publication his and CEO Jeremy Goring’s shared vision for the hotel is ‘quintessentially English, a little bit eccentric, surprising, theatrical’.
According to The Goring website, Mr Morgan-Hewitt has ‘overseen some of the hotel’s greatest and exciting periods of transformation’ in his 26 years at hotel.
He was also on hand to help the Middleton family when they made the hotel their base ahead of the 2011 Royal Wedding.
Before joining the hotel he studied law and history at Durham where he graduated with a BA in 1986.
Michael and Carole Middleton – the parents of the Princess of Wales, Kate, arrived two hours early for the state funeral
Tom Parker-Bowles, the son of Queen Consort, Camilla, is among the 2,000 people invited today. Pictured with his wife Sara
Tom Parker Bowles arrives at Westminster Abbey ahead of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II this morning
King Charles III’s goddaughter India Hicks arrives at Westminster Abbey this morning for the Queen’s funeral. Lady Pamela Mountbatten appears to be in a wheelchair. The 93 year old is a first cousin of Prince Philip and a bridesmaid when Elizabeth wed Philip at the Abbey in 1947
Jacob Rees-Mogg walks into Westminster Abbey as Britain and the world mourns the Queen
The grand oak doors of Westminster Abbey – where Her Majesty married Prince Philip and had her coronation – opened at 8am, three hours before the service starts.
2,000 royals, world leaders, VIPs and hundreds of members of the public have began filing into the Abbey as billions around the world will watch Her Majesty’s state funeral.
And outside hardy royal fans defied no-camping rules, as people of all ages set up tents, deck chairs and even a makeshift minibar to grab premium seats for the spectacle that will see 2million flood into the capital. By 8.30am member of the public were told that the procession route was full and began diverting people to Hyde Park to watch on the big screens.
The doors of Westminster Abbey opened at 8am, ahead of the arrival of the first mourners for the funeral of the Queen. The King’s Guards trooped through the gates of Abbey, with two soldiers stationed at the metal gates awaiting the start of proceedings.
Amid concerns that London will be ‘full’ today – and a lack of hotel rooms – scores of people began bedding in to line The Mall in central London over the weekend, despite rules – seemingly loosely enforced – preventing people from setting up camp.
This morning, before dawn, stewards told campers to take down their tents. Huge crowds have also formed in Windsor, where the Queen will be buried this evening.
Several who slept in central London overnight said friends and family told them they were ‘mad’ to carry out the overnight vigil, but insisted they would not miss the occasion.