Francis and Kaiora Tipene of Casketeers TV show spend 11 hours in Queen's queue in London

The Casketeers in traditional clothing in the Queue for the Queen's lying-in-state.
The Casketeers in the Queue for the Queen's lying-in-state. Photo credit: Facebook

Funeral directors Francis and Kaiora Tipene of The Casketeers TV show say paying their respects to Queen Elizabeth was a "moment we will cherish forever".

The pair flew to London last week after offering their funeral services to the Queen.

Posting on their social media, the Tipenes revealed they'd spent 11 hours in the queue to pay tribute to Britain's longest-reigning monarch, who died aged 96 on Thursday, September 8.

"Last night we waited in 'the lying in state' queue. It was a wait of 11 hours and the experience was very special. A moment we will cherish forever. Thank you to those who sent words of encouragement and support," the Tipenes wrote.

"The Tipenes made it. I tuku roimata, i tuku aroha. Moe mai e rā e Te Kuini."

The pair also provided an update on their offer of help for Elizabeth's state funeral on Monday (local time), but revealed they'd not heard back.

"We may not have received a response from His Majesty King Charles directly. 

"We'd be lucky if the letter reached His Majesty's spam, however Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda informed, 'King Charles will take great comfort in your kindness'.

"She also acknowledged our wait in 'the lying of state queue'," the Tipenes said.

They also shared some shots from their time in the queue, including pictures of them in their korowai and formal attire during the middle of the night.

"We made a plaque to accompany the card our staff put together and placed it with the many tributes from across the world.

"It has been a special experience for us and we're truly humbled to be here," they said ahead of the funeral on Monday (local time).

They also said they'd met "some pretty special people" as part of the delegation from Aotearoa, which was in London for the event.

"Attended the pōwhiri for the delegation of Aotearoa, New Zealand attending Her Majesty's state funeral āpōpō. Some pretty special people to be amongst today as we are all here to acknowledge and commemorate the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 

 "Kīngi Tūheitia, Tā Tipene O'Regan, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa to name a few.

"Governor General Rt Hon Dame Cindy Kiro mentioned in her mihi she was happy to see The Casketeers." 

Last week, Francis Tipene took to Instagram to share the letter he sent to King Charles to offer the royal family his services. 

"Firstly, my sincere condolences to you and your whānau (family) at this time of great loss. I am a qualified funeral director based in Auckland of Aotearoa, New Zealand," Tipene wrote on Instagram.  

"My wife, Kaiora and I are internationally renowned for the funeral services we provide through the show known as, The Casketeers. I wish to be part of Her Majesty's final funeral procession on behalf of my Māori people and my country."