LONDON, ONT. -- A former London, Ont. resident was standing directly in front of Windsor Castle, the site of Prince Philip's passing Friday, when she heard the news.

Caitlin McEniry, was just outside the castle walls when she looked down at her phone and noticed a flash about the Duke of Edinburgh.

“It said 27 seconds earlier that he had died. I was in the queue and I said, 'Oh my gosh, Prince Philip has died.' Then the woman in front of me turned around and said, 'What?' So, I think I must have been the first one on the road to see it, cause all of a sudden everyone around me said, 'Where did you hear that?'”

Within moments people were looking at her phone. A few moments later, police moved in to clear the small access road.

McEniry, who moved to Camberly, U.K. six years ago, was on a day trip to Windsor with her two young boys, Matthew, four, and Miles, one. It was their first outing since Britain began to ease local COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Young Matthew and his mother quickly decided to get some flowers at a nearby store and returned just a few minutes later.

Matthew was among the first to lay flowers at the entrance, which was shortly afterwards blocked off by barricades.

McEniry says the atmosphere following the announcement was sombre, with many reflecting on the long life, of primarily good health, Prince Philip enjoyed.

Some commented on the irony of being at Windsor as his passing, inside the castle, was announced.

“I think people felt almost honoured that they got to be so close to him at that time, in a weird way, that we got to experience that.”

McEniry says four-year-old Matthew has always enjoyed his visits to Windsor and seemed saddened on the car ride home.

She says he was happy to, “Put flowers down, for as he calls him, ‘King Phil.’ He kept saying, 'I miss King Phil.'”

McEniry, who says her mother taught her to be a Royal admirer, says she feels strangely honoured to have been at Windsor to pay her respects as a Canadian.