{shortcode-187fccc4d45c97c019983e82116158a430e8a209}In 2011, I woke up at 6 a.m. to watch Kate and William’s wedding. It serves as one of those weird core memories that sticks with you, for no apparent reason. I wouldn’t characterize myself as a royal family fanatic, but I do enjoy keeping up with Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s annual back-to-school photos, and I do croon over Muick and Sandy (the late Queen’s two Corgis). When the news broke on Sept. 8, I decided to make nine-year-old Elizabeth happy and wake up at the crack of dawn to watch Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral live.

I wanted to make a morning of it and invited some friends to join me at 5 a.m. in the Eliot JCR. The funeral was on Monday, Sept. 19; naturally, the evening before, I ventured over to Cardullo’s Gourmet Shoppe in Harvard Square in search of British scones and tea to serve. They didn’t have exactly what I had envisioned, but I returned to Eliot victorious with Walkers Shortbread (Scottish, not English, but works with the ~Commonwealth~), “Boston Tea Party” Tea Bags (again, not 100% English, but relates to the Revolutionary War AND Boston so I found it doubly fitting), Pumpkin Cinnamon Donuts (not British related — they just looked yummy), and a mini British Flag (for good measure). It was the perfect spread.

I decided my homework could wait and I hit the hay early to maximize sleep and emerge energized for the morning. I climbed into bed around 10:30 p.m., but out of excitement, fell asleep after 11 p.m. Despite setting my alarm for 4:45 a.m., the anticipation woke me up at 4:15 a.m. and I couldn't fall back asleep. So, I pulled my sweatshirt and sweatpants on, stuffed my mugs, my roommate’s kettle, and Cardullo’s treats into my bag, and beelined across the courtyard to the JCR. Outside, I was met with a cool mist and creeping fog, which felt very English.

I didn’t reserve the JCR because I assumed no one would be there at 5 a.m. And I was right! The inviting, Gryffindor-esque common room was mine for the morning. A little after 5, two friends joined me, and by 6:30 a.m, three more friends had arrived. One even made the trek from Mather!

Funeral customaries began at 8 a.m. BST (3 a.m. Eastern time) and the funeral ceremony promptly started at 11 a.m. (6 a.m.). The 5 a.m. kick-off was the perfect time — cozied up on the very-sinkable couches and armchairs, we observed the royal formalities and watched the British military and royal family process into Westminster Abbey. I spent my summer in London, so I enjoyed seeing sights that I was familiar with. After sipping on tea, passing around the shortbread, and demolishing the pumpkin donuts, the watch party broke up around 7:30 a.m. We went our separate ways to begin our days, bleary-eyed but invigorated by the early morning.

Overall, it was a very special morning that I’ll remember for a long time. It made me so grateful for my friends (who willingly woke up at 5 a.m. to join me — yes, I knew I was asking a lot from them) and it was incredible to experience such a historical moment, even through my laptop screen 3,270 miles across the pond. I’ll happily sacrifice my eight hours of sleep for 4 a.m. wake-ups and moments like these (though hopefully a happier occasion in the future).