Choir member who sang for Queen Elizabeth has ties to Minnesota

People all over the world are mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth,but the British monarch's passing is hitting a Woodbury couple harder than most.

"We knew she had been ill. Even though you know this is coming, it never makes that easy. It struck me more than I expected it to being an American. Having that little personal connection that we've had made it all a little bit emotional," Heather Nelson told FOX 9.

Nelson was a member of Popup Choir from the Twin Cities that performed for the queen and several members of the royal family at a church near Balmoral castle during a tour of Scotland three years ago.

Even though choir members weren't allowed to meet or take any pictures of the royal family, they performed several songs hand-picked by the queen with the royals sitting in the front row 15 feet away.

"It was absolutely surreal to see her in person and to see her just a few feet away sitting in the front pew when we were right there. I was just awestruck. Incredible," said Nelson.

Nelson and her husband Chris, who are moving to Ireland, were invited to join another group of singers performing for the royal family at that same church, three years to the day after PopUp Choir's performance, this past weekend.

This time the queen wasn't able to attend because of her failing health, but Prince Charles, who is now King Charles was there and at a concert the group performed later that day.

"I was sad but I think I was more worried that things were more serious than anyone really knew," said Nelson.

Since the queen passed away a few days later, Nelson is more grateful than ever for her royal experience three years ago. 

She says she'll remember those moments with Queen Elizabeth for the rest of her life.

"Those memories are really etched in my brain and I will never forget it. Very special," said Nelson.