Queen Elizabeth II funeral: Minnesota students witness history in Britain

Ella Bovee, Anna Stuckmayer, Lauren Pfeffer and Maia Reuter had only been taking in the sights and sounds of England for a week and a half, when history started unfolding right in front of their eyes.

"You think about what if it happened and then it did happen while we were here which was really crazy and unbelievable," said Stuckmayer.

The students from the College Of St. Benedict heard about Queen Elizabeth's declining health as soon as they arrived in the United Kingdom.

But when they learned of her passing, they immediately went to Buckingham Palace to see the country in mourning first hand.

"It was weird because there were so many people but it seemed like no one was there because it was so quiet," Pfeffer said. 

For the next week and a half, the students witnessed tributes to the Queen all over London.

They even planned to get in line to see her casket but decided against it at the last minute after discovering how long the wait would be.

"We could see the line from miles away and how truly long it was, sunk in that maybe this is not how we want to spend a Sunday as cool as it would be. and how important it is,`` said Reuter.

But they did join the million mourners who lined the streets to watch the procession after the queen's funeral, with King Charles and Princes William and Harry, walking dutifully behind her casket, all of the royal drama playing out just 50 feet away.

"It's very hard to process the true magnitude of everything. The fact is all of us are only 20 and these are things our grandchildren are going to read about in their textbooks one day," said Bovee.

All four say their English experience has been as overwhelming as it has been educational, but it's a history lesson they will remember for the rest of their lives.

"You think you know it all when you've seen The Crown but you don't know it all," said Pfeffer.