Two strangers who sparked rumors of a Love Actually-style romance after meeting in the Queue to see the Queen reveal they are both in long term relationships – but insist they will be ‘friends for life’.
Zoe George, 33, and Jack Ciuro, 23, provided the British public with the heart-warming idea that a budding romance started in the queue as they waited to see the Queen lying-in-state at Westminster Hall on Friday.
A Channel 4 News video of the pair speaking about one another while standing in line for 14 hours on Friday night went viral over the weekend, and was watched more than 2 million times – with some suggesting it could be the plot to the latest Richard Curtis movie.
Now can reveal the pair DID meet up for a second date today to watch the State funeral together. However, Zoe and Jack revealed they were ‘just friends’ as they actually both have long-term partners.
But they insisted they had found ‘mates for life’. Not only that, but Zoe, who’s getting married next year, has even invited Jack to her wedding!
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline in Hyde Park as they watched Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth laid to rest on a big screen, Zoe, 33, said: ‘I can’t believe that the fun little video we did got so much attention – our phones haven’ t stopped buzzing with messages from people we know.
‘Hopefully it made a few people smile at a difficult moment for the nation, even if I am sorry to tell people that there’s not going to be any kind of long-term romance between us, let alone a new Richard Curtis plot.
‘Jack is a great guy, we get on brilliantly, but we both have long-term partners – in fact, I am getting married next year. Not only that, but there’s also a 10-year age gap between Jack and I!
Zoe George, 33, and Jack Ciuro, 23, have quashed claims that there was a budding romance brewing during their 14-hour wait in the Queen’s lying-in-state queue – by exclusively revealing to MailOnline that they are both in long-term relationships
The pair (who went to watch the Queen’s State Funeral in Hyde Park today, pictured) insisted they had found ‘mates for life’. Not only that, but Zoe, who’s getting married next year, has even invited Jack to her wedding
‘But it’s been fantastic to meet someone so lovely and who I got on so well with to share these historic few days.’
She added: ‘Me and Jack will stay friends for life, I’m sure of it. Waiting in that queue for so long felt like a lifetime – and so it is lovely to feel that we have made friends for life. I’ve already invited Jack to my wedding and I do hope he comes along.’
Explaining how they came to be filmed together in the first place, Jack said: ‘When we saw the camera we suggested they film us because we’d met in the queue and got on so well that we thought it would make nice content.
‘There was a cheeky suggestion made by the reporter that there might be romance between us, and we were happy to have some fun and go along with it – and then it just blew up and took on a life of its own, which was very amusing.
‘It is nice to think we may have cheered people up during a period of mourning, but I am sorry for anyone who hoped that we might get together to say that it is purely platonic between us.’
So how did their partners feel about them being romantically linked so publicly? Zoe said of her fiancé, a fellow musical theater performer whom she met in 2016 while touring Asia: ‘He thought it was hilarious! But he did also suggest that I might want to mention we were engaged…’
Royal mourners Jack Ciuro (left) and Zoe (right) hit it off in the queue to pay respects to the queen after meeting at 10:30pm last night
Zoe said meeting Jack was a ‘blessing in disguise’ as they kept each other entertained with ‘crisps and chat’ while waiting in the 14 hour-long queue
Jack added: ‘My partner found all the comments about Richard Curtis films hilarious, and hoped we could play ourselves in the rom-com!
‘We have a great relationship, so there was no issue at all between us. When we saw each other after the video went viral we spent the day laughing and reading all the reactions.’
Zoe, who’s originally from Swansea but lives in South East London, had originally gone to see The Queen alone because ‘my fiancee would rather watch at home – he’s not big on queues!’
She added: ‘As a young child, I would hear the story of my headteacher grandfather Warren Hugh George getting an honor from the Queen and I was shown the picture of them outside Buckingham Palace. I was fascinated.
‘My dad is also big on history and he would talk to me about Kings and Queens, so I have always been fascinated.
‘To have the opportunity to attend this massive event on my doorstep and pay my respects, why wouldn’t I have come? Meeting Jack was just the icing on the cake.’
Jack, a former grammar school pupil from Bedford now living in Nine Elms, South London, and studying for a masters in physiotherapy while aiming to work with sports clubs and the NHS, has been with his partner for two years and describes their relationship as ‘ serious’.
He said: ‘My partner is not a Royalist at all, and so they didn’t want to come. But I love the Royal Family. They are a massive part of our history. And I just thought it would be brilliant to be part of history, so I decided to come on my own.
‘Everyone said don’t bother, but after The Queen had served this country for 70 years, what’s 14 hours of my time to pay respects?
Zoe, who’s originally from Swansea but lives in South East London, had originally gone to see The Queen alone because ‘my fiancee would rather watch at home – he’s not big on queues!’ (Zoe and Jack pictured at Hyde Park today)
‘It was good to see all the pomp and tradition of it all. And to meet Zoe – she’s great and we will definitely stay in touch. I can’t wait to go to her wedding.’
The pair said watching the funeral together had been a very different experience to queuing to see The Queen lying in State.
Zoe said: ‘In the queue, it was about getting through it, and so Jack’s company was welcomed. Today is much more emotional, and it’s been about emotional support. I’m glad we were able to meet up again.’
Jack said: ‘Watching the ceremony is much quieter and respectful than what it was like while queuing. I can’t believe how many people have turned out. It’s made The Queen’s death much more real, and it’s nice to be here with someone, to share the experience.’
After all the queuing, both to see The Queen and for her funeral, Zoe says she is planning ‘a long sleep’ later. Jack, meanwhile, will be back to the books. ‘I’ve not been able to do as much studying as I’d planned over the past few days,’ he admitted.
And now, having fully paid their respects to The Queen, how do the pair feel to have captured the nation’s interest during The Queue, along with footballer David Beckham and Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, who were criticized for jumping the queue.
Zoe said: ‘Someone joked we were going to replace Phil and Holly – which would have been a nice turn of events!’
Jack added: ‘As much as a Great British Love Story would be wonderful – surely a Great British Friendship is better in the circumstances! Rather than Queue, Actually – instead, it’s Friends, Actually.’