On 11 October 1851, the last day of the Great Exhibition, some 53,000 people visited the Crystal Palace. Although there was ‘a slight sprinkling of the humbler orders,’ according to The Times, most ‘belonged to the middle and wealthier classes, and consisted of habitués of the exhibition.’ By the end of the day the transept, where people had gathered even more than usual, was ‘packed with a dense mass of black hats’ through which an occasional bonnet could be spotted. Just before five o’clock Osler’s crystal fountain stopped and the crowd grew silent. The organs began to play the national anthem, and those in attendance turned their faces upward and sang along. Because of the size of the building and the distance between them, however, the organs were unable to stay together and so the singing of ‘God Save the Queen’ was, in the words of The Times, ‘a very discordant demonstration of loyalty.’ Then everyone cheered and slowly made their way to the exits to the pealing of bells.
from Auerbach, J, The Great Exhibition of 1851. see also, and also.