MOURNERS are expected to line the streets of central London in their thousands to say goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II after her death on Thursday, September 8, 2022.
There are warnings that waiting times could reach over 35 hours.Here is everything you need to know about paying your respects to Her Majesty by visiting her coffin at Westminster Hall.
How long is the queue to see the Queen lying in state?
Her Majesty's coffin travelled to London from Scotland by royal plane on Tuesday, September 13, 2022.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to queue in central London this week to see the Queen lying in state in Westminster Hall ahead of the funeral ceremony on September 19.
The Hall will be open 24 hours a day and close at 6.30am on the day of the funeral – September 19, 2022.
The government has released an official queue tracker online to track just how long the line is.
Currently the queue is approximately 4.4 miles long.
People are being warned that as the queue is constantly moving, there won't be much opportunity to sit down.
But, those in the queue will be given a wristband so they can leave the queue for comfort breaks and then return.
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Where does the queue start?
The queue starts on the south side of the River Thames where Lambeth Bridge meets Albert Embankment.
The closest landmark to the start of the queue is Tower Bridge.
It will run past Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, the Shard, London Bridge, Southwark Bridge, The Tate Modern and Blackfriars Bridge.
It will continue heading westward along the Albert Embankment and past the London Eye.
Once visitors pass Albert Embankment, they will cross Lambeth Bridge and go into Victoria Tower Gardens.
There, they will go through airport-style security before they enter the Palace of Westminster.
The main queue has step-free access and there is also an accessible route which begins at Tate Britain.
Timed entry slots will be issued for the accessible route queue starting at Tate Britain, along Millbank and then to the Palace of Westminster.
But up to a million people could make their way to join the queue according to some estimates, with tens of thousands set to miss out, after warnings that waiting times could reach 35 hours.
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Where will the Queen be lying in state?
The Queen will be lying in state at the Palace of Westminster, which is informally known as the Houses of Parliament.
The Palace of Westminster is located on the north bank of the River Thames and serves as the meeting point for both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
The Queen will be lying-in-state there until her coffin is moved to Westminster Abbey for her funeral.
When will the Queen be lying in state?
The Queen will be lie in state from 5pm on Wednesday, September, 14, 2022, until 6.30am on Monday, September 19, 2022 – the day of her funeral.
The date of her funeral has also been declared an official bank holiday in the United Kingdom.
The queue may close early to ensure as many visitors as possible can enter the Palace before the Lying-in-State period comes to an end.
How to watch the Queen lying in state on TV
National television will be covering the Queen's ceremonial procession and Her Majesty lying in state.
BBC One and ITV will start their coverage from 1pm on Wednesday, September 2022.
Will I be able to see the Queen's body or just her coffin?
The public can only see the closed coffin as it would be disrespectful to show the Queen's body.
Her closed coffin will be on a raised platform, with each corner guarded around the clock.
Unsurprisingly, visitors will not be able to pass the point where the guards will be standing.
Will there be roads closed in central London?
Roads leading to Buckingham Palace, such as Spur Road, Spring Gardens and part of the A3214, are expected to be closed.
Roads also leading to Green Park and St James' Park are expected to be closed throughout the national mourning period.
On Monday, September 12, 2022, a list of roads were closed and are likely to remain closed throughout the week too.
- Birdcage Walk
- Constitution Hill
- The Mall
- Malborough Road
- Horse Guards Road
How many people are expected to come and see the Queen lying in state?
Whitehall chiefs are expecting around 40,000 people a day to turn up and show their respect to Her Majesty.
In 2002, 200,000 mourners showed up to pay their respects to Queen Mother, but chiefs are expecting the number to exceed that.
They added that it could come close to a million mourners, the number of how many filed past Pope John Paul II when he laid in state in Rome in 2005.
In Edinburgh, there were more than 30,000 people that viewed Her coffin in St Giles' Cathedral in 24 hours.
Will there be a bag drop at the Queen's lying in state?
For those who are carrying large bags, there will be a bag drop.
It will be available a the beginning of the queue.
However, keep in mind that thousands of people are expected to visit the Queen's coffin, and space at the bag drop is limited.
You don't have a guaranteed space, so it's best to take a small bag with you instead.
What will security be like at the Queen's lying in state?
The public is allowed to file past the Queen's coffin for 24 hours a day while she is lying in state.
Those attending will have to go through airport-style security and are only permitted to take in small bags.
There are over 1,000 dedicated volunteers, stewards and Metropolitan police officers on the clock to help the public and make sure they keep the area safe.
There are so many police enforcements during the week leading up to the funeral, that football matches such as Arsenal vs PSV on Thursday, Chelsea vs Liverpool and Manchester United vs Leeds on Sunday were cancelled.
Prohibited items at both St Giles Cathedral and Westminster Hall are:
- Bags larger than 40cm x 30cm x 20cm in size (larger bags can be left at the bag drop facility)
- Flasks or water bottles, except clear water bottles which must be empty
- Food and liquid of any kind
- Flowers or other tribute items
- Sharp items
- Personal defence equipment
- Paint sprays, padlocks, chains, climbing gear, and dangerous items
- Fireworks, smoke canisters, air-horns, flares, whistles, laser devices
- Banners, placards, flags, advertising or marketing messages,
- Coolers, hampers, sleeping bags, blankets, folding chairs and camping equipment
- Non-foldable pushchairs
- Any other items as directed by security staff or police
Can I bring food and drink to the Queen's lying state?
You will not be permitted to take any food or drink in with you.
However, you will be queuing up for a long amount of time, and while you're waiting you can have some food and drink to keep yourself sustained.
Cafes and local businesses around the area are expected to remain open for longer times to help out those waiting in the queue with refreshments.
Can I take photographs at the Queen's lying in state?
The public has been warned that they cannot film, photograph or use mobile phones in the security search area.
These also cannot be used within the palace, so no photos or videos of the coffin can be taken.
Can I take my children to the Queen's lying in state?
You can take your children to the Queen's lying in state.
However, keep in mind that you will be waiting for a lengthy amount of time, possibly even overnight.
If your children are very young, and will probably get agitated waiting that long, it's best not to bring them.
What should I wear?
Guidelines said that you should "dress appropriately for the occasion to pay your respects at the Lying-in-State".
No clothes with political or offensive slogans should be worn.
It's best to wear black plain clothing and make sure to keep yourself warm.
London should be dry from Wednesday, September 15, 2022, however, temperatures might still drop in the evening and get a bit chilly.
You might end up queuing overnight, so try to keep yourself as comfortable as possible.
Who was the last person to lie in state in London?
The last person to lie in state in London was the Queen Mother.
Queen Elizabeth died on March 30, 2002.
She laid in state for three days in Westminster Hall, in which around 200,000 people paid their respects.
Her funeral was then on April 9, 2002.
What does lying in state mean?
The term lying in state was coined to allow the public to pay their respects to revered monarchs or ministers after their death.
The tradition involves the body of the deceased official being placed in a state building either in an open or closed coffin.
The tradition usually lasts for several days to allow people to visit.
The tradition to lie in state in Westminster Hall started with King Edward VII in 1910.
Since then, monarchs such as the Queen’s father King George VI, as well as prime ministers including Sir Winston Churchill, have laid in state, attracting hundreds of thousands of people.
Where will the Queen be buried?
According to the Operation London Bridge plans, the Queen will be buried in the King George VI Memorial Chapel.
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The chapel was named after the Queen's father when it was built in 1969 within the main St George's Chapel.
The Queen will reunite in death with her late husband Prince Philip, who will be moved to the Royal Vault beneath St George's Chapel.
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