The Daily Telegraph
‘Overnight queues’ to file past late Queen’s coffin
Those wishing to pay their respects will have to stick to the guidance, which includes sombre dressing
MEMBERS of the public wishing to pay their respects to the late Queen have been warned they could have to queue overnight to file past her coffin.
Queen Elizabeth II will lie in state in the Palace of Westminster from 5pm on Wednesday evening until 6.30am on the day of her funeral on Monday.
Her coffin will be placed on a raised platform, called a catafalque, in Westminster Hall – the oldest part of Parliament – and the public will be able to walk past 24 hours a day.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected and all those attending the lying in state will have to go through airport-style security. Only one small bag per person will be allowed.
Guidance published last night said: “Please note that the queue is expected to be very long ... you will need to stand for many hours, possibly overnight, with very little opportunity to sit down, as the queue will keep moving.
“Please consider this before you decide to attend or bring children with you,” it adds.
The Metropolitan Police will be on alert with 10,000 officers set to be deployed over the coming days while 1,500 soldiers will be available for crowd control support.
Those wishing to pay their respects are urged to bring umbrellas, warm clothing or sunscreen, depending on the weather. They should also take a power bank to charge their phone, and food and drink to consume en route, although they will not be allowed to take it into the Hall with them.
And attendees are told to dress in a sombre fashion. Anyone with political slogans on their clothes will be turned away.
Westminster Hall was built in 1097 by William II, and its impressive hammerbeam roof dates from the reign of Richard II at the end of the 14th century.
The tradition of the lying in state of the monarch began in 1910, when Edward VII was the first to lie in state in Westminster Hall. The most recent was the Queen Mother, who lay in state in the Hall in 2002, after she died aged 101.
It is said more than 200,000 mourners came to pay their respects to her in a queue that snaked its way along the southern bank of the Thames before crossing at Lambeth Bridge.
The Government announced last night that ahead of the lying in state, a ceremonial procession will take place on Wednesday afternoon that will see Queen Elizabeth’s coffin travel from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster.
The procession will travel via Queen’s Gardens, The Mall, Horse Guards and Horse Guards Arch, Whitehall, Parliament Street, Parliament Square and New Palace Yard, thereby allowing many more people to line the route and pay their respects.
Members of the public will be able to watch the procession in person at ceremonial viewing areas along the route, or at a screening site in Hyde Park. These sites will open at 11am, with people admitted in order of arrival time.
At the lying in state, the late Queen’s closed coffin will rest on the catafalque, and will be draped in the Royal Standard with the Orb and Sceptre placed on top. Each corner of the platform will be guarded around the clock by a vigil of units from the Sovereign’s Bodyguard, the Household Division, or Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London.
Last night’s guidance states: “Large crowds are expected, and there are
‘You will need to stand for many hours, possibly overnight, with little opportunity to sit down’
likely to be delays on public transport and road closures around the area. You should check ahead, plan accordingly and be prepared for long queues.
“Only one small bag per person is permitted,” the guidance said. The bag must be smaller than 40cm x 30cm x 20cm, with one simple opening or zip to help speed up the security bag check. Large bags can be left at a drop facility, but it has little capacity.
Prohibited items, which will be confiscated before entry, include folding chairs, sleeping bags, hampers, cameras and flags.
Flowers and other tribute items such as candles, soft toys and photographs are also not allowed. Banners, placards, and advertising and marketing messages are banned.
People are told not to bring or erect gazebos or tents, or to light barbecues and fires.
They should not attempt to queue on behalf of others or ask others to queue on your behalf. Only those given wristbands at the end of the queue will be able to stay in the queue.
People should bring food and drinks to consume in the queue, as there will be limited places to buy refreshments on the route, the advice states. Food and drink must be consumed before going through security barriers, and water bottles emptied.
It suggests: “You are likely to be in the queue for a long time, so consider bringing a small portable power bank to use if you need to charge your phone.”
On conduct, the document tells people they must remain silent while inside the Palace of Westminster, with their phones on silent mode. Filming inside the Hall will be banned.
It added: “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.
“Step-free and accessible options are available for those who need them.”