As Her Majesty The Queen’s coffin was brought to Westminster Hall on Wednesday, thousands of mourners lined the streets of London in hopes of saying goodbye to the late monarch one last time.

Here’s what you should know before venturing out into the queue.

What to know about the wait

Well-wishers shrugged off warnings of a 30-hour wait as they braved chilly weather and rain throughout the night. Those waiting were told to expect to stand the whole time. 

The government expects at least 750,000 mourners this week, more than three times the amount who came to see the Queen Mother after she died two decades ago.

Signs were put up along the line’s route telling mourners they must have a wristband to join the line, water fountains, and port-a-potties were placed along the route.

Local businesses are accommodating the large crowds by shifting their hours.
Local businesses are accommodating the large crowds by shifting their hours.
REUTERS
People line up to pay respects to the Queen on Sept. 14, 2022.
People line up to pay respects to the Queen on Sept. 14, 2022.
REUTERS

Some restaurants and grocery stores have adjusted their opening hours to close late to accommodate those in line.

And to entertain those in line, the British Film Institute is showing archive video footage about the late Queen on a screen outside.

Those waiting in line are asked not to save a place for others or leave personal items unattended. Putting up tents is also frowned upon.

It’s important to wear comfortable clothing and footwear as those visiting are expected to wait for hours without sitting down.

Bringing water and food with you for the queue is important, as well as a portable cell phone charger. There will not be charging points along the way.

What to expect to see at Westminster Hall

Upon arrival, mourners will go through an airport-style security clearance before entering Westminster, according to the UK government’s website.

Though the public won’t actually see the Queen’s body, they will get a chance to walk by the royal’s closed coffin, which will be covered by the Royal Standard flag.

Queen Elizabeth will lie in state until Sept. 19, a few hours before her funeral as mourners line up to pay their respects.
Queen Elizabeth will lie in state until Sept. 19, a few hours before her funeral as mourners line up to pay their respects.
AFP via Getty Images
To keep the line moving, mourners are discouraged from stopping.
Mourners are asked to not pause when viewing the coffin.
via REUTERS

Due to the high volume of people attending, guards were placed in each corner of the platform.

Mourners are asked to pass the coffin without stopping to ensure the line is moving swiftly throughout the day and night.

What to bring with you

The UK government set out strict guidelines on what is and is not allowed with you during your visit.

Big bags will not be allowed inside the building, so you will be guided to a bag drop area before the security check. Don’t worry, you will not lose your place in the queue.

The bag you bring in with you should be no larger than 15.7in x 11.8in x 7.8in, with just one zip.

The government also listed items that are banned from being brought inside, which include non-clear water bottles, food and drink, flowers, sharp objects, flags, and pets. Cigarettes, vape pens, and lighters are also prohibited. Guide dogs are allowed.

The Hall is open for 23-hours a day.
Certain security measures are in place, including airport-style metal detectors at the doors.
via REUTERS

Sleeping bags, coolers, hampers, folding chairs, and camping equipment are also not allowed inside the premises.

Mourners are strongly advised to remain silent during their visit, as “antisocial” and “inappropriate” behavior will not be tolerated, according to the government.

Officials have also asked the public to dress appropriately, as individuals wearing clothing containing political or offensive slogans will not be allowed inside.

How to know how long the line is

The UK government has published a live queue tracker for people to follow on YouTube. This updates in real-time to let you know exactly where the back of the line is at any given time.

You can also follow the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) on Facebook and Twitter for live updates and information about the Lying-in-State.





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