Mourners in London expected to see the lay-in-state of Queen Elizabeth II faced 11-hour long queues on Saturday afternoon as King Charles III and Prince William surprised thousands on the streets of central London. Had done it.
Members of the public have been allowed to visit the late monarch’s coffin at Westminster Hall from Wednesday. Thousands of people have traveled to the British capital from across the country and the world, many of whom have stood overnight to bid their final farewells.
The line’s designated route curves along the Thames, beginning at Southwark Park in the east and passing landmarks such as Tower Bridge and London Bridge before eventually reaching Westminster Hall. It is surrounded by hundreds of stewards, including members of the Metropolitan Police and volunteers from the St. John Ambulance and Salvation Army.
The King and Prince of Wales joined well-wishers on the Albert Embankment on Saturday afternoon, shook hands with members of the public and thanked them for their time.
In recent hours, the pressure on the queue has eased. On Friday morning, the government announced that capacity had been reached and queue entry would be barred for six hours, resulting in turning away members of the public.
Downing Street said the temporary pause in allowing people to queue was part of contingency plans for the operation.
“What the DCMS has done is to temporarily stop for at least six hours after reaching the maximum capacity,” a No 10 spokesperson said. “It has always been part of our plan and it is to make sure that as many people as possible in queue can enter the Palace of Westminster.”
DCMS till Friday evening Told The queue had reopened, but warned of a long wait. “The expected queue time is over 24 hours and overnight temperatures will remain cool,” it said. But by Saturday afternoon, the estimated queuing time had been reduced to 14 hours,
Members of the public will be allowed into the hall till 6.30 am on September 19, after which the funeral will take place at 11 am.
In recent days, King Charles and other members of the royal family have embarked on tour and ceremonial meetings across the country as a period of national mourning continues.
The King and his siblings attended a vigil around the Queen’s coffin at Westminster Hall on Friday evening. He stood with his head bowed while the public overtook him.
On Saturday, King took an audience with officials including military leaders such as the region’s governor-general and the chief of defense staff, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin. Later, he is expected to receive prime ministers from the regions, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, at Buckingham Palace.