Yesterday evening (September 13), the Queen’s coffin arrived at RAF Northolt after spending 24-hours in Edinburgh’s St Giles Cathedral. The hearse then made the journey into central London, in preparation for the Queen’s “lying-in-state”, which begins at 5pm today (September 14) at Westminster Hall.
Crowds have already gathered outside the building to queue for a chance to pay their respects, with some sources already estimating 30-hour waits to visit the Queen’s coffin.
If you’re planning to pay a visit to Westminster Hall this week, here’s what you need to know.
How long will the Queen’s coffin be lying-in-state for?
Between 5pm today (September 14) and around 6:30am on the day of the Queen’s state funeral (September 19). Westminster Hall plans to be open 24-hours a day during this period to ensure as many as possible can visit to pay their respects.
Where do I queue for the lying-in-state?
This will really depend on the crowd numbers. The queue starts on the Albert Embankment and runs behind the London eye and along the river. Once you get to the queue, you will be given a wristband. View this map to find out which direction the queue goes in. Visitors have been warned that the queue will be moving constantly and some parts of the route will provide limited opportunity to sit down.
What happens when I reach the front of the queue?
You will be directed through airport-style security before being taken into the building to visit the Queen lying-in-state.
How long is the queue to see the Queen’s coffin lying-in-state?
People planning to visit have been advised they may be waiting for a significant period — with some predicting 30-hour queues already. You can view updates on the status of the queue on the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube).
What shall I take with me?
If you’re queuing during a busy period, then you’ll likely need snacks, water and something to help shield from any rain (check the weather forecast beforehand).
When you hit the front of the queue, you will not be allowed to take food and drink 9except clear bottles) through security. There is also a bag-drop point towards the front of the queue for those that need it. People in the queue have been asked not to leave items unattended or put up tents. Each visitor can take in one small bag with a single opening/zip.
Some items are prohibited by security in Westminster Hall, which include: non-clear bottles/flasks (only clear ones allowed); flowers or other items paying tribute; sharp items; sleeping bags and other camping equipment; pushchairs that cannot be folded; banners/flags with advertising or political messages.
Once inside, phones should be switched off, and filming/taking photos is strictly prohibited.
Can I leave flowers anywhere?
Not at Westminster Hall. There is a dedicated area in Green Park for visitors to leave items in tribute to the Queen.
How can I use the toilet?
There are portable toilets set up along the route of the queue, and some local museums – such as the Southbank Centre and Shakespeare’s Globe are staying open longer for people to use their toilets. Some local businesses will also allow customers to use their facilities, and are expected to operate extended opening hours.
Does the queue have disabled access?
Is there medical access?
Yes. There are eight first-aid points along the site of the queue.
Find out more information on the queue and keep up to date via the Government website guidelines.