Queen’s death: Planning your visit to see the Monarch lying in state
After her death at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on 8 September, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch spent 24 hours lying in rest in Edinburgh, following a six-hour drive from her Castle.
Her coffin returned back to London on Tuesday and on Wednesday afternoon made the solemn journey from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall – where she will lie in state until the morning of her funeral.
The procession from the Palace to Westminster Hall saw King Charles III leading members of the royal family walking behind the coffin. The two brothers Prince William and Prince Harry walked side by side in a poignant moment for the family.
The Queen will lie in state in London for four days ahead of her state funeral on 19 September.
Preparing for viewing the Queen’s coffin
Westminster has already put up crowd barriers and portable toilets as people have already started queuing.
How long are queues to see the Queen’s coffin?
Those wanting to file past the Queen’s coffin as she lies in state will be facing very long queues – possibly overnight. Most reports are claiming the queues could stretch more than five miles and the wait could be over 20 hours – with little chance of sitting down.
Culture secretary Michelle Donelan wrote to fellow MPs via WhatsApp this morning: ‘Queues could be up to 30 hours as we are obviously expecting and planning for unprecedented demand’, The Times reported.
Key facts about the Queen lying in waiting
- The Hall will be open 24 hours a day until 06:30 on Monday 19 Sept
- More than 1,500 soldiers will be deployed to help crowd control and more than 10,000 cops on the streets of London
- There are restrictions on what can be taken into the Hall (see below)
How many people will be in London to see the Queen’s coffin?
Over one million people are expected to descend on London to see the Queen lying in state ahead of her funeral in Westminster Abbey.
If the latest speculated figures from Whitehall are correct, the number is far higher than the 200,000 who came to see the Queen Mother’s coffin as it was lying in state in 2002.
Preparing for your visit to see the Queen lying in state
You will face airport-style security with tight restrictions on what you can take in as visitors file past the coffin.
To prepare for security screening, all items such as mobile phones, keys, small change, belts, heavy jewellery and watches must be placed into your bag or jacket pocket if you have one.
Parliament instructions – a comprehensive list of items that will be confiscated if you try to bring them near or inside Westminister Hall.
What should I take with me?
Only bring a small bag. Anything larger than 40cm x 30cm x 20cm in size – as well as bags with expandable compartments, including multiple pockets, complex openings, bags on wheels and solid-sided bags – are banned.
Larger bags may be left in the bag drop facility, although capacity will be limited.
Forbidden items – you can’t take into Westminster Hall
- Flasks or water bottles, except clear water bottles
- Food and liquid of any kind (you can eat while queuing but no food or drink must be brought inside Westminster Hall)
- Flowers or other tribute items (these should be taken to the dedicated area in Green Park)
- Sharp items, including knives
- Personal defence equipment or weapons
- Paint sprays, padlocks, chains, climbing gear, and dangerous or hazardous items
- Fireworks, smoke canisters, air-horns, flares, whistles, or laser devices
- Banners, placards, flags, advertising, or marketing messages
- Coolers, hampers, sleeping bags, blankets, folding chairs and camping equipment
- Non-foldable pushchairs