Crowd barriers and portable toilets are set up in Westminster in preparation for ’30-HOUR queues’ to see Queen lying in state: Lines could stretch for five miles as a million mourners head to capital to pay their respects to Her Majesty
- Her Majesty’s coffin is currently in Edinburgh and will arrive in London tomorrow
- From 5pm on Wednesday, mourners will be able to file past the coffin inside Westminster Hall
- Route expected to begin at Southwark Park south of the Thames, with mourners following the line of the river
- They will cross over at Lambeth Bridge and then walk back on themselves up to Westminster
- Queuing is set to begin today, with security staff, stewards and police officers already stationed along route
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Crowd barriers and portable toilets have been set up in Westminster before ordinary Britons start queuing for up to 30 hours to see the Queen lying in state.
Her Majesty’s coffin is currently in the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh and is being taken later to the nearby St Giles’ Cathedral, where her family, and a congregation drawn from all areas of Scottish society, will attend a service of thanksgiving for her life.
The coffin is arriving in London tomorrow and will be taken to Westminster Hall, near the Houses of Parliament, on Wednesday.
From 5pm, members of the public will be able to file in to pay their respects to the late monarch for four days, before Her Majesty’s state funeral in Westminster Abbey on Monday.
But the queuing is set to begin today, with security staff, stewards and police officers already stationed along the route. Westminster Hall will remain open for 24 hours a day to accommodate as many people as possible.
Whilst more than 300,000 people came to see King George VI lying in state in Westminster Hall in 1952 – and 200,000 saw the Queen Mother’s coffin in 2002 – Whitehall chiefs are reportedly expecting a figure closer to a million mourners this time around.
The figure would rival the estimated one million mourners who flooded the capital for the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997.
Portable toilets and crowd control infrastructure such as barriers and flooring have been now set up in Victoria Tower Gardens. Full details of the route will be published at 10pm on Tuesday.
However, the five-mile route is expected to begin at Southwark Park south of the Thames, with mourners following the line of the river down past Parliament to Lambeth Bridge, where they will cross back on themselves by walking back up to Westminster.
Crowd barriers and portable toilets have been set up in Westminster before ordinary Britons start queuing for up to 30 hours to see the Queen lying in state
Her Majesty’s coffin is currently in the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh and is being taken later to the nearby St Giles’ Cathedral, where her family, and a congregation drawn from all areas of Scottish society, will attend a service of thanksgiving for her life. Above: Pallbearers carry the coffin from its hearse into Holyroodhouse yesterday
There is expected to be airport-style security, complete with bag checks and metal detectors, in the car park of the House of Lords in front of Parliament, according to The Times.
People will not be allowed to camp and will be given numbered wristbands to indicate their place in the queue so they are able to leave and come back, it is understood.
Because the line will be moving constantly, it won’t be possible for well-wishers to sit down for longer than a few seconds at a time. Along with the portable toilets, water stations are already being set up.
Anyone with luggage will reportedly have to stop and leave their bags in a park near Lambeth Palace.
As many as 10,000 police officers will be deployed in London, with officers on alert for both potential terrorism and activists such as environmental protesters.
Up to 1,500 soldiers will also be available to help stewards control crowds. According to The Times, the queue will be closed if there are too many people.
Whilst more than 300,000 people came to see King George VI lying in state in Westminster Hall in 1952 – and 200,000 saw the Queen Mother’s coffin in 2002 – Whitehall chiefs are reportedly expecting a figure closer to a million mourners this time around. Above: Prince Charles is seen taking part in the ‘Vigil of the Princes’ next to the Queen Mother’s coffin in 2002
In just three days of King George VI’s coffin lying in Westminster Hall, more than 300,000 mourners came to pay their respects in scenes that were televised on the BBC
Guidelines for how people should behave and what they should wear have been issued by the Government. Mourners have been told to remain silent inside the Palace of Westminster.
It urges people to ‘dress appropriately for the occasion to pay your respects’. Clothes with ‘political or offensive slogans’ are banned.
‘Please respect the dignity of this event and behave appropriately. You should remain silent while inside the Palace of Westminster’, it adds.
A source told the Daily Mail: ‘It is like trying to organise something on a similar scale to the London Olympics in a matter of days.’
Once Her Majesty’s coffin arrives in London, it will be taken first to Buckingham Palace. Tens of thousands of well-wishers are then expected to line the streets as the coffin makes the journey to Westminster Hall.
The procession will travel via The Mall, Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and Parliament Square. The ceremony will be screened live in Hyde Park, with a viewing area opening at 11am on Wednesday.
King Charles, the Queen Consort and other members of the Royal Family will witness the arrival of the coffin.
Units from the Sovereign’s Bodyguard, the Household Division, or Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London will guard the coffin day and night.
It was yesterday carried by hearse in a procession from Balmoral Castle to Edinburgh. This evening King Charles and his brothers Prince Andrew and Prince Edward will form a guard of honour around the coffin at the four corners of a raised platform known as a catafalque.
In the moving tribute, which is known as the Vigil Of The Princes, they will take the places of guardsmen from the Royal Company of Archers for about an hour.
Wearing ceremonial uniform, each will face outwards with their heads bowed in respect.
Charles and other senior royals performed the tradition when the Queen Mother died.
They will do so again when the Queen reaches the Palace of Westminster.
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