QUEEN’S COFFIN ARRIVES AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE
Image by James Veysey, the Guardian
The Queen’s coffin has been welcomed by crowds of mourners as it arrived at Buckingham Palace.
Officials have set out the formal plans for a queue up to five miles long for people to pay respects to the Queen lying in state, a complex logistical exercise including toilets, first aid and round-the-clock refreshments on the route.
With hundreds of thousands of people expected to queue for many hours to get the chance to view the Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall, volunteers from groups including the Scouts and Salvation Army have been drafted in to help.
Official guidance to the public coming to London warns those thinking of attending to expect “very long” queues, very possibly overnight, and to especially consider this if bringing children.
People will be issued with coloured and numbered wristbands, showing their place in the queue and meaning they can leave it to use toilets or fetch food and drink.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which is leading on the arrangements, plans to provide live updates on the length of the queue, and where it begins at any given time. It will be closed if the numbers waiting are too great to ensure those in the line will reach Westminster in time.
The process, formally known as lying in state, begins at 5pm on Wednesday after the Queen’s coffin is taken in a procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, the 11th-century structure at the heart of the parliamentary estate.
From then, those who have queued will be able to file past the coffin 24 hours a day until 6.30am next Monday, the day of the Queen’s funeral.
King Charles will be joined by his sons the Prince of Wales and Duke of Sussex as they walk behind the Queen’s coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall. Charles, William and Harry along with Prince Andrew, Princess Anne and Prince Edward will follow the coffin on foot.