Queue to see Queen paused for at least six hours after hitting capacity

UK

Entry to the queue to see the Queen lying in state has been paused for at least six hours after it hit capacity.

The queue currently has a wait time of 14 hours and is 4.9 miles long – stretching back to Southwark Park.

“Southwark Park has reached capacity,” the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said. “Entry will be paused for at least 6 hours. We are sorry for any inconvenience.

“Please do not attempt to join the queue until it re-opens.”

Funeral rehearsals held in the early hours – follow latest updates

Members of the public in the queue at 06:04 on The Queen's Walk by Tower Bridge in London, as they wait to view Queen Elizabeth II lying in state ahead of her funeral on Monday. Picture date: Friday September 16, 2022.
People queue to pay their respects following the death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, in London, Britain, September 16, 2022. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

For most of the night the line was nearly five miles long, with Southwark listed as the nearest landmark.

By 8.15am it had reached 4.9 miles (7.9km) long.

Firefighters gave out bottles of water along the route while volunteers from the Samaritans were available and stewards, police and portable toilets lined the route.

Watch live stream of the Queen lying in state

People queue near Tower Bridge to pay their respects following the death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, in London, Britain, September 16, 2022. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
People queue near Tower Bridge to pay their respects following the death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, in London, Britain, September 16, 2022. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
People queue to pay their respects following the death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, in London, Britain, September 16, 2022. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

Mourners spoke of “breath-taking” serenity in Westminster Hall where “you could hear a pin drop”.

PhD student Fiona Holloran wept after paying her respects.

The 34-year-old Londoner said: “It was very moving to see the vigil around her – I was a little bit surprised at how much it struck me.”

She had queued with her baby strapped to her in a carrier but said the wait had been “worth it”.

“It’s lovely that everyone has just a moment to themselves – no one was pushing,” she added.

Amy Harris, 34, said the atmosphere in Westminster Hall was “breath-taking”.

“When you’re able to go in and have a moment to look at it and reflect, the serenity of it – to be able to pay your respects in such a serene place, it’s very peaceful,” she said.

Watch and follow the Queen's funeral on TV, web and apps on Monday from 9am

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