Queen’s Lying-in-State: How long is the queue?
There are huge queues along the banks of the Thames, where people wait to pay their respects to the Queen.
People have been told not to leave to join the queue as it is reaching capacity. A decision on when to close access to the queue is expected later Sunday.
Here’s what else you need to know about the queue.
How long will I have to wait in line?
As of 9:30 p.m. BST, the estimated wait time was at least 8 hours.
For updates, the government has issued a live queue tracker for people to follow on youtube.
People already in the queue are warned that they will have to stand for many hours with little opportunity to sit down, as the queue is constantly moving.
The maximum queue length is 10 miles – with 6.9 miles from Westminster to Southwark, and a three-mile zigzag queue at Southwark Park.
Can I still join the queue?
On Sunday morning, the government tracker advised people not to queue as the entry point may close soon.
People who have already joined the queue have been given colored wristbands so they can leave for a drink, or go to the bathroom, and then come back.
Those in line are asked not to attempt to reserve a seat for anyone else, leave personal items unattended or pitch tents.
Once people have made their way to the start of the queue, they will cross Albert Embankment and then be directed across Lambeth Bridge into Victoria Tower Gardens towards the Houses of Parliament.
They will need to go through airport-style security before entering Westminster Hall, inside the Palace of Westminster.
Where can I go to the toilet while waiting in line?
There are over 500 portable toilets at various points along the route.
Local venues and museums – including the Southbank Centre, National Theatre, BFI Southbank and Shakespeare’s Globe – will remain open for extended hours and in some cases for 24 hours, so people can use their facilities.
Cafes and other local businesses are also expected to open for extended periods.
When will the queue close?
Anyone hoping to pay their respects has until 06:30 BST on Monday when the lying in state will end.
But organizers have warned the queue will be closed long before then so people don’t join the line and make it to Westminster Hall in time.
An announcement on this is expected on Sunday and will be posted on the government’s social media accounts.
Is there disabled access?
The accessible queue has now reached full capacity and is permanently closed, organizers say.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said on Saturday afternoon that all slots for the accessible queue had been allocated and it was now permanently closed.
He also asked people not to attempt to join him.
The accessible queue had already been interrupted on Friday evening, due to high demand, but entry resumed for several hours from Saturday noon.
For anyone already allocated a timeslot for the Accessible Queue, step-free access is available to Westminster Hall and guide dogs and other assistance dogs are permitted. British Sign Language interpreters are available.
Parliament’s Visiting Assistants guide wheelchair users and all disabled people (and their carers) along a route to access Westminster Hall.
Are additional trains running?
Transport bosses have confirmed additional train services will be running.
Transport for London says London’s Westminster area will be “unusually busy”. People are asked to avoid driving in London if possible. Some roads will be closed, including around Westminster itself, which will disrupt bus services.
Travel providers say the best way to get around central London will be using London Underground and Rail services, although there may be temporary closures of Tube stations at short notice, as well as special arrangements for queuing.
Network Rail said some London stations, including King’s Cross and London Victoria, will remain open for 24 hours to provide shelter for mourners waiting to catch the train home. He adds that many toilets, shops and restaurants at stations will also remain open during this time.
Visitors are invited to plan aheadcheck real-time travel information and consider walking instead when possible.
People are also advised to avoid Green Park tube station unless they need step-free access.
Do I need a ticket?
There are also a number of rules about what you can bring into Westminster Hall and how visitors should behave – there is more information on the Parliament’s website.
Do I need to bring ID?
People won’t need to show government ID to enter the lobby, but airport-style security checks will be in place.
What should I bring?
People are invited to check weather conditions in advanceand dress accordingly.
They are also advised to bring:
- food and drink – although these will need to be consumed or discarded before reaching security checks
- any essential medication or equipment
- a portable cell phone charger.
What can’t I take?
There are detailed advice on what cannot be brought into the roomincluding:
- non-transparent flasks or bottles – only clear water bottles are permitted
- flowers or other items of tribute – flowers can be brought to the dedicated area in Green Park
- all sharp objects, including knives
- coolers, laundry baskets, sleeping bags and other camping gear
- non-folding strollers
- banners, placards, flags, advertising or marketing messages
Any prohibited items will be confiscated and not returned. The police may also carry out security checks along certain parts of the queue.
Each person is only allowed to take one small bag with one opening or zipper
There will be a luggage deposit, but its capacity will be limited and if you want to use it, you may have to spend more time waiting for space to become available.
What are the rules once inside?
People are asked to respect the dignity of the event and to remain silent inside the Palace of Westminster and to dress appropriately. Anyone wearing clothes with “political or offensive slogans” will not be allowed to enter.
Cell phones and other electrical devices should be turned off or put on silent.
Once inside Westminster Hall, the queue will split to pass either side of the Catafalque, which is the raised platform where the closed coffin sits.
Visitors are asked to keep moving forward at all times while queuing, until they have exited into Parliament Square.
Can I take photos?
Not inside. Filming, photography and the use of mobile phones or other devices will not be permitted in the security search area or once inside the Palace of Westminster.
What if I need medical help?
There are eight aid stations run by St John Ambulance along the route. They can be found in Southwark Park, Potters Fields Park, the Tate Modern, the Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Archbishop’s Park, Lambeth Palace and Victoria Tower Gardens.
And more than 1,000 volunteers, stewards and police will be on hand to help anyone in need. Volunteers are Boy Scouts, Samaritans, British Red Cross, First Aid Nursing Yeomanry and The Salvation Army.
Where can I have a drink?
There are water stations along the route, and venues and museums will provide refreshments.
What about national silence?
A minute’s silence will be held across the UK at 8:00 p.m. BST on Sunday, September 18, the day before the Queen’s funeral. A two-minute silence will then be observed at the end of the Queen’s funeral, around 11.55am BST on Monday September 19.
And the floral tributes?
A large number of floral tributes have already been paid by the public in the royal residences of the United Kingdom. The Royal Household has issued guidelines on where they can be left:
- To Buckingham Palacededicated sites have been set up in Green Park and Hyde Park.
- To windsor castlethey can be left at Cambridge Gate on the Long Walk and at the Royal Family Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, flowers can be left at the gates of Norwich.
- To Balmoral Castlewhere the queen died on Thursday, flowers can be left at the main gate. Aberdeenshire Council has asked people to use park and ride services from the nearby villages of Braemar and Ballater as there is no road access at the moment.
- In Edinburghmembers of the public can lay flowers in the Physic Garden, next to the Abbey Strand Gate at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
- To Hillsborough Castle flowers can be placed on the forecourt of the castle, in front of the main doors.
- Royal Parks said non-compostable items, such as teddy bears or plastic packaging, should be avoided where possible.
Where can I sign a condolence book?
Many local authorities have installed condolence books in libraries, town halls and other municipal buildings.
You can use this link to find your local authority, then visit their website to find out what might be available near you.
How to pay tribute online?
There is an online condolence book on the Royal Family website that available by clicking here.