CNA – The queue to see Queen Elizabeth II lying in state in London was temporarily closed yesterday after reaching capacity, the government said, as officials warned of waiting times of at least 14 hours.
Elizabeth died in Scotland aged 96 last week, prompting an outpouring of emotion that drew tens of thousands out to see her coffin on its journey to London, and that has now compelled many more to join long lines pay their respects during a four and a half day lying-in-state ceremony.
“Entry (to the queue) will be paused for at least six hours,” Britain’s Culture Department said on Twitter.
“Please do not attempt to join the queue until it re-opens.”
The constantly moving queue is snaking its way from Southwark Park in central southeast London to Westminster Hall, where some 750,000 people in total are expected to file past the Queen’s coffin before Monday morning.
“I’ve no sensation in my knees at all or my legs,” said Hyacinth Appah, a mourner from London who was in the queue.
“But it’s been fine. Most of the people have been lovely and we’ve had quite a nice time,” Appah added.
The queue was around eight kilometres long as of 9am GMT (5pm, Brunei time), the Culture Department’s live queue tracker showed.
Another mourner from London, Naomi Brown, said she waited for nearly 11 hours after joining the queue on Thursday night after work.
“I just thought, I’m never going to do it again. I have so much respect for the queen, not once did she ever falter,” 29-year-old Brown said, as she was nearing the front of the queue.
“She has been such a good symbol for our country… it feels like we have lost a family member.”
Later yesterday, King Charles, his sister Princess Anne, and brothers Princes Andrew and Edward kept a silent vigil at the queen’s coffin for 15 minutes.