Hundreds and thousands of people are expected to queue for hours to visit the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II as she lies in state at Westminster Hall in London this week. The public will be able to visit and pay their respects from the evening of Wednesday, September 14 to Monday, September 19, the day of the official state funeral.
The Queen made her final journey from Buckingham Palace as King Charles III led the royal family in procession to Westminster Hall behind a horse-drawn gun carriage bearing the coffin. The new king, his siblings, and sons Princes William and Harry, walked at 75 steps a minute behind the gun carriage as the Big Ben bell tolled from the Elizabeth Tower at the Houses of Parliament, and guns fired regular salutes from Hyde Park, reports Agence France-Presse.
During the Lying-in-State period, the coffin rests on a raised platform in the middle of Westminster Hall. Members of the public are free to file past the platform and pay their respects. However, the United Kingdom government has issued a set of rules for the people who wish to pay last respects to Queen Elizabeth II.
No Selfies, Food, Placards: Rules Issued For Visiting Queen Elizabeth II Coffin
UK Government guidance says the queue is expected to be very long, with people standing for “many hours, possibly overnight” and with very little opportunity to sit down.
Visitors will have to pass through airport-style security and can only bring one small bag with one zipper opening. Larger bags can be stowed at a special facility — but only if there is space available.
No one will be allowed to take a selfie with her coffin and people must be prepared for a long wait. The ministry advises people to bring essentials for the long wait — an umbrella or sunscreen, a cell phone power bank and any needed medication.
No food or liquids will be allowed past security screening at the Houses of Parliament. Nor will flowers or other tributes such as candles, toys or photographs.
“Please respect the dignity of this event and behave appropriately. You should remain silent while inside the Palace of Westminster,” the advice says, adding that people must dress appropriately and turn off their mobile phones before going through security.
In a long list of prohibited items include fireworks, smoke canisters, flares, whistles, laser devices and other items that could be used to cause a disturbance as well as any banners, placards, flags, advertising or marketing messages.