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Queue to see the Queen hits NINE HOURS – and passes Tower Bridge

Determined to see the Queen: Mourners waiting in NINE HOUR queue try to smuggle in DOGS, take a tumble down steps and even bring their babies into Westminster Hall as thousands continue to join four-mile line snaking past Tower Bridge

  • Queues to see late monarch as she lies in state at Westminster Hall have doubled in length throughout today
  • The line was at Southwark Bridge overnight, but has now stretched to Tower bridge – at least four miles away
  • It is estimated the number of people set to see the Queen lying in state could hit more than 350,000 in total
  • Well-wishers are being warned that they must join the queue by 12.30an on Sunday in order to see the coffin
  • The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage

Mourners hoping to pay their respects to the Queen have today been warned they face a nine hour wait – amid claims that people have been fainting in the queue while dogs owners have been caught trying to smuggle their pets into Westminster Hall.

Queues to see the late monarch as she lies in state have today doubled in length and are now snaking for four miles past Tower Bridge, after dropping to two miles overnight. 

Many more are expected to join the queue over the weekend – in a sign of the huge demand from people to say their final goodbye to the popular monarch.

It is estimated the number of people set to make the trip could hit more than 350,000, with people from all over the world expected to visit London to pay their respects.

But well-wishers are now being warned that they must join the queue by 12.30am on Sunday in order to see the coffin, sources have today claimed. The Queen will lay in state until 6.30am on Monday, the day of the state funeral.

It comes as parliamentary sources revealed they had stopped six well-wishers who attempted to smuggle their pets into Westminster Hall. 

The pet owners had apparently tried to hide their dogs under their coats as they entered the mourning area, it was today claimed. Others have been seen bringing their babies to see the Queen lying in state.

Meanwhile, pictures show paramedics appearing to treat exhausted well-wishers, some who have queued throughout today, to see the Queen lying in state.

It comes after a soldier guarding the coffin fainted during his stint. Today one mourner was seen falling as he walked down the stairs of historic Westminster Hall towards the Queen’s coffin.

Ahead of what is expected to be a peak point this weekend, more than 1.7million people have gone online to view the Government’s live queue tracker on YouTube which shows the end of the line as people wait patiently to enter Westminster Hall to see the Queen’s coffin.

Mourners hoping to pay their respects to the Queen have today been warned they face a nine hour wait – with queues now snaking back past Tower Bridge – amid claims that people have been fainting (pictured: Paramedics treat one person in the queue to see the Queen’s coffin) in the queue while dogs owners have tried to smuggle in their pets

It comes as parliamentary sources revealed they had stopped six well-wishers who attempted to smuggle their pets into Westminster Hall. The pet owners had apparently tried to hide their dogs under their coats as they entered the mourning area, it was today claimed. Others have been seen bringing their babies (pictured: One well-wisher is seen carrying a baby in Westminster Hall) to see the Queen lying in state 

It comes after a soldier guarding the coffin fainted during his stint. Today one mourner was seen falling as he walked down the stairs of historic Westminster Hall towards the Queen’s coffin

Mourners hoping to pay their respects to the Queen have been warned they face a nine hour wait – with queues now snaking back past Tower Bridge (pictured: Queues to see the Queen lying in state are currently back at Tower Bridge)

Parliamentary sources say people have attempted to bring dogs into Westminster Hall, while some have been seen in the queue carrying babies. Pictured: People queue on the South Bank to pay respect to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II

Queues to see the late monarch as she lies in state at Westminster Hall have doubled in length today, after falling to a four hour wait overnight. Pictured: Members of the public stand in the queue for the Lying-in State of Queen Elizabeth II on September 19

Many more are expected to join the queue over the weekend – in a sign of the huge demand from people, some who have travelled from across the world, to say their final goodbye to the popular monarch. Pictured: A sign near Westminster pointing well-wishers in the direction of the Queen lying in state

The live stream is being viewed by more than 12,000 people at any one time

https://youtube.com/watch?v=cJxDwDzAwEs%3Frel%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26hl%3Den-US

It comes as sources today told MailOnline how mourners could be prevented from seeing the Queen lying in state if they arrive at the end of the queue in Southwark Park later than 12.30am on Sunday. Pictured: Members of the public queue by the National Theatre on the South Bank in London, as they wait to view Queen Elizabeth II lying in state ahead of her funeral on Monday

Pictured: People walk in a queue to pay their respect to the late Queen Elizabeth II during the lying-in-state, in Westminster Hall in London, Thursday

It comes as sources today told MailOnline how mourners could be prevented from seeing the Queen lying in state if they arrive at the end of the queue in Southwark Park later than 12.30am on Sunday. Pictured: Nuns drink a hot drink while they queue to pay her respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II, in London

Organisers have designated the bottom of the 63-acre park as the end of the line to see Elizabeth II’s coffin in Westminster Hall, more than five miles away. Pictured: People queue next to the Tate Modern while making their way to Westminster Palace

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) launched a live stream yesterday afternoon as the first mourners were allowed to enter at 5pm. The video features a live map with the queue route marked in purple, alongside information on the length of the queue in miles and the nearest London landmark to the back.

Hundreds of thousands are expected to join the queue over the next three days to bid the Queen a final farewell as they file past her coffin. Mourners have already been pictured in tears as they pay their respects, as well as making the sign of the cross and standing in prayer.

As of 1pm more than 1.72 million people had viewed the DCMS’s original live stream video – but this is thought to be much lower than the true number of those tracking the queue, as the department changed its stream onto a different page at around 9am this morning. Since this occurred more than 12,000 people have been watching the new stream at any one time.

Mourners could be prevented from seeing the Queen lying in state if they arrive too late, officials warn

Mourners will be prevented from seeing the Queen lying in state if they arrive at the end of the queue in Southwark Park later than 12.30am on Sunday.

Organisers have designated the bottom of the 63-acre park as the end of the line to see Elizabeth II’s coffin in Westminster Hall, more than five miles away.

The estimated waiting time for those joining in the park, where snaking airport-style queues have been set up, is 30 hours.

That means that people have until 12.30am on Sunday with which to join the line before the time The Queen lays in state officially ends at 6.30am on Monday, the day of the state funeral.

And today – the first full day of the Queen’s coffin being on public view – the queue had already reached Bermondsey Wall, half a mile from the park, by 3pm today.

A source said: ‘Southwark Park has been designated as the end of the queue. There have been barriers set up to facilitate a zig-zag queuing system.

‘Anyone at the end of that queue in the park can expect to wait for up to 30-hours to see The Queen in state.

‘We have to have a cut-off point, a time when we’ll have to unfortunately start turning people away.

‘That time will depend on the volume of the crowd and the flow rate on the route. At the moment around 2,000 people are being let into Westminster Hall an hour.

‘Currently that time will be either very late on Saturday night or extremely early on Sunday morning. But the Metropolitan Police will have the final say.

‘We’ve obviously been preparing for this and anticipated that the crowd would come this far…just not this soon.’

 

It comes as sources today told MailOnline how mourners could be prevented from seeing the Queen lying in state if they arrive at the end of the queue in Southwark Park later than 12.30am on Sunday.

Organisers have designated the bottom of the 63-acre park as the end of the line to see Elizabeth II’s coffin in Westminster Hall, more than five miles away.

The estimated waiting time for those joining in the park, where snaking airport-style queues have been set up, is 30 hours.

That means that people have until 12.30am on Sunday with which to join the line before the time The Queen lays in state officially ends at 6.30am on Monday, the day of the state funeral.

And today – the first full day of the Queen’s coffin being on public view – the queue had already reached Bermondsey Wall, half a mile from the park, by 3pm today.

A source said: ‘Southwark Park has been designated as the end of the queue. There have been barriers set up to facilitate a zig-zag queuing system.

‘Anyone at the end of that queue in the park can expect to wait for up to 30-hours to see The Queen in state.

‘We have to have a cut-off point, a time when we’ll have to unfortunately start turning people away.

‘That time will depend on the volume of the crowd and the flow rate on the route. At the moment around 2,000 people are being let into Westminster Hall an hour.

‘Currently that time will be either very late on Saturday night or extremely early on Sunday morning. But the Metropolitan Police will have the final say.

‘We’ve obviously been preparing for this and anticipated that the crowd would come this far…just not this soon.’

Thousands have already managed to see Her Majesty’s coffin, draped in the royal standard, as members of the royal guard stand in vigil around it.

The largely black-clad crowd were solemn and pensive as they flowed into the ancient hall where chandeliers and spotlights illuminated the scene beneath the medieval timber roof.

As hundreds of ordinary people of all ages filed past the coffin of the long-reigning monarch, many wiped their eyes with tissues.

Some bowed, some curtsied and some simply took a moment to look at the extraordinary scene.

Former prime minister Theresa May and her husband Philip were among those paying their respects to the Queen at Westminster Hall on Thursday morning.

The first member of the public to pay a personal tribute to the Queen told of how she fought back tears after experiencing ‘the most memorable and unique moment of my life’.

Vanessa Nathakumaran, 56, an admin assistant from Harrow, north west London, said she had to battle to control her emotions as the Queen’s coffin came into view.

She told MailOnline: ‘I was trying not to cry. I wanted to pay my respects in a dignified way but it was so hard. There were such mixed emotions. It was a privilege to be here but it was so sad and solemn. It was a moment that will live with me forever.

‘It was the most memorable and unique moment of my life. It was so quiet and peaceful and seeing her coffin it really came home to me that she is really gone. I curtsied when I went past and my eye was drawn to the crown on top of the coffin. I feel down wined and shattered.’

Those who braved the chilly evening told this morning how they had been waiting for up to nine hours to catch a glimpse of history.

Thousands queue in Victoria Tower Gardens as they wait to view Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin

A man came dressed in traditional Scottish style, complete with a kilt and long socks

The procession which took Queen Elizabeth’s coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall arrived at 3pm yesterday

Mourners early this morning had been waiting in line for around nine hours to see the Queen

 

The line to say farewell to the Queen snakes through Bermondsey in south London

With his medals proudly decorating his jacket, Stephen Swallow, 64, who served with the Worcestershire and Sherwood Forresters regiment, joined the queue at 10pm last night.

He only reached Westminster Hall to see The Queen lay in state at 7am, having travelled from his home in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire yesterday.

He said: ‘It was exhausting and I felt my legs about to buckle at one point but I felt it was my duty to come here.

‘I bought a small chair when my legs got really heavy and I just about managed to get through it by talking to others about The Queen and the Royals.

‘As soon as I got out of Southwark tube station last night I joined the queue and stayed with the same group of people all night.

‘When I eventually reached the hall, it was very quick and very sombre. I didn’t just come for myself but for my two sons who were also in the military and couldn’t make it.

‘I bowed my head when I got to the coffin, said thank you for all The Queen’s years of service and now I’m heading home. It’s been a long, tiring night and I’m exhausted.’

Queen’s lying in state: What you need to know 

The Queen is lying in state in London ahead of her funeral. Here is some of the information mourners need to know.

– What exactly is meant by the term ‘lying in state’?

Lying in state is usually reserved for sovereigns, current or past queen consorts, and sometimes former prime ministers.

During the formal occasion, the closed coffin is placed on view, as thousands of people queue to file past and pay their respects.

The coffin will be adorned with the Imperial State Crown, the Orb and the Sceptre.

– When and where will the Queen lie in state?

The late monarch’s lying in state in Westminster Hall opened to the public at 5pm yesterday and it will be open 24 hours a day until it closes at 6.30am on Monday, September 19 – the day of the Queen’s funeral.

– Where is Westminster Hall?

Westminster Hall, which dates back to 1099, is in the Palace of Westminster and is the oldest building on the parliamentary estate.

It forms part of the Westminster Unesco World Heritage Site and the UK Parliament website refers to its ‘great size’, the ‘magnificence’ of its roof, and its central role in British history.

The building has been the site of key events, such as the trial of Charles I, coronation banquets, and addresses by world leaders.

– Is there a big queue?

Yes. Government guidance says there will be a queue which is expected to be very long, predicted to be in the tens of thousands. 

As it stands the queue is about nine hours long.

People will need to stand for ‘many hours, possibly overnight’, with very little opportunity to sit down as the queue will be continuously moving.

People are not allowed to camp and a wristband system is being used to manage the queue, with those waiting in line given a coloured and numbered one, specific to each person, allowing them to leave for a short period.

‘Your wristband also allows you to leave the queue for a short period to use a toilet or get refreshments, then return to your place in the queue,’ according to the official guidance.

– What will the queue route be?

Members of the public can join the line on the Albert Embankment, which runs behind the London Eye onto the Southbank before following the river past landmarks such as the National Theatre, the Tate Modern and HMS Belfast, reaching ‘maximum capacity’ at Southwark Park.

– Will there be assistance for people who cannot queue for long periods of time?

The main queue has step-free access with a separate accessible route also planned to run from Tate Britain where timed entry slots will be issued for a queue going along Millbank to the Palace of Westminster.

Guide dogs will be allowed inside Westminster Hall, with sign language interpreters also on hand.

Venues including the Southbank Centre, the National Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe will open for longer hours to accommodate those queuing. The British Film Institute on the Southbank will do the same while providing an outdoor screen with archive footage of the Queen.

 

 

 

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