The week ahead: 24hr access for public to attend Queen’s lying in state | Queen Elizabeth II


Details have been published on how the public can attend the Queen’s lying in state, warning people that they can expect long queues and should be prepared to stand for many hours through the night.

Those wishing to pay their respects to the late monarch’s coffin in London’s Westminster Hall will be able to file solemnly past 24 hours a day from 5pm on Wednesday 14 September until 6.30am on the day of the funeral, Monday 19 September.

But the government has stressed that the queue will continuously move – with little chance to rest or sit down – and the long line of those waiting is expected to stretch through central London.

The plans for the lying in state form a major part of the official mourning. Here is what to expect over the coming days:

D+3 (Monday 12 September)

The King and the Queen Consort will appear at Westminster Hall where members of the Commons and Lords will meet to express their condolences.

The royal couple will then fly to Edinburgh, where they will visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the King will inspect the guard of honour. A Ceremony of the Keys on the forecourt of the palace will follow.

The Queen’s coffin will be taken from the Palace of Holyroodhouse at 2.35pm in procession to St Giles’ Cathedral, where it will be carried inside at 2.55pm.

The King and the Queen Consort, with members of the royal family, will follow the procession on foot before attending a service of reflection for the life of the Queen in the cathedral at 3pm. The prime minister will also attend the service.

Afterwards the King will return to Holyrood to hold an audience with the first minister of Scotland, followed by an audience with the presiding officer of the Scottish parliament.

At 5.40pm the King and the Queen Consort will attend the Scottish parliament to receive a motion of condolence.

Joined by other members of the royal family, they will mount a vigil at 7.20pm at St Giles’ Cathedral and stay in Edinburgh overnight.

The Queen’s coffin will lie at rest in the cathedral, guarded by vigil from the Royal Company of Archers, to allow people to pay their respects.

D+4 (Tuesday 13 September)

The King and the Queen Consort will fly to Belfast and travel to Hillsborough Castle to view an exhibition on the late Queen’s association with Northern Ireland.

The King will meet the secretary of state for Northern Ireland and party leaders. At 1.20pm he will receive a message of condolence led by the speaker of the Northern Ireland assembly.

After a short reception at Hillsborough, the royal couple will travel to St Anne’s Cathedral for a service of reflection, where they will be joined by the prime minister.

Before the service, the King will meet leaders from all the major faiths in Northern Ireland. The King and the Queen Consort will then leave Belfast for London.

At 5pm, the Queen’s coffin will travel by road from St Giles’ Cathedral in Scotland to Edinburgh airport, where it will be flown to London, departing at 6pm. The Princess Royal will accompany the coffin.

After arriving at RAF Northolt at 6.55pm, the coffin will be driven to Buckingham Palace. Its arrival at 8pm will be witnessed by the King and the Queen Consort, with other members of the royal family.

D+5 (Wednesday 14 September)

Wednesday will see the first big ceremonial in London as the Queen’s coffin is borne on a gun carriage from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall for her lying in state.

The King will lead a procession behind the late Queen’s coffin. The coffin will leave Buckingham Palace at 2.22pm and arrive at Westminster Hall at 3pm. The procession will travel via Queen’s Gardens, the Mall, Horse Guards and Horse Guards Arch, Whitehall, Parliament Street, Parliament Square and New Palace Yard.

After a short service, the Queen’s lying in state will begin, lasting for four days and ending on the morning of the state funeral. The King and the Queen Consort will return to Buckingham Palace.

The lying in state begins, with hundreds of thousands of people expected to file past the coffin to pay their respects over the next four days. At some stage, senior members of the royal family are expected to stand guard around the coffin, in the tradition known as the Vigil of the Princes.

Members of the public will be able to file past the coffin 24 hours a day during the lying in state from 5pm on Wednesday until 6.30am on the day of the Queen’s state funeral, Monday 19 September.

At the lying in state, the Queen’s closed coffin will rest on a raised platform, called a catafalque, in Westminster Hall and will be draped in the Royal Standard with the orb and sceptre placed on top. Each corner of the platform will be guarded around the clock by a vigil of units from the Sovereign’s Bodyguard, the Household Division, or Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London.

Those wishing to attend will be required to queue for many hours, possibly overnight, as large crowds are expected. There will be airport-style security and tight restrictions on what can be taken in, with only small bags permitted. Details of what is and is not permitted can be found on the DCMS website.

Map of key funeral locations in London

D+6 (Thursday 15 September)

The Queen’s lying in state continues.

D+7 and D+8 (Friday 16 and Saturday 17 September)

On Friday 16 September the King and the Queen Consort will visit Wales. The Queen’s lying in state continues, and is expected to end on the morning of her funeral.

D+9 (Sunday 18 September)

Heads of state and members of foreign royal families are expected to start arriving in London for the state funeral.

D+10 (Monday 19 September)

The Queen’s state funeral will take place at 11am at Westminster Abbey. The lying in state ends at 6.30am.

At 10.44am the Queen’s coffin will be taken in procession from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey in central London. Members of her family will process on foot behind. The service will be televised, and a national two-minute silence held.

After the funeral, the Queen’s coffin will travel in procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch. From there, it will travel to Windsor Castle. Once there, the state hearse will travel in procession to St George’s chapel, Windsor Castle, via the Long Walk. A committal service will then take place in St George’s chapel.



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