Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to flock to London this week to pay their final respects to the late Queen who died on Thursday, September 8 aged 96. And now more details have emerged regarding the logistics of what will happen and when. Her Majesty’s coffin will fly by RAF plane tomorrow from Edinburgh in Scotland to Buckingham Palace, before it is transferred to Westminster Hall. It is here where the coffin will lie in state – where scores of people will pass through before the funeral, next Monday.
According to new details issued by the government, a ceremonial procession will precede the lying in state will convey the Queen’s coffin to Westminster Hall, with the first people paying their respects from Wednesday evening.
The public will be able to see the procession in person at the ceremonial viewing areas along the processional route or at a screening in Hyde Park.
The 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 Divsion or Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London.
The announcment says people will be able to file past the coffin 24 hours a day from 5pm on Wednesday, September 14 until 6.30am on the day of the funeral – Monday, September 19.
But it also warns of extremely long queues – with the possibility of waiting overnight. Those wishing to make this trip to say their final goodbyes to the Queen have been told to check ahead and be prepared for prolonged wait times.
Some reports are suggesting queues will be 12 hours long, with an airport like security will be in place, and “llittle opportunity for sitting.”
There will be tight restrictions on what can be taken in, with only small bags permitted and disabled visitors will have step free access.
Those unable to travel can see it broadcast on BBC, ITV and Sky News.
READ MORE: Thousands expected to queue overnight to pay respects to Queen
The ceremonial procession, taking the coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall will travel via Queen’s Gardens, The Mall, Horse Guards and Horse Guards Arch, Whitehall, Parliament Street, Parliament Square and New Palace Yard.
The viewing areas and screening site at Hyde Park will open at 11am on Wednesday and people will be admitted in order of arrival time.
A statement from the government reads: “Please note that the queue is expected to be very long. You will need to stand for many hours, possibly overnight, with very little opportunity to sit down, as the queue will keep moving.
“Please consider this before you decide to attend or bring children with you. The queue may close early to ensure as many visitors as possible can enter the Palace before the Lying-in-State period comes to an end.”
Security who deem an individual’s bag to be too big, will ask it is kept at a specific bag drop area – although it is prewarned that this section has limited space.
It must also have one quick opening for ease – and so that it can be checked quickly to keep the queues moving.
The government statement adds: “There are limited places to buy refreshments along the route. Any food items and liquids must be consumed or disposed of before you enter the security search point outside the Palace of Westminster.
“Clear water bottles are permitted, but must be emptied of their contents before you enter the security search point.”