People who want to pay tribute to Elizabeth II at her coffin at the Palace of Westminster must prepare for up to 30 hours of waiting, the British government announced on Monday. For safety reasons, it is forbidden to bring any camping equipment, including high chairs, as well as flowers, candles or stuffed animals. The media estimate that about 750,000 people will want to come to the palace.
Coffin with the body of Queen Elizabeth II will be on public display at the Palace of Westminster in London from 17 (18:00 Polish time) on Wednesday until 6:30 (7:30 a.m. Polish time) on the day of the funeral, which is September 19. Local media reports that the first people began to line up in front of the palace on Monday: Vanessa Nathakumaran, 56, from Harrow, northwest London, was the first to line up shortly after 2 p.m. 12 noon. She had explained to the BBC that she had happened to be in what it turned out would be the start of the line.
30 hours of waiting
In an official statement released on Monday, the British government warns that “the lines will be very long” and that visitors “will have to stand for hours, probably also at night, and the likelihood that they will be able to sit down is low as the queue will still run short. move”.
As estimated by the Times of London, approximately 750,000 people will want to pay tribute to the Queen at the Palace of Westminster. This would mean a queue of five miles, or about eight kilometers. The British minister of culture, media and sport, Michelle Donelan, quoted by The Times, estimated that the waiting time could be up to 30 hours.
As stated in the governmental announcement, the waiting people will not be able to make their waiting easier by taking chairs or camping equipment such as sleeping bags or blankets. It is also not allowed to put up tents or make fires – all for safety reasons.
It is also forbidden to bring flowers and other “homage items” such as candles, toys, teddy bears or photos. Visitors will be picked up any sharp items, self-defense items, pyrotechnics, sprays and even padlocks.
Only one small zip-up bag will be allowed into the Palace of Westminster, similar to security checks at the airports. Before entering the building, you should get rid of food and drink. Inside, it will be forbidden to take photos, record videos and use cell phones.
In addition, the governmental communiqué stressed that waiting persons should dress appropriately for both the weather conditions and the occasion. It is forbidden, inter alia, putting on clothes with “political or aggressive slogans”. It was also forbidden to sit in the queue for other people – you will be able to get to the palace only if you have a special armband given to those waiting at the beginning of the queue.
Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin
For now, funeral ceremonies are taking place in other parts of the UK. King Charles III takes part in them. After Monday’s visit to Edinburgh, on Tuesday the new monarch traveled to Belfast in Ireland North where he will meet the leaders of the political parties there.
In the evening, the coffin with the body of Elizabeth II will be transported with Scotland to London, where King Charles III and his Queen consort and other members will await her royal family. The coffin will remain at Buckingham Palace until Wednesday.
Times of London, Insider, Guardian
Main photo source: Reuters