6-hour stop on joining line to Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin
People are being told not to join the line to view Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin after a surge in numbers.
British officials said Friday morning that the organized line was at capacity and no one will be allowed to join it for at least six hours.
The line stretched for 5 miles (8 kilometers) from Parliament to Southwark Park in south London.
People at the back of the line faced a 14-hour wait to reach the front.
The government says the park is now full and entry to the queue is being “paused.”
It said: “Please do not attempt to join the queue until it re-opens.”
The pause comes with more than 500 portable toilets available and some 1,000 stewards and marshals working at any given time.
Preparations are continuing for the queen’s state funeral in the British capital on Monday, when royalty and heads of state from around the world are expected to be among the 2,000 people attending the service in Westminster Abbey.
King Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort, were due to visit Wales on Friday.
They were due in Cardiff for a service at Llandaff cathedral, later going to the Welsh parliament and Cardiff castle.
They previously visited to Scotland and Northern Ireland, the other nations making up the United Kingdom.
HOW LONG WILL THE QUEEN LIE IN STATE?
People who want to view the queen’s coffin can do so 24 hours a day from 5 p.m. local time (1600GMT) Wednesday until 6:30 a.m. on Monday, the day of the state funeral.
WHAT WILL PEOPLE SEE?
The closed coffin is draped with the Royal Standard, a flag representing the sovereign and the U.K. It is adorned with royal regalia including the orb, the sceptre and the bejewelled Imperial State Crown – the same one the queen wore for her 1953 coronation.
The coffin is placed on a catafalque, or a raised platform, in the center of Westminster Hall. Royal guards in plumed hats and ceremonial uniform will stand 24 hours a day at each corner of the platform.
When the coffin was in Scotland earlier this week, it was topped with the Crown of Scotland and a wreath of white flowers.
The queen’s coffin is constructed out of English oak, lined with lead and was made decades ago, experts say.
Sarah Hayes, manager for the Coffin Works museum in Birmingham, England, says former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the queen’s husband Prince Philip and Princess Diana had such coffins made for them, she said.
“It’s to preserve the body for as long as possible, it’s really about slowing down the process of decomposition,” she said. This is especially important for the queen because her coffin will be eventually placed in a church, not buried in the ground, she added.
The coffin is made of oak from the royal family’s Sandringham Estate according to royal tradition, Hayes said.