Mourners could have to queue for 30 hours to see Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin in Westminster

On Monday morning, the first person arrived to queue for the former monarch's lying in state – more than 48 hours before the line opens

Published

Mourners could have to queue for 30 hours to see Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin in Westminster, Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan has warned.

The coffin will be placed in Westminster Hall from 5pm on Wednesday until the morning of Monday September 19 - the day of the funeral.

And Ms Donelan has warned that people could be waiting for many hours to pay their respects, according to The Times.

She reportedly told Tory MPs in a Whatsapp group: “Queues could be up to 30 hours as we are obviously expecting and planning for unprecedented demand."

Queen Elizabeth II's coffin
Queen Elizabeth II's coffin
The coffin will be placed in Westminster Hall from 5pm on Wednesday until the morning of Monday September 19
The coffin will be placed in Westminster Hall from 5pm on Wednesday until the morning of Monday September 19

On Monday morning, the first person arrived to queue for Queen Elizabeth II's lying in state – more than 48 hours before the line opens.

Infrastructure is being set up and security staff are preparing for millions of people to wait to pay their respects to the late monarch.

Full details will be released at 10pm on Tuesday.

Vanessa Nathakumaran, 56, from Harrow, appeared at 12pm on Monday to the south of Lambeth bridge, where the entrance to the queue is expected to be set up.

Ms Nathakumaran, who is staying at a hotel in Lambeth so she does not miss the opportunity to pay her respects, said she began “admiring the Royal Family” from the age of 10 and has “a huge respect for them”.

The administrative assistant, who grew up in Sri Lanka before moving to the UK to study in the 1980s, said her great uncle, Sir Vaithilingam Duraiswamy, was knighted by King George VI for services to Sri Lanka, then called Ceylon.

The queue for Queen Elizabeth II's lying in state will stretch from Victoria Tower Gardens across Lambeth Bridge down to Westminster Bridge then will veer right then left down Belvedere Road, through Jubilee Gardens back to South Bank and along to the Tate.

After the Tate, it is unclear where it will flow from there, security staff say.