The mourners had to wait 17 hours in line to enter the Queen’s reclining state

Those hoping to see Queen Elizabeth II lying down in London faced a 17-hour queue on Saturday night, when King Charles III and Prince William made a surprise appearance in front of thousands of people lining up. shops on the streets of central London.

The public has been allowed to visit the late monarch’s coffin at Westminster Hall since Wednesday. Thousands of people have flocked to the British capital from across the country and around the world, with many standing through the night for a final farewell.

The queue’s designated route curves along the Thames, starting at Southwark Park in the east and passing landmarks like Tower Bridge and London Bridge before reaching Westminster Hall. It was surrounded by hundreds of administrators, including members of the Metropolitan Police and volunteers from St John Ambulance and the Salvation Army.

The King and Prince of Wales joined the wise on Albert Embankment on Saturday afternoon, shaking hands with members of the public and thanking them for their time.

In recent hours, the queue pressure has eased. On Friday morning, the government announced that capacity had reached and that queuing would be halted for six hours, resulting in members of the public being turned away.

Downing Street said the halt to allowing people to join the queue was part of a contingency plan for the operation.

A No10 spokesperson said: “What DCMS did was they paused the queue for at least six hours after it reached full capacity. “It’s always been part of our plan and it’s been to make sure as many people in the queue as possible can get into the Palace of Westminster.”

Designated queue route for Queen Elizabeth

By Friday night, DCMS speak Queuing has been reopened, but has warned of long waits. “The expected queue time is more than 24 hours and overnight temperatures will be cold,” it said. But since Saturday afternoon, the estimated queue time has dropped 14 hours.

The public will be allowed to visit the hall until 6:30 a.m. on September 19, followed by a funeral at 11 a.m.

In recent days, King Charles and other members of the royal family have begun ceremonial visits and meetings around the country as the period of national mourning continues.

The King and his siblings joined a vigil around the Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall on Friday night. They stood with their heads bowed while the public passed them.

On Saturday, the King conducted audiences with officials including governors of the kingdoms and military leaders such as the chief of the general staff of defense, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin. Later in the day, he is expected to receive the prime ministers of the kingdoms, including Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, at Buckingham Palace.

Downing Street said on Saturday that Prime Minister Liz Truss and US President Joe Biden will hold a bilateral meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, instead of an informal meeting in Downing Street on Sunday.

Truss is expected to hold informal meetings with a number of leaders on Sunday who are in the UK to pay their respects at state funerals, including Taoiseach Micheal Martin of Ireland and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The prime minister also held a phone call with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, the president of the UAE, on Saturday in which the leader expressed condolences. Truss is expected to speak with Mohammed bin Salman, crown prince of Saudi Arabia, on Saturday night.

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