Did Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby skip Queen’s lying in state queue? Presenters visit explained

The two This Morning presenters have faced a backlash online after it appeared that they bypassed the massive queues to see the Queen’s lying in state

This Morning presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby have faced a backlash online for apparently skipping the queue to see the Queen lying in state in Westminster Hall.

The duo were spotted observing the Queen’s coffin on Friday (16 September) after seemingly bypassing the hours-long queue.

Viewers were so outraged that a petition has been launched to have This Morning “axed for good”, with the woman who started the petition describing the pair as “toxic presenters”.

Did Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby skip queue to see Queen?

In response to the outrage online, This Morning has come out in defence of the two presenters to state that they did not jump the queue.

In a statement shared on its Instagram story, bosses said: “Hello everyone, we would like to clarify something.

“We asked Phillip and Holly to be part of a film for this Tuesday’s programme.

“They did not jump the queue, have VIP access or file past the Queen lying in state - but instead were there in a professional capacity as part of the world’s media to report on the event.”

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield enter Westminster Abbey

An ITV spokesperson also added that Schofield and Willoughby “were escorted to work from the press gallery”.

They said: “They did not file past the Queen’s coffin. They were there alongside a host of other broadcasters and national press outlets for an item that will be broadcast on Tuesday’s show.

“Any allegations of improper behaviour are categorically untrue.”

According to a parliamentary source speaking to the BBC, Schofield and Willoughby had been granted media accreditation to cover the Queen’s lying in state as journalists.

Members of the public queue to see Queen Elizabeth II lying in state in Westminster Hall on September 18, 2022 in London, United Kingdom (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The presenters could be seen wearing lilac and grey lanyards with press passes attached.

A UK Parliament spokesperson confirmed that the pair had been given media accreditation “for the purpose of reporting on the event for the millions of people in the UK and globally who haven’t been able to visit Westminster in person”.

Accredited journalists and photographers were taken to the reporting position on a raised platform on a scaffold at the back of the hall.

How long was the queue?

Massive queues formed in London as thousands gathered to see the Queen’s lying in state, with the queue closed to new entrants just after 11:40pm on Sunday (18 September) evening.

At 4.50am on the day of her funeral the final members of the public pay their respects at the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, Lying in State inside Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster on September 19, 2022 in London, England (Photo by Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The lying in state ended at 6:30am this morning, Monday 19 September, ahead of the Queen’s funeral.

At its longest, the wait time reached more than 24 hours with a maximum length of 10 miles.

Which celebrities queued for the Queen’s lying in state?

A number of stars were spotted standing in the queue in order to pay their respects to the Queen over the course of the monarch’s lying in state, including.

Former professional footballer David Beckham queued for 13 hours to see the Queen’s coffin.

At the time, Beckham told the BBC: “We all want to be here together, we all want to experience something where we celebrate the life of our Queen.”

English former football player David Beckham leaves Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, in London on September 16, 2022 after paying his respects to the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II (Photo by LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Sharon Osbourne, former X Factor judge, also joined the queue, stating: “I love the Queen, and I came over for this because I am a royalist and I love the royal family.”

Good Morning Britain presenter Susanna Reid shared her seven hour long wait on social media.

She tweeted: “Evening - along with my lovely mum and her very good friend, I have just experienced a moment in history - witnessing the Queen lying in state in Westminster Hall. At once majestic and peaceful.”

Line of Duty star Daniel Mays also shared on Twitter that he had spent 11 hours in the queue to see the Queen.

He wrote: “11 hours queuing to pay our respects to the Queen for her exceptional 70 years of service yesterday.

“The warmth, affection, conversations shared, glorious views and sense of community were magical to be part of. Made me proud to be British and proud to be a Londoner.”

Other famous faces also included Hollywood star Tilda Swinton (Doctor Strange, We Need to Talk About Kevin), singer James Blunt, Strictly Come Dancing professional Neil Jones.