London hotel prices soar by 300% ahead of the Queen’s funeral

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King Charles III, the Princess Royal and Princes William and Harry will be among the attendants at Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral on 19 September

As the Queen’s state funeral in Westminster Abbey draws closer, the demand for London hotels skyrockets.

People are travelling from across the world and all over the UK to get a glimpse of the Queen’s coffin which will lie in state for four days in Westminster Hall and say their goodbyes.

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It is estimated that one million people will travel to the capital city from Wednesday 14 September to pay their respects.

London hotel prices skyrocket ahead of Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral (Pic:Getty)London hotel prices skyrocket ahead of Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral (Pic:Getty)
London hotel prices skyrocket ahead of Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral (Pic:Getty) | AFP via Getty Images

As a result, the price of some accommodation has risen by 300% compared to this time last year with many hoteliers selling out of their rooms and reaching 90% occupancy levels.

The lack of space can also be attributed to police and foreign media filling up the London hotels as part of “Operation: London Bridge” and press coverage of the last days of mourning respectively.

The chief executive of the industry body UKHospitality, Kate Nicholls, said the block bookings for security personnel were needed but were crucial to the problem.

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It is being billed as the largest security operation the country has ever seen (Pic: Getty)It is being billed as the largest security operation the country has ever seen (Pic: Getty)
It is being billed as the largest security operation the country has ever seen (Pic: Getty) | Getty Images

She said: “ We’re hearing from hotel operators in London that they’ve experienced a surge in bookings since last Thursday’s announcement of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and are aware that those close to the capital are also busier than usual.

“Demand is certain to remain high right up until next Monday’s state funeral, and it’s important to note that the need to billet extra police and other personnel before, during and immediately after the event will have contributed to that, through block bookings for accommodation.”

It is being billed as one of the largest security operations the country has ever seen with snipers on rooftops, 1,500 soldiers and 10,000 police deployed throughout London on Monday.

Thousands of mourners gathered at Buckingham Palace. (Credit: Getty Images)Thousands of mourners gathered at Buckingham Palace. (Credit: Getty Images)
Thousands of mourners gathered at Buckingham Palace. (Credit: Getty Images) | Getty Images

According to travel website Trivago, searches for hotel vacancies had doubled since 2019 and the average price for a room is 39.5% higher than it was last year - despite still suffering from the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Another travel expert says that the interest in London hotels is the highest it has been since the 2012 Olympic Games which were held in the capital.

While Lastminute.com said bookings made for the 18-19 September, the weekend and day of Her Majesty’s funeral were up 85%.

An early morning rehearsal for the procession of Queen Elizabeth's coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westmister Hall, London, where it will lie in state until her funeral on Monday. Picture date: Tuesday September 13, 2022.An early morning rehearsal for the procession of Queen Elizabeth's coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westmister Hall, London, where it will lie in state until her funeral on Monday. Picture date: Tuesday September 13, 2022.
An early morning rehearsal for the procession of Queen Elizabeth's coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westmister Hall, London, where it will lie in state until her funeral on Monday. Picture date: Tuesday September 13, 2022.

General manager of the South Kensington boutique hotel The Adria, Gary Redmond said demand was reaching 70%: “Embassies and media organisations have been in touch, however we were unable to accept the booking due to the volume of rooms that were being requested.

“Several guests due to check out prior to the weekend have extended to witness the weekend and bank holiday funeral.”

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Another chain of hotels that were unable to accept further bookings is Travelodge who has 78 hotels across London.

Travelodge has opened up 500 new positions across the UK to offer support in the cost of living crisisTravelodge has opened up 500 new positions across the UK to offer support in the cost of living crisis
Travelodge has opened up 500 new positions across the UK to offer support in the cost of living crisis | Getty Images

The popular hotel chain said its central London and Windsor accommodations were sold out, especially those near train stations, but were “confident” in offering the best value for money within the area in light of the skyrocketing prices.

Paul Charles, the chief executive of the travel consultancy firm, the PC Agency spoke to the Guardian.

He said: “Many central London hotels have already closed off their room availability online, preferring to deal with inquiries ad hoc so they can ‘manage’ rates higher.

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Queen Elizabeth II speaks during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Credit: Cameron Spencer/Getty ImagesQueen Elizabeth II speaks during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Credit: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II speaks during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Credit: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images | Getty Images

“Demand to stay in London over the next fortnight, especially from foreign delegations, is at its highest level since the Olympics.”

As the Queen’s coffin begins its journey to the capital city, make sure to check for availability and room rates before booking.

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