Queen’s lying in state: queue closes ahead of state funeral after thousands pay their respects

The late monarch will be laid to rest in a historic state funeral with the service set to draw millions of TV viewers across the globe

The queue to see the Queen lying-in-state has now closed after four long days of thousands of people making the pilgrimage to pay their respects to the late monarch.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said after 10.30pm on Sunday (18 September) that the last people had been admitted to the queue to see the Queen’s coffin at Westminster Hall, with it closing at 6:30am on Monday (19 September).

The Queen will now be laid to rest in a historic state funeral, taking place today.

The service is set to draw millions of TV viewers across the globe and crowds of mourners are expected to flock to London, Windsor and royal sites throughout the UK on the national bank holiday.

What happened during the last hours of lying in state?

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On Sunday the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said: “The queue to attend Her Majesty The Queen’s Lying-in-State is at final capacity and is now closed to new entrants.

“Please do not attempt to join the queue. Stewards will manage those already nearby. Thank you for your understanding.”

The announcement came after waiting times hit a peak of 14 hours at 10am - by 9pm the waiting time was seven hours as the last crowds filed through.

At 8pm people in the queue stopped and bowed their heads to observe the national minute’s silence. They applauded to mark the end of the silence at 8.01pm. Dozens of Metropolitan Police officers also assembled in silence beside mourners and later sang the national anthem.

Meanwhile St John Ambulance expressed concerns about cold temperatures overnight as people queued alongside the River Thames. It said in the early hours of Sunday morning that 98 people needed medical support, with nine taken to hospital.

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What will happen today?

On Monday, the Queen’s state funeral will take place. Her coffin will be taken in a grand military procession from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey for the funeral at 11am.

The royal family, including Prince George and Princess Charlotte, will be among the 2,000 people gathered at Westminster Abbey to remember the late monarch on Monday morning, before a committal service at Windsor Castle. They will walk in procession behind the Queen’s coffin as it is carried through the Gothic church by the military bearer party.

The King and the Queen Consort will walk immediately behind the coffin, followed by the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke of York, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, and the Prince and Princess of Wales.

George and Charlotte will walk with their parents in a side-by-side in formation, followed by their uncle and aunt the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and other members of the royal family.

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Before the service, conducted by the Very Rev David Hoyle, Dean of Westminster, the tenor bell will be tolled every minute for 96 minutes, reflecting the years of the Queen’s life.

Heads of state, prime ministers and presidents, members of European royal families and key figures from public life will gather at the abbey.

The Queen’s Piper, Warrant Officer Class 1 (Pipe Major) Paul Burns, will play the traditional lament Sleep, Dearie, Sleep after The Last Post, two minutes’ silence, Reveille and the national anthem.

At 12.15pm, the coffin will be taken in procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch and then travel to Windsor. The hearse will then travel in procession to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle via the Long Walk, after which a televised committal service will take place in St George’s Chapel at 4pm.

The Dean of Windsor will conduct the service, with prayers said by the Rector of Sandringham, the Minister of Crathie Kirk and the Chaplain of Windsor Great Park. The chapel’s choir will sing, and after the penultimate hymn, the imperial state crown, the orb and the sceptre will be moved from the Queen’s coffin to the altar.

After the final hymn, the King will place the Queen’s Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on the coffin, while the Lord Chamberlain breaks his Wand of Office and places it on the coffin. The Dean of Windsor will say a psalm and the Commendation while the Queen’s coffin is lowered into the royal vault.

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After this, the Sovereign’s Piper will play a lament and the Archbishop of Canterbury will pronounce the blessing, before the congregation sings the national anthem. Later in the evening, there will be a private interment service with senior members of the royal family.

The Queen’s final resting place will be the King George VI memorial chapel, an annex to the main chapel where her mother and father were buried, along with the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret. Philip’s coffin will move from the royal vault to the memorial chapel to join the Queen’s.

The funeral will be broadcast live at around 125 cinemas and several cathedrals in the UK, and on a big screen in Holyrood Park in front of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh.