Thousands of people are expected to travel to London over the next few days to see the late Queen lying in state.
Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Thursday 8 September, will lie in state in London’s Westminster Hall 24 hours a day from 5pm on Wednesday 14 September until 6.30am on the day of her funeral, Monday 19 September.
People have been warned that they will need to queue for hours, possibly even overnight, to be able to see the Queen’s closed coffin before her state funeral, on Monday 19 September.
But, just how many people are expected to wait to see Her Majesty lying in state, and how does this number compare with other queues?
Here’s what you need to know.
How many people are expected to queue to see the Queen lying in state?
Around 750,000 are expected to visit London in the hope of viewing the Queen’s coffin over the next five days. Westminster Hall can actually accommodate 350,000 people.
This is compared to the 33,000 people who filed through St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh on Monday 12 September, where Her Majesty lay at rest for 24 hours before travelling to London on Tuesday 13 September.
There have been mixed reports on how long the queues could be, with reports the Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan warned Tory MPs that queues could last up to 30 hours.
How many people have attended other UK events?
Far more people are expected to queue to see the Queen lying in state than those who attended other major events this year.
These are the attendance figures from some of this year’s biggest occasions.
- Wimbledon 2022: 515,164
- Glastonbury 2022: 200,000
- Euro 2022 finals at Wembley Stadium: 87,192
That means that even more people are expected to try to see the late Queen than people who attended Wimbledon, Glastonbury or the Euro 2022 finals.
How many people have queued for events in the UK previously?
Some of the longest queues in the UK have taken place in the capital city, London. That’s not surprising, knowing that the city is home to some of the country’s most popular tourist attractions, biggest venues and most popular events.
The London Eye, for example, has an average of a two and half hour queue. The stage show Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was so popular that some people were told they were 130,001st in the online queue to buy a ticket.
Other huge queues have, of course, been recorded in other areas of the UK - and many of these centre on a famous person or cultural phenomenon, for example, a book or a new gadget.
When the Beatles were at the height of their fame in the 1960s, fans would queue for hours to get tickets to see their favourite boy band. Some queues would reportedly get as far as 1.6km long. Tens of thousands of teenagers would flock to ticketing booths and even stay overnight to ensure they secured tickets.
How many people have queued for events across the world?
Some of the longest queues witnessed across the world may surprise you.
The opening of the first ever McDonalds was a source of much excitement for the people of Soviet Russia in 1990. So much so that around 30,000 people queued to get a tasty snack from the fast food chain that day.
On a good year, the Louvre in Paris attracts over 10 million visitors. Out of these 10 millions, eight million are estimated to have come just to see Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Over 30,000 visitors a day wait for hours for a chance to look at a 77-by-53cm painting, but only get a few seconds in front of it.
Other queues aren’t about getting a specific product or seeing an important attraction, they are symbolic of a wider community issue.
A world record for the length of a toilet queue was set in March 2009 when 756 people lined up for a latrine in central Brussels, the capital of Belgium, to raise awareness for the need for clean water on World Water Day.