Queen lying-in-state: how many people will be allowed to view Queen’s coffin, how long could the wait time be?

Members of the public have been told to expect to queue ‘for many hours, possibly overnight’

The Queen’s coffin has arrrived at the Palace of Westminster and will lie in state until her state funeral on Monday 19 September.

The government have warned members of the public about long queues to pay respect to The Queen at Westminster Hall.

Long queues have been forming, with members of the public expected to queue“for many hours, possibly overnight”.

The government has already released guidelines on paying your respects which include a list of banned items and a code of conduct.

So, what can mourners expect? Here’s everything you need to know about how long wait times could be.

Members of the public queue in the rain along opposite the Palace of Westminster (Pic: AFP via Getty Images)

When can you visit The Queen?

Members of the public will be able to pay their respects to The Queen from Wednesday 14 September at 5pm.

The Queen’s procession arrived at Westminster Hall at 3pm, where the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby performed a ceremony in her honour.

Her coffin will remain in Westminster Hall, lying-in-state until 6:30am on Monday 19 September - the date of her state funeral.

The Hall will be open 24 hours a day, giving mourners the opportunity to pay their respects.

Floral tributes to The Queen in Green Park, London (Pic: Getty Images)

How many people will queue?

There is no confirmed figure on how many people will turn up to pay their respects to The Queen at Westminster Hall.

The queue is 4.4 miles long, and according to The Times, an estimated 750,000 mourners are expected to descend on the capital.

Whitehall chiefs initially estimated that around 40,000 people would pay their respects, but now believe it’s possible to see over 200,000 mourners turning up to Westminster Hall every day.

There are even estimates that the total number could approach one million.

The government will be giving regular updates on the queue along with estimated waiting times on social media.

The last monarch who lay in state was the Queen Mother in 2002, who received 200,000 visitors over three days.


How many people are allowed to see The Queen’s Coffin?

According to a report by The Times, there is only capacity for 350,000 people to visit Westminster Hall.

However, when the Prime Minister’s spokesperson was asked if there was a cap on mourners, he replied “If there is, I’m not aware of a number.”

Adding: “Those sorts of decisions will really be made by those on the ground once we see the scale of people who are attending.”

How long could the wait time be?

In guidance issued by the government they state that queues are “expected to be very long”

With people standing “for many hours, possibly overnight, with very little opportunity to sit down.”

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.

There has also been concern for those who are unable to stand the long hours and what facilities will be made available so they too can pay their respects.

The Independent reported that the PM’s official spokesperson said the government would do “everything possible” to help.

Adding: “A lot of people understandably will want to see the lying in state and we will do everything possible to facilitate as many people as possible, including those who may not be physically able to wait that long, because of disabilities, for example.”

Members of the public queue to get to Buckingham Palace (Pic: Getty Images)

What is the queue route?

The government has put together a long queue route to manage the number of mourners.

The queue length is 4.5 miles in total and takes in some of London’s most famous attractions.

Mourners will join the queue on the Albert Embankment, it will then go along Belvedere Road behind the London Eye, and head onto South Bank where it will follow the River Thames past the National Theatre, Tate Modern and HMS Belfast through to Southwark Park.

The queue will start where Albert Embankment meets Lambeth Bridge in Central London (Graphic: Kim Mogg / NationalWorld)

Once the queue has passed there, mourners will then be directed across Lambeth Bridge, into Victoria Tower Gardens.

Upon arriving at parliament, those wishing to pay respects must pass through airport-style security before entering the Palace of Westminster where The Queen will be Lying-in-State.