London 15 Septmber 2022 by Andrew Mourales
Westminster Hall was opened on Wednesday evening to allow the public to pay their respects to the Queen. King Charles III earlier led a procession that took the Queen’s coffin to Westminster Hall from Buckingham Palace.
A vigil held at the hall and attended by other senior royals as well as leaders from political parties.
The Queen will lie in state until 6.30am on Monday, when the coffin will be taken to nearby Westminster Abbey for the funeral.
According to government tracker, the queue to enter Westminster Hall is approximately 2 miles long approaching 6.30am on Thursday morning, stretching back to Blackfriars Bridge as thousands wait to pay their respects.
It’s down a little from yesterday evening, when it reached a peak of around 2.9 miles. The infrastructure put in place along the route allows for a peak length of up to 10 miles.
Some people camped overnight ahead of the Queen’s lying-in-state to make sure they got a chance to pay their respects.
Hundreds of thousands of mourners are expected to pass through in coming days.
There’s been concern overnight for the health of a royal guard who fell down while watching over the Queen’s coffin at Westminster Hall. The guard was standing at the foot of the late monarch’s casket when he suddenly fell forward and to the floor.
Footage taken from a live broadcast which was posted to social media at around 1am captured the fall. The black-clad guard had been standing holding a ceremonial staff. Nearby officials quickly rushing to his aid. Live footage faded to exterior, night-time vision of the building for a while afterwards.
Guards from units which include the Sovereign’s Bodyguard, the Household Division or Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London are required to remain completely still at the four corners of the catafalque. While the soldiers rotate their positions every 20 minutes, the hours of remaining completely still while standing are six hours in length.