Thousands of determined mourners waited in endless lines throughout the night in a desperate bid to pay their respects to Her Majesty The Queen’s coffin.
The Palace of Westminster opened its doors to the general public at 5 p.m. local time Wednesday and will remain open for 24 hours a day before closing at 6:30 a.m. on Sept. 19 — the day of Her Majesty’s state funeral.
Royal fans ignored warnings of a 30-hour wait as they patiently inched closer to Westminster Hall in a queue snaking around the center of the capital.
Some even braved the rain and slept on the pavement overnight to secure their position in the queue, which could stretch for 10 miles in the coming days as the weekend approaches.
Government officials said they could not put a precise figure on how many would want to file past the queen’s coffin, but around 750,000 people were expected. The queue was nearing the 3-mile length mark Wednesday.
Though the public isn’t able to see the Queen’s body, they do get a chance to walk near the royal’s closed coffin, which is covered by the Royal Standard flag.
The UK government has published a live queue tracker for people to follow on YouTube. The current queue is 2.6 miles long.
Those waiting in line are asked not to save a place for others or leave personal items unattended. Putting up tents is also frowned upon.
Queen Elizabeth II was Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. Her funeral will mark the end of the 10-day period of national mourning and will be a public holiday across the UK.
She will be buried in Westminster Hall, the oldest building on the estate that houses parliament.
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