How to attend the Queen's lying-in-state to pay your respects

·3-min read
Photo credit: LOIC VENANCE - Getty Images
Photo credit: LOIC VENANCE - Getty Images

Hundreds of thousands of mourners are expected to travel to London this week to pay their respects to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, who passed away on Thursday 8 September at Balmoral, Scotland, at the age of 96.

A state funeral to commemorate her remarkable life as Britain's longest ever reigning monarch, will take place on Monday 19 September. A virtual book of condolence is also available to sign on the Royal website, for anyone who wishes to make tributes to the Queen, in the meantime.

Ahead of the funeral, members of the public will also be able to pay their respects to Her Majesty as she lies in state at Westminster Hall in London from Wednesday 14 September until Monday 19 September.

Here's what it means and how you can get involved.

What does lying-in-state mean?

Lying-in-state describes the formal occasion, where the coffin of a high-ranking figure - sovereigns and their consorts as well as some ministers - is put on display for members of the public to be able to pay their respects to the deceased, ahead of the funeral.

The last public figure to lie-in-state was the Queen Mother in 2022, which saw more than 200,000 people line up to pay their respects.
Although the Queen's husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, died in 2021, he did not lie in state as per his own request.

Photo credit: OLI SCARFF
Photo credit: OLI SCARFF

When and where will the Queen lie-in-state?

The Queen will lie-in-state in Westminster Hall until the morning of the state funeral.

Mourners will be able to file past the coffin 24 hours a day from 5pm on Wednesday 14 September until 6.30am on the day of the funeral Monday 19 September.

Her Majesty’s closed coffin will rest on a raised platform, called a catafalque and will be draped in the Royal Standard with the orb and sceptre placed on top. Each corner of the platform will be guarded around the clock by a vigil of units from the Sovereign’s bodyguard, the household division, or yeoman warders of the Tower of London.

How long can the wait time be and what should I bring?

Members of the public have been warned they might have queue for many hours, possibly overnight with very little opportunity to sit down as the line will be permanently moving.

All those attending the lying-in-state will go through airport-style security and there are tight restrictions on what you can take in, with only small bags permitted. Step-free access will be available for those who need it.

Further guidance can be found on the Government's website.

Those unable to travel can also watch key moments of the ceremonial procession and the lying-in-state on the BBC, Sky News and ITV.

When will the state funeral take place?

The lying-in-state will end on the morning of Monday 19th September, and the Queen's coffin will be taken in procession from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey, where the state funeral service is expected to start at 11am. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is expected lead the service.

Her Majesty’s funeral is likely be attended by a large number of guests, including members of the family but senior UK politicians as well as political leaders and monarchs from other countries.

Following the funeral service, a walking procession will accompany Her Majesty's coffin to Wellington Arch, from where it will travel to St George's Chapel, her final resting place in Windsor. Another service will take place in the Chapel for family and guests

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