Mourners have been warned they face queuing "overnight" to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth.
The 96-year-old monarch died at her Scottish estate Balmoral last Thursday (08.09.22) and from 5pm on Wednesday (14.09.22), her body will lie in state in Westminster Hall, where members of the public will be able to file past the coffin 24 hours a day until the morning of her funeral on 19 September, but they face having to wait up to 30 hours to do so.
Guidance issued by the government said: “Please note that there will be a queue, which is expected to be very long. You will need to stand for many hours, possibly overnight, with very little opportunity to sit down as the queue will be continuously moving.”
They also advised members of the public to consider the length of the queue - which is predicted to reach up to five miles long - “before you decide to attend or bring children” and warned there may be road closures and delays to public transport.
People should bring their own food and drink as there will be only “limited refreshments” but once they arrive at parliament, they will go through airport-style security, with only small bags with a single opening allowed and no food or liquid "of any kind". They are also told flowers and other tribute items including photos, candles, and soft toys, cannot be taken inside the Palace of Westminster.
The advice stresses people should "dress appropriately" and avoid clothing with political or offensive slogans and “respect the dignity of the event and behave appropriately".
Cameras and mobile phones cannot be used within the Palace of Westminster.
The plans assume around 750,000 people will want to pay their respects, but officials have acknowledged there could be significantly more and so the Cabinet Office is preparing for a "very real possibility" that London will become "full" for the first time, with contingency plans in place for rail operators to advise passengers not to attempt to travel to the capital.
As many as 10,000 police officers will be deployed in London, with cops on alert for signs of terrorism and single-issue protesters including environmental activists.
Up to 1,500 soldiers will be available to control the queues, helping thousands of stewards who will line the route. The queue will be closed if there are too many people.