Queue to see the physique of Queen Elizabeth II is 5 kilometers in London

Queue to see the physique of Queen Elizabeth II is 5 kilometers in London

Some braved the rain along the way and others even slept on the sidewalk to secure their seats.

THE row to see the coffin queen elizabeth II at Westminster Hall in London, if extends for at least 5 kilometers. On Wednesday, the coffin with the queen’s body arrived at the Palace of Westminster where it will be laid to rest for five days, in a ceremony set up so that British subjects can bid a final goodbye to the longest-lived monarch in the country’s history.

Some braved the rain along the way and others even slept on the sidewalk to secure their seats.

According to Reuters, 750,000 people must wait up to 30 hours to get close to the body of the former head of the British monarchy and the queue can reach 16 kilometers.

Also on Wednesday, a procession bringing together the main members of the royal family left Buckingham Palace with the queen’s body towards the seat of Parliament, where the procession was received by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The solemn march to Westminster was accompanied by King Charles III, who walked behind the coffin the entire way, by his brothers Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and by their sons, the Prince of Wales, William, and Harry.

The Queen Consort Camilla Parker Bowles, Princess of Wales Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, Harry’s wife, followed the procession in an official carriage.

Upon arriving at Westminster, the queen’s coffin was placed on a raised platform, known as a catafalque, in the royal purple color. A quick ceremony was performed by the Archbishop of Cantebury, Justin Welby. In the end, King Charles III and the Queen Consort returned to Buckingham Palace.

This Thursday, the 15th, when entering the queue, people will receive a numbered colored wristband that will allow them to leave briefly to use a bathroom or get food and drink.

The subjects can contemplate the coffin, covered by the royal standard and the imperial crown, passing in a line on both sides, without being able to stop or take pictures. It is also prohibited to deposit flowers and stuffed animals in Westminster Hall.

More than a thousand volunteers and police were assigned to organize the queue. In addition, health professionals will be on site to help those who feel unwell, but do not want to abandon the wait.

The public wake will conclude at 6:30 am (2:30 am in Brasília) on Monday, the 19th, the date for which the state funeral is scheduled at Windson Castle.

More than 100 heads of state and government and other personalities are expected to attend the “funeral of the century”, such as the American president, Joe Biden, the Brazilian Jair Bolsonaro, the King of Spain, Felipe VI, and the Emperor of Japan, Naruhito.

The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, second in the Church of England hierarchy behind only the now King Charles III, spoke to some people who were in line. “We are honoring two great British traditions, loving the queen and loving a queue,” he joked.

The expected hundreds of thousands of people line up along the south bank of the River Thames, passing the British capital’s sights such as the London Eye Ferris wheel and Shakespeare’s Globe theatre.

Happiness of waiting in line

“Everyone is happy to be here, but it will be sad when it comes time to stand before the queen,” said Lisa Doodson, who lives in the London suburbs and joined the queue at 6 am (2 pm GMT).

Elizabeth II died last Thursday, September 8, at the age of 96, after seven decades of reign. She was succeeded by her son, Charles III.

The coffin with the monarch’s body was taken to Westminster Hall, the oldest area of ​​Parliament, a majestic 11th century room that is the institutional birthplace of the United Kingdom.

The queue was advancing smoothly and almost ten camping chairs were at the entrance of Parliament, abandoned by people who managed to enter the place.

“I would say it was very fast. There is a very pleasant atmosphere. Everyone talks, lots of nice people, with so many different stories,” said Robert Sutton, an English teacher who joined the queue shortly after midnight.

“Everyone has their own personal reasons for being here, but obviously we all want to pay our respects to the Queen.”

Harvey, a 50-year-old accountant, described it as an “incredibly emotional” experience to pass in front of the queen. He said many people were crying, “but in total silence.”

The use of cell phones is prohibited on site. The weather should help, with sunny weather forecast for the next few days.

Carmen Martínez, a Colombian lawyer who is married to a British man and is seven months pregnant with their first child, said it felt good to participate in the mourning. “She represents everything for the country. She is like everyone’s grandmother,” Martínez said.

Joan Bucklehurst, a 50-year-old retail worker from Cheshire, northwest England, said the Queen “meant a lot to everyone”. “She was amazing,” she added, choking on emotion. “So we had to be here. We’ve been here a few times when there have been special occasions, but this one, I couldn’t miss it.”

Geoff Colgan, a taxi driver who took the day off to witness the moment, was stunned in the moments after the queen’s coffin passed. “It’s one of those things you know is going to happen, but when it happens you can’t believe it,” he said, holding his son in his arms.

Bringing together the hundreds of thousands of people who want to see the monarch’s coffin tests the famous queue-organizing skills of the British to the limit. Authorities overseeing the mammoth logistical challenge have consulted with queue management experts and behavioral scientists to create more than a queue, a “temporary community”.

The “queue infrastructure” is 10 miles long, including mobile barriers and more than 500 portable toilets along a route between Buckingham and Westminster. Hundreds of police officers, first aid volunteers and members of the organization, 30 multi-faith pastors and two sign language interpreters are assigned to look after the well-being of people waiting in line.

Chris Bond, from Truro, in southwest England, was among those lining up along the banks of the River Thames. In 2002, he also attended the Queen Mother’s ceremony. “Obviously, it’s very difficult to queue all day, but when you walk through those doors into the Palace of Westminster, that wonderful historic building, there’s a great sense of silence,” he said. “We know the Queen was of a good age and served the country for a long time, but we hoped that day would never come,” he added.

Rest day for the king

King Charles III has his first day without official engagements since the death of his mother on Thursday. He will spend the day at his country house at Highgrove, after the early days of his reign which provoked controversy for their displays of irritation.

Images released on Tuesday showed the new king distraught with a pen used to sign a book of honor that appeared to have run out of ink. “Oh God, I hate this! (…) I can’t stand this damn thing”, said the monarch.

Source: AFP

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