Queen funeral latest: Macron tells King ‘ties between France and UK are unbreakable’ in first phone call

An early morning rehearsal for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London - Danny Lawson/PA
An early morning rehearsal for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London – Danny Lawson/PA

Emmanuel Macron has said he will attend the Queen’s funeral on Monday, and that he offered condolences to King Charles on the death of his mother in a phone call on Wednesday night.

In a series of tweets, the French President said: “In a phone conversation with His Majesty King Charles III last night, I expressed France’s condolences on the death of his mother, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I will attend the funeral in London on Monday.

“The ties between France and the United Kingdom are unbreakable. We will continue to strengthen them, following the path laid by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.”

Follow the latest updates below.

11:22 AM

Queue is now almost 8-hours long

If you’re at the back of the queue right now, you can expect to reach the Queen’s coffin in seven hours and 52 minutes’ time.

It’s taking people roughly two hours and 15 minutes per mile at the moment.

As of 11.15am, the queue was 3.5miles long.

11:00 AM

Wetherspoons to open at 8am on Monday

JD Wetherspoon has said its central London, railway station and airport pubs will all remain open on Monday as the Queen’s funeral takes place.

The pub giant said the majority of its venues will be shut for the funeral service, only opening for the day from about 1pm after the funeral takes place.

It is the latest hospitality company to confirm its opening plans for Monday September 19, which will be a public bank holiday.

A spokesman for the company said: “Pub company Wetherspoon is opening its pubs in central London, rail stations and airports and all of its hotels (hotels will be open for resident guests only) during normal trading hours from 8am until midnight on Monday September 19.

“The majority of its pubs will open later than usual, after the state funeral, at approximately 1pm and will remain open during normal trading hours after that.”

10:57 AM

‘Everyone had the chance to pause – despite the queues’

Father Peter Walters and Pauline Allan, from Yorkshire, joined the queue at 1.20am to pay respects at Westminster Hall.

“There was a wonderful atmosphere, people were talking to one another quietly, sharing with one another, and there was even some laughter,” Father Walters, a priest working in Colombia, said.

It was “immensely” worth the wait, he said, with the final experience “very personal” and different from viewing the coffin on the TV.

“The atmosphere in there was one of of absolute silence, great reverence, great respect and great reflection. It was really a very memorable experience.

“Everyone had the chance to pause – despite the queues, there was no great sense of rush.”

“We had a good five minutes from entering to leaving, it was so slow and dignified,” Ms Allan added.

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