Queen’s queue: Top tips and what to expect as mourners face eight hour waits

If you are hoping to join the queue to see the Queen’s coffin, you should be prepared for a long wait.

Some mourners, who queued through the night, had to wait for at least eight hours before they got access to the Palace of Westminister – where the Queen is lying in rest.

Here’s everything you need to know before you set off for the queue:

Be prepared for a long wait

Needless to say the queue to see the Queen’s coffin is very long. According to the latest update from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, the queue is approximately 2.8 miles long and starts near Southwark cathedral.

How do I find the back of the queue?

If you download the What3words app, you can find the exact end of the queue by typing in the words frozen.angel.guitar.

Failing that, you can head to London Bridge and then walk along the waterfront until you get to Southwark cathedral. You can also use this queue tracker here.

Also check the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s Twitter account for regular updates at @DCMS.

Mourners have been queuing through the night to see the coffin (Getty Images)
Mourners have been queuing through the night to see the coffin (Getty Images)

Bring water and snacks

You will likely be in for a very long wait so do take snacks and water along with you. The wait will be physically exhausting and so it is a good idea to take food that will keep you going.

You can leave the queue to go to the toilet

There’s no need to worry about how much liquid you drink in the queue as you are allowed to leave the line to go to the toilet. When you join the queue you will be given a wrist-band with the time that you joined on it.

This means that you won’t lose your place in the queue if you nip out.

The queue is currently stretching back for three miles (AFP via Getty Images)
The queue is currently stretching back for three miles (AFP via Getty Images)

There is a separate queue for disabled access

There is a “special access” queue running from the Tate Britain to parliament for people with disabilities and impairments. There is also step-free access to the security search point and the Palace of Westminster.

Guide dogs, hearing dogs and other assistance dogs are allowed in to the Palace. Visitor assistants in Parliament will guide wheelchair users and anyone with mobility issues along a route to access the hall.

Make friends with the people around you

You are likely to be in the queue for a very long time so get chatting to the people around you. The Independent’s Maryam Zakir-Hussain, who queued to see the Queen on Wednesday, made friends with one woman next to her, Harbinder Sandhar.

Read about her experience in the queue here.

The Queen is lying in state before her funeral on Monday (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The Queen is lying in state before her funeral on Monday (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Plan your journey to the queue and expect travelling to take longer than expected

Travelling to the queue might take longer than expected so do leave extra time to get there.

Transport for London has said that the Westminster area of London will be “exceptionally busy”. Some roads are also closed around the area and bus services are disrupted as a result.

People are also being asked to avoid using Green Park station.

Bring a phone charger and power bank

One top tip for a long wait anywhere is to bring a power bank and phone charger for your phone. Although you can likely pass some hours chatting to the people around you, at some point it is likely you’ll want to while away the time looking at your phone.

Alternatively bring a good book or magazine to keep yourself entertained.

There are rules about what you can take into the hall (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
There are rules about what you can take into the hall (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

What can’t I take in to the Palace of Westminster?

Only clear water bottles are allowed in so don’t bring a new fancy flask that you’ve just bought only to see it be confiscated by stewards.

Flowers or other tribute items are also not allowed it, nor are any sharp items including knives.

Coolers, hampers and other camping equipment is not allowed into the hall.

You are only allowed to take in one small bag with a single opening or zip.

There are security checks along some parts of the queue so do plan ahead.

Some people have said they took eight hours or more to get in (EPA)
Some people have said they took eight hours or more to get in (EPA)

Can I take photos when I’m inside?

No filming, photography, or use of mobile phones is allowed once you are inside the Palace of Westminister.

How does the wristband system work?

You will be given a numbered wristband once you join the back of the queue, which is a record of the time you joined.

This allows you to leave the queue for short periods.

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