Last in line to say goodbye: The last few mourners pay their respects at Westminster Hall as the Queen’s Witness closes at 6.30am – ahead of the funeral and historic farewell in Britain and around the world
The Queen’s lieutenant has now officially ended for her funeral today, with an estimated 400,000 mourners passing through Westminster Hall in the past five days.
The last people were admitted to the line at about 10:30pm last night to see the Queen’s coffin, giving them time to get through before the 6:30am closing this morning. The line opened at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
But some mourners who queued for hours without wristbands have expressed frustration to police after being turned away from the sleepy state.
Dozens of mourners were prevented from moving closer to Westminster Hall in the early hours of today by police at the entrance to Victoria Tower Gardens next to Lambeth Bridge.
Mourners, some of whom were in tears, complained to police earlier in the evening that they had been “lieed” about being able to enter Westminster Hall.
6.02am: The last members of the public pay their respects at Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin in Westminster Hall today
5:17am: The last members of the public pay their respects today at Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin in Westminster Hall
5:16 a.m.: The last members of the public pay their respects at Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin in Westminster Hall today
4:51am: The last members of the public pay their respects today at Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin in Westminster Hall
Albert, who stood in line at 10pm last night without a wristband, was one of the mourners not allowed to enter Westminster.
He said the government’s official live feed was not kept up to date with information that no more wristbands would be handed out.
“Communication was terrible,” Albert said, after queuing for more than six hours in central London.
He added: “There were a lot of people who joined the official queue based on the website, but never got wristbands.”
“And in line they gave us no information – just to be disrespectful to us when we finally got here (Lambeth Bridge).”
The Ministry of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said after 10:30 p.m. on Sunday that the last people had been admitted to the line.
The department said: ‘The queue to attend Her Majesty The Queen’s Lying-in-State is at its final capacity and is now closed to newcomers.
“Please try not to queue. Stewards manage those who are already nearby. Thank you for your understanding.’
Thousands of people have made the pilgrimage to pay their respects to the late monarch. The announcement was expected all day yesterday as wait times peaked at 2pm at 10am.
Last night at 9pm the wait was seven hours as the last crowds poured in and people gathered wristbands for entry at London Bridge.
An hour earlier, people stopped in line and bowed their heads to observe the national minute of silence. They applauded to mark the end of the silence at 8:01 PM.
Dozens of Metropolitan Police officers also gathered silently next to mourners and later sang the national anthem.
St John Ambulance had expressed concern about the cold temperatures at night as people lined up along the River Thames.
It said in the early hours of yesterday morning that 98 people needed medical attention, nine of whom had to go to hospital.