Biden ‘amazed’ at size of queue for Queen’s lying in state

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Members of the public queued for hours for the Queen’s lying in state (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)
Members of the public queued for hours for the Queen’s lying in state (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)

Joe Biden has spoken of his amazement at the thousands of people who joined the queue for the Queen’s lying in state.

The US president, who was speaking as he met Liz Truss at a UN summit in New York, described it as an “honour” to be able to pay his respects to the late monarch in Westminster Hall where her coffin was on display for four days.

Mr Biden was among the hundreds of world leaders and dignitaries who gathered in London for the Queen’s funeral on Monday.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden (right) view the coffin of the Queen lying in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall, with US ambassador to the UK, Jane Hartley (Joe Giddens/PA) (PA Wire)
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden (right) view the coffin of the Queen lying in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall, with US ambassador to the UK, Jane Hartley (Joe Giddens/PA) (PA Wire)

The president made reference to the scale of the queue, which stretched across London and saw many mourners wait overnight for their chance to say goodbye to the Queen.

Around 250,000 people are believed to have filed past the Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall.

Mr Biden said he was amazed by the thousands who queued through the night, saying “it was an honour for my wife and I to be able to pay our respects” both in Westminster Hall and then at the funeral at Westminster Abbey.

“I was amazed and overwhelmed by the affection of the British people and the world, quite frankly, even the thousands of thousands of people who stayed all night just to pay their respects was enormous.”