Man arrested after 'disturbance' at Queen's coffin during lying in state at Westminster

Photo credit: Danny Lawson - Getty Images
Photo credit: Danny Lawson - Getty Images

The passing of Queen Elizabeth II has led to many changes across the UK, including new titles for many in the Royal Family, a national period of mourning and a bank holiday to commemorate the monarch's funeral.

This week, before the funeral takes place, the Queen has been lying in state at Westminster, giving the public a chance to pay their last respects if they wish to do so. The queue to see the Queen is now thought to be over 20-hours-long.

On Friday night (16 September), shortly after the King and his siblings Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Prince Andrew held a silent vigil for the Queen in Westminster Hall, a man was arrested for allegedly attempting to touch the coffin a source told The Guardian.

While full details of the incident have not been disclosed, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement that a man was “arrested for an offence under the Public Order Act and is currently in custody”. The live feed broadcasting the Queen lying in state was cut for a short time while the incident occurred which was at approximately 10pm.

The Public Order Act is an act of Parliament which was introduced in 1986 and aims to police public order. It is specifically described as; "An Act to abolish the common law offences of riot, rout, unlawful assembly and affray and certain statutory offences relating to public order."

According to the BBC, a Parliament spokesperson said of the incident: "We're aware of an incident in Westminster Hall, in which a member of the public moved out of the queue and towards the catafalque.

"They have now been removed from the hall and the queue restarted with minimal disruption."

The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II will take place on Monday 19 September, with many world leaders and dignitaries attending.

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