Public queue to attend Queen’s lying in state resumes after 40-minute pause

·3-min read

The public queue to attend the Queen’s lying in state has started moving again after a 40-minute pause when it reached full capacity.

However, mourners have been urged not to join the line until at least 4pm on Friday by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Officials stopped people joining the queue entirely at around 11.35am at the entrance to Southwark Park in south-east London due to overwhelming demand.

Helena Larsen, 76, only just missed out on instant entry, but said she was prepared to wait despite being in recovery from a back injury.

Ms Larsen, from Chertsey, Surrey, told the PA news agency: “We have literally got here and they have shut it in front of us.”

When asked whether she was prepared to wait for the line to reopen, she said: “I don’t know what else to do. There are no other access points.”

“I do think because there’s just a handful of us, we should be let in,” she added.

“I fractured my back a few months ago. It’s a long walk, even down to here.”

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The DCMS tracker had suggested those wanting to queue to see the lying in state would need to wait (screengrab/PA)

As Ms Larsen spoke to PA, the crowd around the entrance began to swell.

She was allowed to join the line around 40 minutes later.

Before noon, officials had placed a sign at the entrance to Southwark Park reading: “Entry to Her Majesty’s lying in state queue is temporarily paused.

“Lying in state queue wait time from this point minimum 14 hours.”

Downing Street said the queue system is going to plan.

A Number 10 spokeswoman directed questions to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, but it was “the case that what DCMS have done is they’ve temporarily paused the queue for at least six hours after it reached maximum capacity.

“That has always been part of our planning and that is to make sure as many people as possible in the queue can enter the Palace of Westminster.”

It comes as figures from the London Ambulance Service (LAS) show that 435 members of the public were treated along the route of the queue to see the Queen lying in state and surrounding areas over the past two days.

Some 291 people along the route of the queue and nearby in London were given medical assistance on Wednesday, with 17 needing hospital treatment, the LAS said.

A further 144 people were treated on Thursday, with 25 people being taken to hospital.

The LAS said the majority of incidents attended were faints and collapses, resulting in head injuries.