The last mourners to see the Queen’s coffin have now left Westminster Hall, with her four-day lying-in-state coming to a close on Monday (19 September) as the UK prepares to bid farewell to its monarch of 70 years.
A number of celebrities joined the queue to pay their respects to the late royal and see her coffin prior to it being transported to Westminster Abbey for the funeral service at 11am on Monday (19 September).
Tilda Swinton was spotted among the thousands of people to see the coffin. The Oscar-winning actor – known for her role in Doctor Strange – wore black as she bowed to honour the late monarch.
Swinton was a childhood acquaintance of Princess Diana, as the pair both attended West Heath Girls’ School in Kent.
Sharon Osbourne was also seen in the line comforting other mourners as they waited together. She said: “I love the Queen, and I came over for this because I’m a royalist and I love the royal family.”
Susanna Reid waited seven hours to see the Queen’s coffin. The Good Morning Britain host documented the long wait and shared tips for others waiting in line on Twitter. “If you are planning to queue here are our tips. We joined at 1.23pm near Butlers Wharf and entered Westminster Hall at 8.43pm – 7 hours 20 minute,” wrote Reid.
”Wear the comfiest shoes you own. Go with someone if you can, although everyone in the queue was friendly.”
Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield were also in attendance. Many people, however, have criticised the This Morning duo after they entered the hall – without waiting – on Friday (16 September) with a press gallery for a separate viewing.
Responding to the backlash, the ITV show issued a statement on their social media accounts defending Willoughby and Schofield: “They did not jump the queue, have VIP access or file past the Queen lying in state – but instead were there in a professional capacity as part of the world’s media to report on the event.”
James Blunt and David Beckham were also spotted amid the crowds. The football star has been praised widely for waiting 13 hours in the public queue to view the Queen’s lying in state in Westminster Hall on Friday (16 September).
He joined fellow mourners in the official queue at 2am and got through the night on a diet of “Pringles, sherbet lemons, sandwiches, coffee and doughnuts”, he said.
Meanwhile, Strictly Come Dancing star Neil Jones was also seen in the queue joined by his partner, former Love Island contestant Chyna Mills.
Jones has since spoken on Instagram about the “incredible” experience of queuing for 12 hours to see the Queen’s coffin.
“I have to say this is one of the most incredible moments of my life, which I will never forget. I want to thank everyone we met while walking yesterday. Thank you for the conversations, laughter and entertainment, most of all sharing the experience together,” he wrote on his Instagram Story.
Jones went on to praise a mother and her son in a wheelchair who declined several offers to skip the queue. “They wanted to walk with us all,” he said.