The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Buckingham Palace, London, where it will lie at rest overnight in the Bow Room. Picture date: Tuesday September 13, 2022. (Photo: Paul Childs via PA Wire/PA Images)
And as her coffin arrived at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday night, the government published how it would deal with the anticipated snaking queues, with the line potentially stretching five miles to south-east London.
The guidance – published ahead of the lying in state opening to the public at 5pm on Wednesday – will see the queue follow the path of the River Thames and potentially all the way to Southwark Park with the line managed by more than 1,000 volunteers, stewards and police officers.
According to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport plan, members of the public will join the line on the Albert Embankment, which will run behind the London Eye onto the Southbank before following the river past landmarks such as the National Theatre, the Tate Modern and HMS Belfast, reaching “maximum capacity” at Southwark Park.
Under the arrangements, once mourners have passed through the Albert Embankment they will be directed across Lambeth Bridge and through airport-style security before entering the Palace of Westminster.
Queen's lying in state: route of queue. (Photo: PA Graphics via PA Graphics/Press Association Images)
The lying in state opens on Wednesday and will be accessible 24 hours a day until it closes at 6.40am on Monday September 19 – the day of the Queen’s funeral.
Metropolitan Police officers will be joined by volunteers and stewards, while toilets and water fountains will also be provided at various points along the route.
A wristband system will be used to manage the queue, with those waiting in line given a coloured and numbered wristband which organisers said would be specific to each person and “strictly non-transferable”.
It promises to be a major logistical challenge for authorities in London as members of the public gather in the capital to say a final goodbye to the late monarch.
St John Ambulance members will be stationed along the route, while more than one hundred Scouts aged between 18 and 25 will join volunteers from the charity Samaritans to offer help.
Lambeth Palace is also expected to arrange a multi-faith pastor service to provide support to those who need it.
The main queue has step-free access, the government said, with a separate accessible route also planned to run from Tate Britain where timed entry slots will be issued for a queue going along Millbank to the Palace of Westminster.
Guide dogs will be allowed inside Westminster Hall, with sign language interpreters also on hand.
Grace (left) of London, and Anne from Wales are first in line at the front of the queue to see the Queen's coffin lying in state following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. (Photo: Mike Kemp via Getty Images)
Venues including the Southbank Centre, the National Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe will open for longer hours to accommodate those queuing, while the British Film Institute on the Southbank will do the same while providing an outdoor screen with archive footage of the Queen.
Cafes and other businesses are expected to follow suit, while welfare centres will also be in place.
The public are being warned that strict rules on bags will be in place, with those planning to visit Westminster Hall urged to plan ahead.
Once inside, the public can expect to walk past the coffin of the Queen, which will be raised on a catafalque and will be draped in the Royal Standard, with the Orb and Sceptre placed on top.
It will be guarded at all hours by units from the Sovereign’s Bodyguard, the Household Division or Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.