Thousands tune into BBC livestream of Queen lying in state

The number of viewers tuned into the livestream of the Queen lying in state topped 20,000 on a number of occasions within its first hour online.

The service began broadcasting globally via the BBC News website at 5pm on Wednesday, when the doors of Westminster Hall opened to the public.

Mourners could be seen tearful as they filed solemnly past the coffin and paid their respects.

The number of people viewing the dedicated stream quickly rose to about 20,000 and remained there for much of the first hour of broadcast.

The service is also available in the UK on the iPlayer, BBC Parliament and the red button.

Up to 400,000 people are expected to brave a 12-hour wait on the banks of the Thames to pay their respects to the Queen as she lies in state in Westminster ahead of her funeral on Monday.

The Government has issued guidance about what can be carried into the hall, bathroom facilities for those in the queue and the risk of having to wait through the night.

Lying in state will continue until 6.30am on Monday, after which the coffin will be taken in a grand military procession from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey for the state funeral.