The doors to Westminster Hall have been opened to members of the general public who are interested in paying their respects by viewing the casket of Queen Elizabeth II while it lies in state.
According to an official tracker, when it opened on Friday at five in the evening, the line of people waiting to enter stretched for about three kilometers along the River Thames.
After being transported in a procession from Buckingham Palace, the casket was brought to the hall, where it will remain until Monday when Elizabeth’s burial will take place.
As the casket was carried along the path of the procession, Prince William and Prince Harry joined King Charles III and other members of the royal family in walking behind it. Both of the brothers have stated that the time when they marched side by side in a funeral procession for their mother, Princess Diana, in 1997 was one of the most profoundly moving experiences of their lives.
The gun carriage served as the vehicle for transporting the coffin. The Imperial State Crown was placed over a floral wreath, and the Royal Standard was draped over the entire thing. The Queen’s coffin was carried along The Mall, Whitehall, Parliament Street, Parliament Square, and New Palace Yard before entering Westminster Hall, where a brief service was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
Military personnel provided a protective perimeter around the coffin as it was transported.
According to statements made by Welby to CNN, the opportunity to “play a part in saying farewell” to Elizabeth is a “gift.” The Archbishop, when speaking to CNN’s Clarissa Ward on Wednesday from within the crowd, remarked that it is both an incredible pleasure and a big privilege to be a part of the event.
According to Leverton & Sons, the royal undertakers, the casket for the Queen was fashioned more than 30 years ago out of English oak and lined with lead. This information was provided to The Times, a newspaper in the United Kingdom. It will remain there until her funeral on Monday, which will take place at Westminster Hall, located in the center of the British parliamentary estate.
Beginning in the evening on Wednesday, members of the public will be allowed to walk past the catafalque, which is a raised platform that supports the coffin. To pay their respects, thousands of people are expected to line up along the streets of the nation’s capital, and it’s possible that some of them will camp out overnight.
Harry’s participation in the parade on Wednesday is the latest in a series of appearances he has made with William since the death of the Queen. The brothers have strived to put on a show of unity despite tensions in recent years since after Harry resigned from his position as a senior royal.
It was a surprise that Princes William and Harry, along with their respective wives, Catherine, Princess of Wales, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, made a joint appearance in Windsor on Saturday. This event had not been mentioned in advance.
According to a source who spoke to CNN, Prince William invited the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to the walkabout so that they may meet well-wishers and view memorials that had been left for the Queen. On Sunday, the casket of the late Queen Elizabeth II was brought from Balmoral Castle, where she had passed away, to Edinburgh.
The late monarch’s trip to her ultimate resting place took a total of eight days and began with a leg that lasted six hours and covered six hours of ground. On Monday evening, mourners formed a line outside St. Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, waiting for their turn to pay their respects inside the cathedral. More than 26,000 individuals were able to get a glimpse of the monarch, according to the Scottish government.
The royal casket was moved from St. Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh to Buckingham Palace in London on Tuesday. St. Giles’ Cathedral is located in Edinburgh. After being transported in a hearse from the cathedral to Edinburgh airport, it was loaded into a C-17 Globemaster transport plane and flown to RAF Northolt airbase in west London.
The casket was subsequently transported to Buckingham Palace, where it was met by the Queen’s family. After spending the night in the Bow Room of the palace, the casket was removed the next morning.