How can I see Queen's casket? The key questions answered

How can I see the Queen’s casket and what is the etiquette? As thousands prepare to pay their respects to Her Majesty’s as she lies in state, the key questions answered

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When can I see the Queen’s coffin?

The Queen’s closed oak coffin will be lying in state in Westminster Hall from 5pm tomorrow. The hall will be open to the public 24 hours a day until 6.30am on the day of her funeral – next Monday. But officials have warned that people in the queue may have to wait up to 20 hours with plans to manage 328,000 mourners in total – around 3,000 people an hour.

How can I see it?

Full details of the queue will be published at 10pm today, but it is expected to stretch from Parliament’s tourist entrance at Cromwell Green down Millbank, across Lambeth Bridge and loop back on the other side of the Thames past the Covid Memorial Wall. Security staff have said the queue is likely to be miles-long, potentially stretching to Tower Bridge.

What will the queue be like?

The Government has stressed that the queue will continuously move, with no ‘camping’ allowed. But it is understood those in the queue will be given numbered wristbands to indicate their position, allowing them to leave and come back for ‘comfort breaks’.

There will be Portaloos along the route and crowd control infrastructure. It will be open to the disabled with step-free access throughout.

What should I take with me?

Official guidance is to dress appropriately for the weather and occasion. You should bring food and drink, a power bank for your phone if required and any essential medication. Food should be eaten before you enter Westminster Hall. Flasks or water bottles – except clear bottles which must be emptied of their contents before the security search – are not allowed inside the hall.

Members of the public file past the coffin as the King and his siblings stand guard in Edinburgh before that casket is transported to London

What can’t I bring?

Banned items include flowers, candles, soft toys, photos, banners, flags, hampers, blankets and folding chairs. There is also a strict one bag policy – it cannot be over 40cm x 30cm x 20cm – when entering Westminster Hall. This must have one simple zip opening to allow people to move more quickly through the security check. A bag drop facility is available but capacity is limited.

What will the security checks be like?

Visitors will go through airport-style security to check for banned items. Queue-jumpers and anyone drunk will be removed by stewards and police patrolling the lines.

What are etiquette rules?

You will not be allowed to film, photograph or use your phone in the security search area within the Palace of Westminster. On entry to the palace, you should remain silent. The Government has urged people to ‘dress appropriately for the occasion to pay your respects’ and banned clothes ‘with political or offensive slogans’.

Can children be taken to the lying in state?

Ministers asked parents to think carefully about whether to take children with them, depending on their age and if they will be able to manage the waiting and standing required.

What will it look like?

The coffin will be draped in a royal flag – expected to be a personal standard – and will rest on a raised platform called a catafalque, flanked by a military guard around the clock. A crown and other regalia are traditionally placed on top of the sovereign’s coffin. Each corner of the platform is watched 24 hours a day.

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