People urged not to join queen’s queue

London – The British government urged people on Saturday not to travel to join the queue to file past the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II as the huge demand means people are having to stand in line for at least 24 hours to reach her lying-in-state.

Tens of thousands of people have already filed past the coffin in a steady, solemn stream, queuing for hours through the dark and cold to pay their respects to Britain’s longest reigning monarch – a testimony to the affection in which she was held.

The culture department said on Saturday it may pause entry to the queue if demand became too high, adding: “Please do not travel.”

The death of the queen on September 8 at her summer estate in the Scottish highlands sparked an outpouring of emotion across the country and 10 days of highly choreographed events.

Having laid at rest in the Scottish capital for 24 hours, the coffin was flown south to London, where tens of thousands of people crowded on to a normally busy road in driving rain to observe the flag-draped casket being driven to Buckingham Palace.

King Charles joined his three siblings – Princess Anne, and Princes Andrew and Edward – in a silent vigil at the coffin on Friday night, while their eight children, including Princes Williams and Harry, will form their own ceremonial guard later on Saturday.

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