As Edinburgh pays their final respects to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at St. Giles Cathedral, the operation is underway in London ahead of the near five days that the Queen will be lying in state at Westminster Hall, inside the Palace of Westminster.
Though there are no official books of condolence in any of the Royal Residencies, a number of boroughs across London have their own books of condolence, while the Royal Family website has a digital version and Nationalworld also has their own digital book of condolence for Queen Elizabeth II.
With such an unprecedented security operation in effect ahead of the State Funeral on September 19, road closures have already been announced by Transport for London and a number of football games have been postponed due to security and policing logistics.
So as people start to queue outside the Palace of Westminster, awaiting wristbands to pay their final respects to Queen Elizabeth II, we take a look at security measures that have been announced so far by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.
Where do I queue in order to see The Queen lying-in-state?
Though people have already started queuing outside the Palace of Westminster, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport have not officially released the route in which people can queue in order to see The Queen lying-in-state.
On their official website, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport have stated that they will update this information at 10:00pm on September 14 2022. We will of course update this article when such information is unveiled.
Queues are now estimated to reach 13 hours, according to the latest report from Sky News, so there will be very little opportunity to sit down as the queue will be continuously moving.
It is advised therefore that the following items are brought while queuing:
- Suitable clothing for the weather conditions. This might include warm, protective clothing or an umbrella in cold or wet weather, or sunscreen if you might need it.
- Food and drinks to consume in the queue. There are limited places to buy refreshments along the route. Any food items and liquids must be consumed or disposed of before you enter the security search point outside the Palace of Westminster. Clear water bottles are permitted, but must be emptied of their contents before you enter the security search point.
- Mobile phone charger. You are likely to be in the queue for a long time, so consider bringing a small portable power bank to use if you need to charge your phone.
- Essential medication or equipment that you need to keep with you. Please explain this to the security staff or police at the security search point so they can check the items.
Step-free access will be available for those who need it. More information about the route for the lying-in-state queue will be provided at 10pm on Tuesday 13 September.
Guide dogs, hearing dogs and other official assistance dogs are permitted within the Palace of Westminster. No other animals are permitted.
Can I take photos of The Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall?
Unfortunately, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport have confirmed that no photography, videoing or mobile phones unless on silent or turned off will be allowed in Westminster Hall where The Queen’s coffin will lay-in-rest.
What items are prohibited inside the Palace of Westminster?
As expected, there are a large number of items that have been prohibited to be brought into Westminster Hall, where The Queen’s body will be laying-in-state. A search point will be set up ahead of entering Westminster Hall and any items will be confiscated and not returned.
The security search point will have step-free access.
These range from flasks or non-transparent water bottles, food or any liquid of any kind through to floral arrangements and banners/placards that may, to quote the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, could be used to cause a disturbance.
Any illegal items will be dealt with directly by the police.
The full list of prohibited items that will be removed when reaching the search point:
- Flasks or water bottles, except clear water bottles. Clear water bottles must be emptied of their contents before you enter the security search point at the Palace of Westminster.
- Food and liquid of any kind. Any food or liquids must be consumed in the queue or disposed of before you enter the security search point at the Palace of Westminster.
- Flowers or other tribute items (including candles, soft toys and photographs). These items cannot be taken into or left in the Palace of Westminster. Floral tributes only should be taken to the dedicated floral tribute area in Green Park.
- Sharp items, including knives, Swiss Army knives, scissors, cutlery and screwdrivers.
- Personal defence equipment or any object that could be used as a weapon and/or compromise public safety, including personal defence sprays.
- Paint sprays, padlocks, chains, climbing gear, and dangerous or hazardous items.
- Fireworks, smoke canisters, air-horns, flares, whistles, laser devices, and other items that could be used to cause a disturbance or noise.
- Banners, placards, flags, advertising or marketing messages, and other similar items that could be used to cause a disturbance.
- Coolers, hampers, sleeping bags, blankets, folding chairs and camping equipment.
- Non-foldable pushchairs.
- Any other items as directed by security staff or police.
Can I bring a bag with me to the Palace of Westminster?
Yes - however much like carry-on luggage when travelling in an airplay, there is a limit on the size of the bag you can bring inside Westminster Hall.
One small bag per person, no bigger than 40cm x 30cm x 20m, can be taken inside Westminster Hall. Any bags that are larger than that, or one person carrying multiple bags, will need to be left at a baggage drop off point to be confirmed the evening of September 14 2022.
Capacity at the baggage drop is expected to be very limited.
Any luggage or items that are left unattended for any reason will be destroyed at the owners own risk.
When will the Palace of Westminster open to the public to visit The Queen lying-in-state?
Her Majesty The Queen’s Lying-in-State at the Palace of Westminster opens to the public at 5pm on Wednesday 14 September.
It will be open 24 hours a day until it closes at 6.30am on Monday 19 September - the date of Queen Elizabeth II’s State Funeral.