Sep 16, 2022 - World

U.K. government halts "queue" to see queen as it hits five miles

People queue to visit the coffin of Queen Elizabeth.
Photo: Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The line to see Queen Elizabeth II lying in state in Westminster Hall reached five miles on Friday — leading the British government to turn away visitors for around six hours.

Driving the news: The estimated wait time for people at the back of the line, referred to in Britain as the lying-in-state queue, was about 14 hours as of Friday morning, per the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

  • "Southwark Park has reached capacity. Entry will be paused for at least 6 hours. We are sorry for any inconvenience," the department wrote on Twitter at around 10 a.m. local time.
  • The line reopened at around 5 p.m. London time and the estimated wait time jumped to 24 hours.
  • "The queue may be paused again if it reaches capacity," the department tweeted, noting that "overnight temperatures will be cold."
  • Temporary bathrooms and drinking stations were set up along the route, the New York Times reported.

What they're saying: English soccer star David Beckham told Sky News that he waited in line for 13 hours to pay his respects.

  • "So this day was always going to be difficult, and it's difficult for the nation, it's difficult for everyone around the world, because I think everyone is feeling it, and our thoughts are with the family and obviously with everybody here today," he said.
  • The queen's coffin was put on display on Wednesday evening, per the Times.
In photos
A lying-in-state queue sign. Huge overnight queues for The Queen's lying-in-state started near Lambeth Bridge as some people camp out to see The Queen's coffin.
Photo: Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Spectators on The Mall wait to see the Queen's ceremonial procession for the Lying-in State of Queen Elizabeth II on September 14, 2022
Spectators on The Mall wait to see the Queen's ceremonial procession. Photo: Tom Jenkins - Pool/Getty Images
 People sit inside their tent as they join the queue to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II who passed away on September 8th, 2022.
People sit in their tent as they join the queue. Photo: Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
People sit next to their tents as they join the queue to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II who passed away on September 8th, 2022.
Photo: Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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