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As Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin arrives at Westminster Hall to lie in state, mourners may face wait times of 35 hours to pay their respects to Britain’s longest reigning monarch.
Official estimates that 350,000 people will be able to see the queen as she lies in state at parliament. However, approximately 750,000 are expected may travel to London’s capital in the coming days, driving up the wait times for mourners, according to The Times.
The queue may be closed early if it becomes flooded with too many people. The queen will lie in state from 5 pm on Wednesday until 6:30 am next Monday, with her funeral scheduled for later that day.
As more people descend upon the city, London hotels are charging up to four times the usual room rates as crowds of people from around the country and world attempt to get one last glimpse of Her Majesty, according to LBC.
“A lot of people understandably will want to see the lying in state and we will do everything possible to facilitate as many people as possible, including those who may not be physically able to wait that long, because of disabilities, for example,” said a spokesperson for UK Prime Minister Liz Truss.
The Times notes that the British government expects the wait times to range from 17 to 35 hours wait times. Visitors must remain quiet while paying their respects, as well as wear wristbands while dressing appropriately. Officials have discouraged mourners from bringing tents.
Vanessa Nathakumaran was the first person to arrive in the queue line 48 hours early. “I really, really want to be part of it,” she told Metro. “I don’t want to miss it in case…they said they are probably going to control the crowds if (the queue) gets too long.”
The queen departed Buckingham Palace for the final time Wednesday morning on a gun carriage accompanied on foot by members of her family, including Charles III, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Princess Anne, Prince William, and Prince Harry.