Round-the-clock vigil to give thousands a chance to bid Queen Elizabeth farewell

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LONDON, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Mourners in their thousands will be able to file past the coffin of Britain’s late Queen Elizabeth in a round-the-clock lying-in-state from Wednesday evening to early on the day of her funeral.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to pay their respects to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch ahead of her state funeral on Sept. 19, which will be attended by world leaders.

The ministry said members of the public would be able to file past the coffin for 24 hours a day from 5pm local time (1600 GMT) on Wednesday Sept. 14 until 6.30am on Sept. 19.

“Those wishing to attend will be required to queue for many hours, possibly overnight,” Britain’s culture ministry said.

“Large crowds are expected and people are encouraged to check ahead, plan accordingly and be prepared for long wait times,” it added on Monday.

Airport-style security checks will take place at Westminster Hall, the oldest of the buildings that make up Britain’s parliament, and tight restrictions will be in force with only small bags permitted.

The lying-in-state will be preceded by a ceremonial procession through central of London to carry the queen’s coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall on Wednesday.

Elizabeth died on Sept. 8 at Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands and her coffin was driven to Edinburgh on Sunday. It is due to be flown to London on Tuesday.

A family leaves flowers outside Buckingham Palace in the aftermath of the passing of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, in London, Britain, 12 September 2022. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II died on 08 September 2022. The 96-year-old queen was the longest-reigning monarch in British history. EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET

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