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Mourner describes strange behaviour of man who was arrested for grabbing Queen’s coffin

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The man arrested after rushing out of the queue of mourners and grabbing the Queen’s coffin at the Palace of Westminster in a security scare that stunned police and well-wishers was behaving ‘strangely’ and had waited 14 hours to get close enough to the late monarch lying-in-state, eyewitnesses have claimed.

Officers tackled the man to the floor last night after he pushed through the queue, knocking aside a seven-year-old girl, in a scramble up to the coffin in the centre of the hall in London – and then touched the Queen’s casket, even managing to lift the Royal Standard in which it is draped.

The Metropolitan Police said the incident occurred at around 10pm, as the live feed from inside the hall cut away for a brief period. A spokesperson told MailOnline today that a man had been arrested in Westminster Hall on suspicion of a public order offence and that he still remains in custody.

Did you see the incident? 

Email jack.wright@mailonline.co.uk or tips@dailymail.com 

This morning, new Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley was seen patrolling the queue for the Queen’s lying in state near Lambeth Palace in south London. He greeted mourners, including several who were wearing blankets after waiting in line for hours through the early morning, and walked from the east towards Lambeth Bridge.

Eyewitnesses today described the man’s odd, even erratic, behaviour in the run-up to the security scare. Speaking to MailOnline, Jon Williams, who queued with the coffin-pusher before the incident unfolded, said: ‘He stood out to me as we were in the queue for 14 hours from start to end and he was some way ahead of us, even so we noticed him as he stood out. 

‘And he only stood out as most people in the queue were talking to each other and interacting however he wasn’t. I saw a few people next to him trying to strike up conversation but he seemed to keep himself to himself. 

‘He got to the coffin and seemed to lift up the flag, he didn’t try to pull out off from what I could see. As I said people were in shock although they seemed to try to carry on. What surprised me is the guards didn’t appear to move or help, it was all left to the police.’ 

Another mourner who saw the incident described how a well-wisher ‘screamed’ when she saw the man running at the coffin. They said: ‘We saw him (the man) in the queue from the beginning of the queue and throughout the day, he was by himself.  When we entered the room we were at the top of the stairs when we saw the incident. A lady screamed as it happened it was quite unnerving. Although he was detained and people kept calm and carried on.’   

It came after King Charles III and his siblings entered Westminster Hall last night to pay a moving tribute to their beloved mother. 

In other developments:

  • Charles and Camilla made their first visit to Wales as King and Queen Consort, where they received a rapturous welcome; 
  • The King told Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford he was ‘concerned’ about how people will make it through ‘a difficult winter’; 
  • The new Prince and Princess of Wales met Commonwealth soldiers who will take part in Monday’s State Funeral, with William telling them the Queen would be ‘looking down and hoping it all goes well’; 
  • Prince Edward paid a moving tribute to his ‘beloved Mama’, saying the family had been ‘overwhelmed by the tide of emotion that has engulfed us’; 
  • He and his wife, Sophie – along with Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah – spent around 30 minutes meeting people outside Windsor Castle, collecting floral tributes and accepting condolences from well-wishers; 
  • Buckingham Palace confirmed a second vigil will take place tonight involving the Queen’s eight grand-children, including Prince Harry, who has been given permission to wear a military uniform despite being a non-working royal; 
  • Details were announced of the 25-mile route the Queen’s coffin will take in the State Hearse from London’s Wellington Arch to Windsor on Monday to allow more people to pay their respects; 
  • The five-mile queue to see the Queen lying in state in Westminster Hall had to be closed for six hours because it was so long – with two further queues forming just to join the main one; 
  • Former England footballer David Beckham shunned offers of special treatment and spent 13 hours queueing before paying his respects to the late Queen; 
  • It was claimed that King Charles found out about his mother’s deteriorating health only hours before the public last Thursday; 
  • William told well-wishers they thought his grandmother ‘might get a bit more’ time, video footage shot in Norfolk on Thursday showed.

A video grab posted to Twitter shows the moment of the incident at Westminster Hall. Police officers are tackling the man, circled, as he lifts the Royal Standard off the Queen’s coffin 

The man who grabbed the Standard smirks as he is held to the floor by police who had dragged him away from the coffin

The man who grabbed the Standard smirks as he is held to the floor by police who had dragged him away from the coffin 

Mourners were left visibly shocked (pictured) during Friday night's incident - which took place just hours after King Charles and his family held a vigil in honour of the Queen

Mourners were left visibly shocked (pictured) during Friday night’s incident – which took place just hours after King Charles and his family held a vigil in honour of the Queen

Another witness Tracey Holland, whose seven-year-old niece Darcy was pushed aside by the man as he rushed at the coffin, last night described the incident

Another witness Tracey Holland, whose seven-year-old niece Darcy was pushed aside by the man as he rushed at the coffin, last night described the incident

Another witness Tracey Holland (pictured left), whose seven-year-old niece Darcy (pictured right) was pushed aside by the man as he rushed at the coffin, last night described the incident

Members of the public file past the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign's orb and sceptre, lying in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall

Members of the public file past the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign’s orb and sceptre, lying in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster

Members of the public view the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, lying in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall

Members of the public view the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, lying in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall

Members of the public file past the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign's orb and sceptre, lying in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall

Members of the public file past the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign’s orb and sceptre, lying in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall

Members of the public file past the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II lying-in-state

Members of the public file past the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II lying-in-state

Mourners queue opposite Parliament this morning as they wait to see the Queen lying-in-state

Mourners queue opposite Parliament this morning as they wait to see the Queen lying-in-state

Queen’s lying in state: What you need to know 

The Queen is lying in state in London ahead of her funeral. Here is some of the information mourners need to know.

– What exactly is meant by the term ‘lying in state’?

Lying in state is usually reserved for sovereigns, current or past queen consorts, and sometimes former prime ministers.

During the formal occasion, the closed coffin is placed on view, as thousands of people queue to file past and pay their respects.

The coffin will be adorned with the Imperial State Crown, the Orb and the Sceptre.

– When and where will the Queen lie in state?

The late monarch’s lying in state in Westminster Hall opened to the public at 5pm yesterday and it will be open 24 hours a day until it closes at 6.30am on Monday, September 19 – the day of the Queen’s funeral.

– Where is Westminster Hall?

Westminster Hall, which dates back to 1099, is in the Palace of Westminster and is the oldest building on the parliamentary estate.

It forms part of the Westminster Unesco World Heritage Site and the UK Parliament website refers to its ‘great size’, the ‘magnificence’ of its roof, and its central role in British history.

The building has been the site of key events, such as the trial of Charles I, coronation banquets, and addresses by world leaders.

– Is there a big queue?

Yes. Government guidance says there will be a queue which is expected to be very long, predicted to be in the tens of thousands. 

As it stands the queue is about 14 hours long.

People will need to stand for ‘many hours, possibly overnight’, with very little opportunity to sit down as the queue will be continuously moving.

People are not allowed to camp and a wristband system is being used to manage the queue, with those waiting in line given a coloured and numbered one, specific to each person, allowing them to leave for a short period.

‘Your wristband also allows you to leave the queue for a short period to use a toilet or get refreshments, then return to your place in the queue,’ according to the official guidance.

– What is the queue route?

Members of the public can join the line on the Albert Embankment, which runs behind the London Eye onto the Southbank before following the river past landmarks such as the National Theatre, the Tate Modern and HMS Belfast, reaching ‘maximum capacity’ at Southwark Park.

– Is there assistance for people who cannot queue for long periods of time?

The main queue has step-free access with a separate accessible route also planned to run from Tate Britain where timed entry slots will be issued for a queue going along Millbank to the Palace of Westminster.

Guide dogs will be allowed inside Westminster Hall, with sign language interpreters also on hand.

Venues including the Southbank Centre, the National Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe will open for longer hours to accommodate those queuing. The British Film Institute on the Southbank will do the same while providing an outdoor screen with archive footage of the Queen.

Another witness Tracey Holland, whose seven-year-old niece, Darcy, was pushed aside by the man as he rushed at the coffin, last night described the incident.

She said: ‘A person decided they were going to push my seven-year-old niece out the way, run up to the coffin, lift up the standard and try to do I don’t know what. She was grabbed out the way and the police had him within two seconds.

Ms Holland added: (It was) terrible, absolutely terrible, so disrespectful and unbelievable – and this poor little seven-year-old child, this is her lasting memory of the Queen.’

A couple watched in horror as they saw a man run towards the Queen’s coffin after queueing for 14 hours to pay their respects.

Mark and Corinne Ward-Jones had travelled 140 miles from Wales to join the queue at the Palace of Westminster. They joined the line of mourners at 8.05am on Friday morning before making friends with other travellers waiting outside. But they were left shocked after entering the hall when they saw a man run out towards the coffin and ‘grab the Royal Standard.’

Mr Ward-Jones, 54, of Fairwater, Cwmbran, South Wales, said: ‘It was a very long tiring day, where we met some amazing people in the queue. It was all worth it to be able to pause briefly next to the Queen’s coffin and offer a respectful bow to her for everything she did for the nation.

‘You see it on TV, but just to be there was awe-inspiring. The first thing I saw was the coffin and then I saw one of the ceremonial guards looking down. It looked like something surreal, to see this occasion. to actually be there. I thought ‘I’m entering somewhere really special, historic’.’

The couple say they made friends while waiting in line – and even joined a WhatsApp group to stay in touch with fellow mourners.

Mr Ward-Jones said: ‘It was magical. We went from laughing and joking with the people we met in the queue to silence. We went up some steps, turned to our left and looked down and it was just unbelievable.

‘We stood at the top about to go down and then all hell broke loose.. Suddenly some guy lunged across and grabbed the Royal Standard and it lifted up. I don’t know if he was trying to pull it off or lift it up.

‘This is how professional the guards and Beefeaters were, they didn’t flinch, they were like statues, but the police were on him in a second. They wrestled him to the ground and dragged him out within in a minute.

‘You could hear a sharp intake of breath in unison. Everyone still wanted to stay respectful. There was no screaming. My wife burst out crying, she was in bits.

‘I was dumbstruck, what am I witnessing? My wife thought he was trying to pull the coffin off. Without realising I was stood for seconds with my hand over my mouth. What am I witnessing here?

‘It went from calm, silent and respectful to something you would not expect to happen in a million years. All respect to everybody there. The police dealt with it instantly. It was all over in a minute.

‘We decided we were not going to let one idiot spoil it. I waited 14 hours for this I’m not going to let one idiot ruin this moment and the enormity of the occasion. They say you have to keep things moving but I stopped and paid my respects.

‘It is a memory that will last a lifetime and I’m glad we were able to be part of this momentous event in history.’

Mrs Ward-Jones, 59, added: ‘The staff and volunteers were brilliant at helping people follow the route and giving out water and blankets at the end.’

A spokesperson for the UK Parliament said: ‘We’re aware of an incident in Westminster Hall, in which a member of the public moved out of the queue and towards the Catafalque.  They have now been removed from the Hall and the queue restarted.’ 

The Queen lying in state at Westminster Hall has been covered via a live stream on the BBC 24-hours a day since the coffin arrived at the venue on Wednesday.

But the cameras, which are delayed for around 30 seconds, quickly cut away from the coffin around 10pm on Friday, instead showing a moving image of the outside of the Palace of Westminster. The cameras did not turn back to the casket for around 15 minutes, at which point the Royal Standard appeared to have been moved.

One mourner who witnessed the incident last night told The Sun: ‘It happened so fast. Someone got up to the coffin, grabbed the flag and pulled it upwards.’

The mourner, who did not wish to be named, described members of the public ‘hysterically crying’ and ‘shaking’ after the incident.

It comes after King Charles and his siblings held a silent vigil in Westminster Hall to pay a moving tribute to their beloved mother. As members of the public watched in complete silence, the four senior royals – all in dress uniform – approached the Queen’s coffin. At just after 7.45pm, the duty officer struck the floor three times with his staff to signal the arrival of the late monarch’s four children.

King Charles III stands vigil beside the coffin of his mother, Queen Elizabeth

Mourners were said to be left in shock during the incident, which took place just hours after King Charles and his family held a vigil in honour of the Queen. Alongside siblings Anne, Andrew and Edward, the newly crowned monarch stood guard beside his mother’s coffin (pictured)

King Charles III holds a vigil beside the coffin of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II

As tearful mourners watched on, the Queen’s four children stood guard of their mother’s coffin for more than 10 minutes at Westminster Hall

Mourners queueing at Tower Bridge in central London this morning as they wait to pay their respects to the Queen

Mourners queueing at Tower Bridge in central London this morning as they wait to pay their respects to the Queen

Mourners in the queue to see the Queen lying-in-state brave the cold as temperatures plunged overnight

Mourners in the queue to see the Queen lying-in-state brave the cold as temperatures plunged overnight 

A satellite image shows queues of people waiting to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth following her death

A satellite image shows queues of people waiting to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth following her death

A satellite image shows queues of people in central London waiting to pay their respects

A satellite image shows queues of people in central London waiting to pay their respects

King Charles and Prince William delight stunned mourners with surprise visit to see those queueing for 14 hours to pay their final respects to the Queen 

King Charles III and his son Prince William delighted hundreds of stunned mourners waiting to see the Queen lying-in-state on a surprise walkabout today – after they thanked emergency service staff for their work during the mourning period ahead of the state funeral on Monday.

Britain’s new monarch and the Prince of Wales greeted tired royal fans who are queueing 14 hours to see the Queen’s coffin at the Palace of Westminster.

Hundreds of people in line along the South Bank near Lambeth, south London cheered and applauded as Charles and William emerged, with many shouting ‘hip hip hooray’ and ‘God Save the King’ as the royals passed by. Many took photographs and pressed against the metal barriers, eager to exchange a word with the King and the heir to the throne as they shook hands with those closest.

One lady offered Charles condolences as he shook her hand, and another shouted: ‘I can’t believe this’ – while a third presented the two royals with a Paddington Bear toy, in reference to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee sketch with the beloved children’s character.

As the Prince of Wales shook the hands of mourners, he said: ‘It means an awful lot you’re here. She [the Queen] would never believe this. You’ll make some friends for life [those who have met in crowd’. Revealing that his wife Kate Middleton and children George, Charlotte and Louis were ‘ok’ and ‘all united in grief’, William also said that he became emotional seeing his grandmother’s corgis, adding: ‘They are being looked after – they have gone to a very good home’.

Several people cried after meeting the Prince of Wales, and one woman told him: ‘You’ll be a brilliant king one day’.

Earlier the royals met London Mayor Sadiq Khan, a curtseying Home Secretary Suella Braverman and London’s Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley at Scotland Yard’s special operations. During the visit today in Lambeth, the King also met police staff, who he thanked for their planning and delivery of policing in the days leading up to his mother’s funeral, as well as workers at London Ambulance Service, London Fire Brigade, Transport for London and the Army.

The King concluded his tour of the home nations yesterday, starting his day with a visit to Wales, after trips to Northern Ireland and Scotland in recent days.

They lined up, the King at the front, followed by Anne, Edward and then Andrew, as the staff was struck three times again. Solemnly, they approached the catafalque – the raised platform holding the coffin – to take their positions and approach their mother’s coffin.

Another three strikes of the staff, echoing throughout the cavernous Norman hall, and they stepped up before facing outwards, and then three strikes again.

Four candles flickered as they stepped up, the King, 73, sporting his Royal Navy ceremonial dress; Princess Anne, 72, in the uniform of the Blues and Royals, and the Earl of Wessex, 58, the Blues uniform with the rank of Honorary Royal Colonel of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry.

Former Royal Navy helicopter pilot Andrew, 62, who is no longer a working royal and has been stripped of his honorary affiliations, was given special permission by Charles to wear a uniform for the vigil as a mark of respect for Her Majesty. He chose his Vice-Admiral’s uniform, an honour given to him by the Queen on his 55th birthday.

Members of the public, many of whom had been queueing all day, were allowed to keep filing into the 900-year-old hall.

Last night’s vigil had been intended to involve only the Queen’s four children, but in a remarkable show of family unity, 18 senior family members – as well as a host of other relatives – turned up to support them.

They included the Queen Consort, the Countess of Wessex, Princess Anne’s husband Vice-Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank, Edward and Sophie’s children Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn, Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall and her husband Mike, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and Princess Alexandra.

Last night’s vigil lasted 15 minutes and was in addition to that being mounted by the Household Division and Body Guards from 5pm on Wednesday to 6.30am on Monday, when the Queen’s official lying in state concludes. At that moment, the doors of Westminster Hall will close in preparation for the procession to Westminster Abbey, where the State Funeral service will take place at 11am.

Rehearsals are taking place across the weekend to make sure that everything is in place for Monday’s State Funeral, which will be the biggest show of pomp, pageantry and majesty seen in the modern age. World leaders and royalty from across the globe are flying in to pay their respects.

They will be joined by hundreds of charity representatives and members of the public honoured for their civic duty who have secured places in the 2,000-strong congregation at Westminster Abbey.

Yesterday it was announced that the King had given permission for the Queen’s eight grandchildren to stand vigil beside her coffin in Westminster Hall tonight. William will stand at the head, with his brother Harry at the foot.

A spokesman said: ‘At the King’s request, they will both be in uniform.’ Earlier in the week officials had said only working members of the Royal Family would be permitted to wear military uniform – meaning Princes Andrew and Harry would be forced to wear mourning dress.

When it emerged that Andrew had been given special permission to wear a uniform last night, there was widespread condemnation that Harry appeared to be left out. Sources said the U-turn was not as a result of any lobbying by Harry, adding that it was a decision made solely by his father in a spirit of unity and honour to the Queen.

It came as the King last night set out what kind of monarch he wants to be, telling faith leaders at Buckingham Palace that he believes it is his ‘duty’ to protect the diversity of the country including ‘religions, cultures, traditions and beliefs’. He said his Christian beliefs, which ‘have love at their very heart’, allowed him to accept, respect and protect the views of others.

The King, who has made clear that despite being Supreme Governor of the Church of England, he wants to be defender of ‘faith’ – as well as ‘the faith’ – told the religious leaders of an ‘additional duty’. ‘It is the duty to protect the diversity of our country, including by protecting the space for faith itself,’ he said.

Tens of thousands of mourners queueing to see the Queen lying-in-state at the Palace of Westminster braved the cold last night amid plunging temperatures – as the Government warned people will have to wait more than 24 hours to pay their respects in what is thought to be he world’s longest queue, which can even be seen from space.  

Wait times stretched to more than 25 hours overnight as thousands of mourners wrapped up so they could keep warm and keep their place in the five-mile queue to file past the Queen’s coffin before Monday, the day of her state funeral.

It is believed that the queue to see the late monarch is the world’s longest queue in terms of distance, potentially even eclipsing the 30,000 Russians who waited to get inside the USSR’s first McDonald’s restaurant when it finally opened on January 31, 1990 after the end of the Cold War.

The queue has become so big that it even received its own BBC weather forecast this morning – a crisp 7C, while other parts of the UK hit freezing.  

Members of the public build their tents in front Westminster Hall and Big Ben

Members of the public build their tents in front Westminster Hall and Big Ben

Members of the public build their tents in front Westminster Hall and Big Ben

Members of the public build their tents in front Westminster Hall and Big Ben

Now mourners sell used wristbands for up to £350

Some people have been cashing in on the Queen’s lying in state by selling used wristbands for up to £350.

Those joining the queue receive coloured wristbands to mark their place – so they can leave for a drink, or to go to the toilet, and then return.

But it appears that some mourners have seen the system as an opportunity to make some cash by selling the wristbands as souvenirs on eBay. 

One person has listed an orange wristband, which features the abbreviation LISQ (Lying In State Queue), with an asking price of £350.

Small print on the paper band specifies that it does not guarantee entry and is strictly non-transferable. But in the description the seller has listed it as ‘brand new’ and ‘never been used’.

Another seller has listed a similar wristband for £100, while a third person is selling a yellow band – plus a bundle of commemorative newspapers – for £122. A fourth seller has put their ripped green band on the site for £100.

The item was accompanied by the description: ‘Previously used or worn orange wristband from the first 24 hours of the Queen Laying-In-State in Westminster Hall. This wristband gained entry to the original wearer to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth.

‘This is a piece of history. A small piece yet still a piece of history and this is your chance to own it if you did not have the chance to come yourself.

‘The queue to pay respects to the Queen Lying-In-State may be London’s longest. It took 7-8 hours from joining the queue to finally pay respects to the late Queen.’

The seller said they were happy to send the item internationally but specified that it was being sold as ‘historical memorabilia only.’

They stressed that 50 per cent of the final profit will be donated to the British Red Cross which Queen Elizabeth was the longest serving patron of.

Another person is trying to flog their orange wristband for the slightly lower price of £82.

The cheapest band currently listed on the site is up for grabs for £10.

The seller promised to donate 20 per cent of the final price to The Dogs Trust to reflect the Queen’s love of animals.

Official guidance published by the government states: ‘When you reach the back of the queue, you will be given a coloured and numbered wristband.

‘This is a record of when you joined the queue, however please note that having a wristband does not guarantee your entry to the Lying-in-State.

‘Wristbands are specific to each person joining the queue, and are strictly non-transferable. You must keep this wristband on at all times as it will be checked along the route.

‘Your wristband also allows you to leave the queue for a short period to use a toilet or get refreshments, then return to your place in the queue.’

At about 1.15am today, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) online tracker said the expected wait time was at least 25 hours as people queued from Southwark Park in south-east London to pay their respects to the Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall, about five miles away. At around 7.20am, the tracker said mourners would have to wait at least 24 hours and warned people not to travel to join the queue – and to check back later on Saturday. 

However, by 8am the Government had said that the end point of the queue was once more accessible in Southwark Park. 

Undeterred, a steady stream of people joined the queue last night, many wearing coats and jumpers. Tatie Kirst, 38, of Canada Water in south-east London, a project manager who had just joined the queue in Southwark Park, said: ‘Well, it’s a journey right? I think I’m prepared, I brought my good coat, I have a stool if I need to sit, I’m getting food and water, and we’re going to walk the way.

‘I think there is always a question, Is it worth it? Can I make it? And hopefully, yes. I wanted to be part of this, pay my respect to the Queen.’

The queue begins on the Albert Embankment, along Belvedere Road, behind the London Eye, then crosses Lambeth Bridge and travels along the South Bank past the National Theatre, Tate Modern and HMS Belfast, before ending in Southwark Park. 

Those inside Westminster Hall were briefly shocked when a man was arrested after moving out of the queue to approach the Queen’s coffin last night. Metropolitan Police said the incident occurred around 10pm, as the live feed from inside the hall cut away for a brief period.

Final preparations are under way for the funeral, with politicians and royal dignitaries from around the world expected to arrive throughout the weekend. 

Sachet Pariyar had travelled from Basingstoke with his father, who had served in the Queen’s Gurkha regiment, to attend the lying in state.

He said: ‘My dad served in the British Army before and the Queen’s Gurkha regiment, and my grandfather as well. So, we feel like we have that connection with the Queen and we wanted to come and pay respects.’

He added that he had been checking the queue’s live tracker and had seen it might take 24 hours, adding he was ‘a bit worried’ about the wait, but ‘thought if we can get the wristband, then we will give it a try’.

Linda Partridge, 71, and Simon Hopkins, 59, travelled down from the West Midlands for the lying in state, despite warnings that the queue was closed, because they felt ‘that need to come down’.

Ms Partridge, who had left home at 3am, said: ‘Even though they said it was closed I felt that need to come down. If we’ve got here and then they turned away, then fine. I would have just felt I needed to come and then be told I couldn’t go’.

Mr Hopkins added: ‘There was a sense of perhaps ‘best not travel’ but just to make the journey and just to check it out, and you know, if it ended in disappointment, and then so be it.’

He likened the experience to a ‘pilgrimage’, which he said, ‘is a bit strange, because that kind of goes against my grain. I’ve been kind of drawn into it.’

James Birchall, 33, a trainee physiotherapist who travelled from Liverpool to pay his respects, was also queuing.

He said: ‘Now I just feel normal and unemotional but as I get closer and closer (to the Queen’s coffin) I think I’ll start to become more emotional and maybe five minutes before I go in I’ll probably, even though I don’t look like the type of person, I’ll probably start crying. I absolutely loved the Queen, she was great, she had been there all my life, I have always had respect for her. She was great for our country, always did her duty right until she died.

‘When she died I was overcome with emotion and I thought, I have got to come to London to see it.’

On the thousands of people queuing, he added: ‘I’m absolutely amazed because there is so many people, young and old – I did not think young people would come, necessarily, because they are not really in tune with monarchy, but there’s so many young people here to pay their respects which I think is awesome.’

Also queuing was Vlasta Picker, 73, of Bedford, who said: ‘I came here in 1977 on the Silver Jubilee. Growing up in central Europe, monarchy was a thing of the past, history.

‘I was really quite mesmerised, it was massive in 1977 and I have admired her ever since because she was a wonderful person, unique. To serve all her life until the end, it’s something, isn’t it? Unprecedented. And that’s why I want to be here.’

Figures from the London Ambulance Service (LAS) show that 435 members of the public were treated along the route of the queue to see the Queen lying in state and surrounding areas over the past two days.

Some 291 people along the route of the queue and nearby in London were given medical assistance on Wednesday, with 17 needing hospital treatment, the LAS said. A further 144 people were treated on Thursday, with 25 people being taken to hospital.

The LAS said the majority of incidents attended were faints and collapses, resulting in head injuries.

It came as David Beckham made it inside Westminster Hall at about 3.30pm yesterday after joining the queue at 2am.

Meanwhile some people are trying to cash in by selling used wristbands for up to £350 on eBay. Those joining the queue receive wristbands to mark their place – so they can leave for a drink, or to go to the toilet, and then return.

MPs can jump the queue and bring in up to four guests, to the anger of those being forced to wait. Among those visiting yesterday were Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg and Shadow Deputy Prime Minister Angela Rayner. 

This Morning hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby cut sombre figures as they were seen at Westminster Hall. MailOnline was told the TV duo joined a separate queue for press and were taken into a press gallery.

People wake up after a night spent at a makeshift campsite set up along The Mall as temperatures plunge

People wake up after a night spent at a makeshift campsite set up along The Mall

People have been camping on The Mall ahead of the funeral of the Queen

People have been camping on The Mall ahead of the funeral of the Queen

People wake up after a night spent at a makeshift campsite set up along The Mall

People wake up after a night spent at a makeshift campsite set up along The Mall

A person sits at a makeshift campsite set up along The Mall

A person sits at a makeshift campsite set up along The Mall

Tower Bridge looms in the background as mourners queue to see the Queen lying-in-state

Tower Bridge looms in the background as mourners queue to see the Queen lying-in-state

Mourners queueing in Southwark Park as they wait to see the Queen lying-in-state

Mourners queueing in Southwark Park as they wait to see the Queen lying-in-state

More mourners carry coffee cups as they queue through Southwark Park to see the Queen's coffin in Westminster Hall

More mourners carry coffee cups as they queue through Southwark Park to see the Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall

Mourners including young children wrap up after temperatures plummeted overnight - as they queue to see the Queen

Mourners including young children wrap up after temperatures plummeted overnight – as they queue to see the Queen

David Beckham wipes his eye while waiting to see the Queen's coffin at Westminster Hall in London yesterday

David Beckham wipes his eye while waiting to see the Queen’s coffin at Westminster Hall in London yesterday

David Beckham

David Beckham

Former England footballer David Beckham waits to see the Queen’s coffin at Westminster Hall in London yesterday

David Beckham said he feels 'lucky' to have spent time with the Queen while queueing to pay tribute yesterday

David Beckham said he feels ‘lucky’ to have spent time with the Queen while queueing to pay tribute yesterday

King Charles is ‘concerned’ about how people will manage during ‘difficult winter’ as cost of living crisis bites 

The King expressed serious ‘concerns’ over how people will manage during the upcoming ‘difficult winter’ due to the cost-of-living crisis, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has said.

Labour’s Mark Drakeford said he discussed the impact of the rising bills, climate change and renewable energy with Charles during their audience yesterday.

Mr Drakeford said the King also told him he was interested in renewable energy generation in Wales, and how it might play a ‘bigger part’ in future energy security.

The First Minister of Wales met the King after the new monarch, and former Prince of Wales, addressed the Welsh Parliament for the first time as sovereign.

But Mr Drakeford has been accused by a political commentator of making a ‘faux pas’ by revealing his private conversation with the new monarch, as it ‘makes it look like a political intervention’ from Charles.

In an interview with TalkTV’s Tom Newton Dunn Mr Drakeford said: ‘The King has always had a very direct interest in the things that are happening in contemporary Wales, the future of our agriculture, the impact of climate change.

‘He mentioned the impact of the cost-of-living crisis and how that will impact on people here in Wales.’

He added: ‘He (Charles) is concerned as to how people will manage through what is going to be a difficult winter.

‘He was interested to tell me about some of the projects that he has heard of, or become involved in dealing, for example, with food waste, making sure that we don’t waste a precious resource when some people might be going without.

‘Interested, as always in renewable energy generation here in Wales, and how it might play a bigger part in future energy security.’

Ex-England captain Beckham was spotted queueing at about 12.30pm, after joining the line at 2am to wait with everyone else. His representative confirmed to MailOnline that he had queued with the public, and said those around him initially did not take pictures of the 47-year-old star because there was an air of ‘mutual respect’.

Inside the park, a crowd formed in the holding pen next to the main queue as people begged to be let in. Security teams were allowing 100 people at a time from the holding area to join the main queue every ten to 15 minutes.

But outside the park, some people waited in the street with no idea of when they might be able to even join the queue.

The Government said in an update just before 10am: ‘Southwark Park has reached capacity. Entry will be paused for at least 6 hours. We are sorry for any inconvenience. Please do not attempt to join the queue until it re-opens.’

Just after 12pm, the Government also said the accessible queue was now ‘at capacity for today and entry for allocation of wristbands is currently paused’, adding that those with wristbands and entry times will still get in. 

But then at 1pm, the entrance to Southwark Park reopened despite the Government still saying that the queue has been paused.  

The gates were originally shut as queue attendants sought to deter new arrivals. However a second queue quickly began to form outside the park along Jamaica Road, leading attendants to reopen the gate.

A Number 10 spokesman directed questions to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, but said it was ‘the case that what DCMS have done is they’ve temporarily paused the queue for at least six hours after it reached maximum capacity.

‘That has always been part of our planning and that is to make sure as many as people as possible in the queue can enter the Palace of Westminster. But we keep it under review and there will be further updates from DCMS.’

The spokesman would not state what number of people represented ‘maximum capacity’ for the queue.

As Beckham approached Westminster Hall, he told Sky News: ‘This day was always going to be a difficult day. Our thoughts are with the family, it’s very special to hear all of the stories from people here. The most special moment for me was to receive my OBE. I took my grandparents with me who were huge royalists. I was so lucky that I was able to have a few moments like that in my life to be around Her Majesty. It’s a sad day, but a day to remember.’

Beckham added that it ‘meant so much’ to sing the National Anthem before England matches.

He told ITV News: ‘I thought by coming at 2am it was going to be a little bit quieter, but I was wrong, everybody had that in mind. But the people here, all ages, there was an 84-year-old lady walking around, a 90-year-old gentleman walking around. Everybody wants to be here to be part of this experience and to celebrate what Her Majesty has done for us.’ 

Images shared on Twitter showed many people trying to capture a picture of Beckham as he waited at the front of the line. 

Twitter user Jules Birkby from Leeds said Beckham was ‘just a few lines behind us in the snake’, writing: ‘The Queue is now full of people trying to photograph David Beckham and forgetting to actually move onwards. It’s madness! I feel a bit sorry for him, but he’s taking it very well. It’s made me almost forget that we’ve been in The Queue almost TWELVE HOURS though.’

A fellow mourner said: ‘He was chatting happily to people around him about the times he met the Queen. I think we were all stunned to see him here given how famous he is. He had his cap pulled down so I think he was trying to keep a low profile. 

‘I didn’t recognise him straight away but he was a lovely bloke, happy to talk. Clearly he was in the queue for some time, perhaps since the early hours like myself. He was obviously keen to pay his respects to the Queen and felt he should join the rest of us rather than use the VIP line which goes down much quicker.’

Royal guards take part in final drills along the Long Walk, as they prepare for the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth lI, near Windsor Castle

Royal guards take part in final drills along the Long Walk, as they prepare for the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth lI, near Windsor Castle

Royal guards take part in final drills along the Long Walk, as they prepare for the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth lI, near Windsor Castle

Royal guards take part in final drills along the Long Walk, as they prepare for the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth lI, near Windsor Castle

British military personnel take part in final drills along the Long Walk, as they prepare for the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth lI, near Windsor Castle

British military personnel take part in final drills along the Long Walk, as they prepare for the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth lI, near Windsor Castle

The hearse arrives along the Long Walk in Windsor during an early morning rehearsal

The hearse arrives along the Long Walk in Windsor during an early morning rehearsal

Bagpipes are played as military personnel take part in final drills along the Long Walk

Bagpipes are played as military personnel take part in final drills along the Long Walk

Thousands of people have queued late into the night, despite warnings they could be waiting for up to 24 hours

Thousands of people have queued late into the night, despite warnings they could be waiting for up to 24 hours 

Mourners have lined the banks of the Thames for a chance to see Queen Elizabeth II lie in state in Westminster Hall

Mourners have lined the banks of the Thames for a chance to see Queen Elizabeth II lie in state in Westminster Hall 

People travelled from across the country to say a final farewell to the Queen, who died last week at the age of 96

People travelled from across the country to say a final farewell to the Queen, who died last week at the age of 96

Liz Truss to meet New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern and Australian leader Anthony Albanese as they arrive to the UK for the Queen’s funeral

Liz Truss is primed to hold the first of her confirmed head-to-heads with world leaders as they make the trip to the UK for the Queen’s funeral.

The Prime Minister will speak with her counterparts from New Zealand and Australia on Saturday, with the conversations framed by No 10 as chats rather than formal bilateral meetings.

Downing Street suggested they would be an opportunity for condolences over the Queen’s death, with politics likely to come up.

The first of the weekend’s meetings will be based at the Government’s Chevening country residence, rather than Chequers, which is said to be undergoing routine maintenance work after Boris Johnson’s exit.

Ms Truss will see New Zealand’s premier Jacinda Ardern and Australian leader Anthony Albanese on Saturday.

Ms Ardern has said the Queen’s death and new King will be the ‘focus of conversation’, with the pair also likely to discuss Ukraine and the UK’s free trade agreement with New Zealand. But all will be ‘within the context of the week of mourning that the UK is currently in’.

The conversation between Ms Truss and Mr Albanese may also touch on trade, with the countries last year signing a deal estimated by the Government to be worth £2.3billion to the UK economy.

While some questioned whether Beckham had actually been queuing up, one woman tweeted: ‘My friend’s mum says he joined the queue at about 2am. He’s bought the people around him donuts! The guys a ledge.’

One of those who was waiting in the holding line was Terrence Houlahan, 56, who had ridden his Penny Farthing bike down to the park in Bermondsey from his home in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, some 40 miles north.

Mr Houlahan, who is originally from New York but has lived in the UK for 20 years, said: ‘It took me three hours to get here. In fact, a little longer as I first went to London Bridge by mistake thinking the queue started there.

‘So I’ve ridden all the way just to stand in line for 15 to 20 hours pushing my Penny Farthing along before cycling back another three hours in the dark. It sounds crazy but I wanted to be here and honour the Queen as well as show my support for the new King, Charles III. Charles has to put on a public show now in his new role and that must be busting him up inside. Most of us get to grieve privately. This is as much to show him solidarity as it is to pay tribute to the Queen.’

Mr Houlahan said he was going to leave his Penny Farthing outside Westminster Hall before heading inside. He said: ‘I don’t need to chain it up or anything because hardly anyone knows how to ride it.

‘But I race these bikes so I guess it’s also a good bit of training whilst also taking in a really important, historic moment. Something that is way bigger than myself or any individual.’

Moses Martinez, meanwhile, flew into London Heathrow Airport from Nicaragua this morning especially to join the queue of mourners.

The 32-year-old booked his flight as soon as heard news of the Queen’s death and has spent nearly £2,000 on flights and a hotel in London.

Mr Martinez, who lives in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, said: ‘I had to be here in London. I’ve never been here before, never been to the UK before.

‘But when I heard the Queen had died and seeing thousands of British people queue to see her lie in state, I knew now was the time that I had to go.

‘I flew in at 7am this morning after a 12-hour flight, dropped my bags in the hotel and came straight to this queue. I know I could be in line for as many as 20 hours but I don’t care, I don’t need sleep, I just want to pay my respects.

‘She meant so much to me, ever since I was a small boy. She was a symbol of Britain. I’ve paid a lot of money and it’s a lot of travelling but for me it’s worth all of it. People are very friendly and polite.

‘It’s a once in a lifetime experience, I thought to myself ‘it’s now or never’ as I won’t ever be able to do this again. I’m so glad I made the journey.’

Shannon Baird, 28, hopped on a flight from Dublin just to join the queue and will return straight after seeing the Queen’s coffin.

The Queen’s final heartbreak: Her Majesty was distraught after the death earlier this summer of Candy – her oldest and longest-surviving dog 

The Queen’s final heartbreak before her death age 96 last week was the news that her beloved dorgi Candy had died after 18 years of being by her side.

Known for her immense love for corgis, the loss of her oldest and longest-surviving dog hit the late Queen hard and was said to be ‘distraught’ about it.

Which makes it all the more surprising that Her Majesty found her final days in Balmoral so consoling, as Candy’s death came soon after her arrival in the Scottish Highlands earlier in the summer.

The loss of the dachshund-corgi cross breed was a huge blow to the Queen as Candy had been at her side since 2004, making her more than 18 — a remarkable age for a dorgi.

Poignantly the dog had the same name as a much-loved yellow Labrador of Prince Philip. She was one of the Queen’s four dorgis (Cider, Berry and Vulcan being the others) but outlived them all.

She lives in Pennsylvania in the US but is spending a few months in Ireland and said: ‘Once I’m done, I’m back on a flight at 9pm tomorrow. This is a moment in history and I had to be a part of it. I know it’s going to be tough but I’m prepared for it. She’s an iconic figure.’

Barrie Scott, 72, from East Moseley, said: ‘We’ve been in this secondary queue for 45 minutes so it’s a bit frustrating that we haven’t even joined the proper line yet.

‘But hopefully we’ll be through soon. It is moving still, people are being let through, we’ve not been turned away or anything like that.

‘I know it’s going to be a long, long day but then the Queen was on the throne for 70 years showing such service and dedication.

‘Compared to that, 15 or even 20 hours or however long it takes doesn’t seem too bad to say thank you and pay my respects.’

Karen Hare, 59, from Upminster, Essex, said: ‘We’ve been joking that we’re queuing up for the queue! As if that isn’t already long enough! ‘I’m annoyed at my husband because I wanted to leave the house at 3am and he talked me out of it only to change his mind at 9am.

‘If it wasn’t for him we’d be in the main queue by now. It’s not ideal but there’s thousands and thousands of people who want to pay their respects. That’s what the Queen means to people, she felt like part of your family.

‘I felt I had to come down today, I felt a sense of service to thank her for all the fantastic things she did for the country. We’ll never get this opportunity again and I knew if I didn’t come, I’d have regretted it all my life.’

Mourners said there was ‘breathtaking’ serenity awaiting them in Westminster Hall where ‘you could hear a pin drop’ in the silence.

But security jobsworths had a field day as they took hand sanitiser and boiled sweets from elderly mourners queuing.

Stewards in hi-vis were accused of being overzealous as they cracked down on what could and could not be brought into Westminster Hall. Mourners also described brazen pushing-in towards the back of the line as young people took advantage of spaces left by slow elderly people in the queue.

Officials have enforced airport-style security as the public enter the Palace of Westminster. One mourner was forced to hand over a single Werther’s Original, lipstick and hand sanitiser, while others told of various items being confiscated.

It comes it emerged that the Queen’s grandchildren will stand guard around her coffin in London today.

Notably, the Duke of Sussex will join his brother the Prince of Wales in wearing uniform around the coffin in Westminster Hall, ahead of the Queen’s state funeral on Monday.

Harry, who saw action on the front line during two tours of duty in Afghanistan, has previously been denied the chance to wear his military uniform as he publicly mourns, because he is no longer a working royal. But royal sources say the King has decided his youngest son can wear uniform for the vigil, saying he will stand at the foot of the coffin, with William at the head.

People wait in a queue to pay their respects as the Tower Bridge is lit up in purple last night

People wait in a queue to pay their respects as the Tower Bridge is lit up in purple last night

Mourners queue in Southwark Park yesterday to view the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II

Mourners queue in Southwark Park yesterday to view the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II

Queuing for the lying in state of Queen Elizabeth II this morning at Southwark Park in London

Queuing for the lying in state of Queen Elizabeth II this morning at Southwark Park in London

Mourners queue in Southwark Park yesterday to view the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II who is lying-in-state

Mourners queue in Southwark Park yesterday to view the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II who is lying-in-state 

Despite being a former Army officer, he has been in civilian dress for official events, including walking behind his grandmother’s coffin on Wednesday when it was carried to Westminster Hall for lying in state. 

Last night, the Queen’s children – Charles, the Duke of York, the Princess Royal and the Earl of Wessex – took part in their own vigil.

The King, Anne, Andrew and Edward had solemn looks on their faces as they stood vigil around their mother’s coffin, with their heads bowed throughout as members of the public filed slowly past them.

It comes as final preparations are under way for the funeral on Monday, with politicians and royal dignitaries from around the world expected to arrive throughout the weekend. Prime Minster Liz Truss will today meet the prime ministers of Australia and New Zealand – Anthony Albanese and Jacinda Ardern – at the Government’s Chevening country residence, a No 10 spokesperson said.

Charles will also meet chiefs of staff at Buckingham Palace today and visit police headquarters to thank the emergency services for their work in planning the funeral.

Tomorrow, Ms Truss will meet Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin, Canadian premier Justin Trudeau, Polish President Andrzej Duda and US President Joe Biden at Downing Street. She will have an audience with the King before attending his reception for visiting heads of state at Buckingham Palace on Sunday.

Charles concluded his tour of the home nations yesterday, starting his day with a visit to Wales, after trips to Northern Ireland and Scotland in recent days.

Some 800 people, including members of the Queen’s Household and Windsor estate staff, will attend the committal service afterwards at 4pm in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

After the funeral, the King and members of the royal family will walk behind the Queen’s coffin to Wellington Arch when it leaves Westminster Abbey, before it is driven to Windsor on the state hearse.

The Queen: All you need to know following her passing and a look back at her 70-year reign

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