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Line to see Queen’s coffin reaches 24-hour wait as mourners brave cold night

The queue to see the Queen’s coffin at Westminster Hall reached a record-breaking 24 hours as the UK government issued a warning to mourners queuing overnight.

Temperatures plummeted to 41°F in the early hours of Saturday as more and more people joined the queue snaking around the center of the capital.

The line for Her Majesty’s Lying-in-State at Westminster Hall led many to pay their respects one last time after her death at the age of 96 on Sept. 8.

The landmark opened its doors to the general public on Wednesday and will remain open for 24 hours each day before closing at 6:30 a.m. on Sept. 19 — the day of Her Majesty’s state funeral.

“Expected queuing time is over 24 hours and overnight temperatures will be cold,” Britain’s culture department warned on Friday night. The line reached its maximum capacity earlier that day and was shut for 6 hours.

Bundled up against the cold, members of the public.
Bundled up against the cold, members of the public near the end of their 12-hour wait as the queue to see Queen Elizabeth II’s casket nears an end outside Westminster Hall in the middle of the night on Sept. 17, 2022.
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The UK government’s live tracker, which is updated in real-time and shows where the back of the line is, urges newcomers not to travel to join the queue.

Mourners who’ve already secured their place in line are asked not to save a place for others or leave personal items unattended. It is also frowned upon for those in line to put up tents during the lengthy wait.

Thousands of sad citizens have been standing to say goodbye — with the government expecting at least 750,000 people this week.

Bundled up child.
Members of the public are able to pay respects to Queen Elizabeth II for 23 hours a day from 5 PM on Sept. 17, 2022 until 6:30 AM on Sept. 19, 2022.
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Mourners are required to obtain a wristband to join the line, with water fountains and portable toilets placed along the route for relief.

For many, a chance to spend minutes with the coffin means hours of discomfort in chilly temperatures and rain. Hundreds of mourners aching or experiencing other medical issues from the wait have sought out medics.

“We’ve been very busy today,” a Saint John’s Ambulance medic told The Post on Friday. “I think lots of people experienced severe discomfort, aches, and pain from being in the queue for so long. We’ve had quite a few people feeling faint, and actually fainting today, too.”

Those waiting in line on Friday got more than what they bargained for after unexpectedly rubbing shoulders with soccer star David Beckham.

The former England soccer captain paid his respects to the queen after waiting over 12 hours in line.

The famed soccer player, 47, told BBC he waited just over 12 hours and wiped away tears inside after seeing the coffin.

Former English football player David Beckham visits Queen Elizabeth II's coffin
Former English football player David Beckham visited Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin on Sept. 16, 2022.
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“We all want to be here together and experience and celebrate the amazing life of our queen. I think that something like this today here together is meant to be shared,” Beckham told reporters outside the Hall.

But Friday was not without its drama, as chaos ensued after a man rushed toward Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin at Westminster Hall, prompting police officers to arrest him.

The shocking scene played out around 10 p.m. in front of dozens of horrified witnesses who waited in line for the better part of day to pay their respects to Elizabeth.

Metropolitan Police took the suspect into custody after he darted out of the line, climbed up the steps to the catafalque and touched the coffin.

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