Queen's lying in state closes at 6.30am

Last in line to say goodbye: Final mourner pays her respects as the Queen’s lying-in-state closes at 6.30am ahead of today’s historic funeral – with TWO MILLION people flooding into London and 4.2billion watching worldwide

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The Queen’s lying in state has now officially finished ahead of her funeral today, with an estimated 400,000 mourners thought to have passed through Westminster Hall over the past five days.

The final people were admitted to the line to see the Queen’s coffin at about 10.30pm last night, which gave them time to make it through before the closure at 6.30am this morning. The line was opened at 5pm last Wednesday.

The last member of the public to be allowed in was Christina Heerey, who serves in the Royal Air Force. Members of parliamentary staff then followed her, with Black Rod Sarah Clarke the last person to walk past the coffin.

It comes as the Queen is to be reunited with her husband Prince Philip as she is laid to rest in a historic state funeral today. Up to two million mourners are expected to flock to London, Windsor and royal sites around the UK on the national bank holiday, with the service set to draw an estimated 4.1billion TV viewers across the globe.

The royal family, including Prince George and Princess Charlotte, will be among the 2,000 people gathered at Westminster Abbey to remember the late monarch this morning, before a committal service at Windsor Castle.

They will walk in procession behind the Queen’s coffin as it is carried through the Gothic church by the military bearer party. The King and the Queen Consort will walk immediately behind the coffin.

They will be followed by the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke of York, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, and the Prince and Princess of Wales. George and Charlotte will walk with their parents in a side-by-side in formation, followed by their uncle and aunt the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and other royals.

6.37am: The last mourners have now filed through Westminster Hall in London this morning for the Queen’s lying in state

6.32am: Black Rod leaves Westminster Hall after paying her respects this morning at the Queen’s lying in state 

6.32am: Black Rod pays her respects this morning on the final day of the lying in state at the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II

6.31am: Christina Heerey, the last mourner to pay her respects to the Queen, leaves Westminster Hall in London this morning

6.31am: Christina Heerey, the last mourner to pay her respects to the Queen, at Westminster Hall in London this morning

6.02am: The final members of the public pay their respects at the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall today

Buckingham Palace is seen at first light this morning as police officers file past on The Mall ahead of the Queen’s funeral

Mourners gather behind barriers in Westminster early this morning as they prepare to watch the funeral procession 

Buckingham Palace is seen at first light this morning as police officers file past on The Mall ahead of the Queen’s funeral

Mourners gather at 5.40am on The Long Walk in Windsor this morning ahead of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

It will come after the Queen’s lying in state period at Westminster Hall ended at 6.30am. Her coffin will be taken in a grand military procession from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey for the funeral at 11am.

Before the service, conducted by the Very Rev David Hoyle, Dean of Westminster, the tenor bell will be tolled every minute for 96 minutes, reflecting the years of the Queen’s life.

What will happen today as the Queen is laid to rest? 

The Queen’s state funeral will take place today, which was dubbed D-Day+10 or D+10 in the Operation London Bridge plan for events following the monarch’s death.

Here is a timeline of events expected to take place over the next 24 hours.

– Lying in state

The lying in state ended at 6.30am today, before the Queen’s coffin is taken to Westminster Abbey for the funeral service.

– Funeral service at Westminster Abbey

At 8am, the congregation will begin to take their seats in the abbey.

Heads of state and overseas government representatives, including foreign royal families, governors-general and realm prime ministers will first gather at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea before travelling to Westminster.

Just after 10.35am, a bearer party from The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, will lift the coffin from a wooden frame and carry it to the Royal Navy’s State Gun Carriage by the North Door of Westminster Hall.

The carriage will depart at 10.44am, drawn by 142 Royal Naval personnel. It will be followed by the King, other members of the royal family, the King’s Household and the Household of the Prince of Wales.

The procession will arrive at the West Gate of Westminster Abbey at 10.52am and the coffin will be lifted off the carriage by the bearer party and carried inside.

Before the service, the tenor bell will toll every minute for 96 minutes, reflecting the years of the Queen’s life.

The funeral will begin at 11am.

At 11.55am, The Last Post will mark the beginning of a national two-minute silence.

The Queen’s Piper will then play Reveille, the national anthem and a lament to bring the service to a close at around 12pm.

– The procession and onwards to Windsor

The Queen’s coffin will be carried back to the gun carriage before the procession steps off from Westminster Abbey at 12.15pm.

The procession will move through Broad Sanctuary Parliament Square (south and east sides), Parliament Street, Whitehall, Horse Guards including Horse Guards Arch, Horse Guards Road, The Mall, Queen’s Gardens (south and west sides), Constitution Hill and Apsley Way, before arriving at Wellington Arch at 1pm.

The coffin will be lifted off the gun carriage and placed in the state hearse, which will depart for Windsor as the parade gives a royal salute and the national anthem is played.

The King and the Queen Consort, the Prince and Princess of Wales and other members of the royal family will depart for Windsor by car.

The hearse will approach Shaw Farm Gate in Albert Road, Windsor, and join the procession, which will have been formed up and in position to step off at 3.10pm.

– The committal service

The service will mark the end of public ceremonial arrangements, and will begin at 4pm.

The door of St George’s Chapel will open for the congregation at 3.20pm, with members of the royal family not in the procession arriving for the service at 3.25pm.

The hearse will process along Albert Road, Long Walk, Cambridge Gate, Cambridge Drive, George IV Gate, Quadrangle (south and west sides), Engine Court, Norman Arch, Chapel Hill and the Parade Ground.

The procession, which will have been joined by the King and other family members on the north side of the quadrangle as it passes into Engine Court, will arrive at the West Steps of the chapel in Horseshoe Cloister at 3.53pm.

The bearer party will lift the coffin from the hearse and it will be carried in procession up the steps into St George’s Chapel before the committal service.

It is not known how long the service will last.

The King and members of the royal family will depart from the Galilee Porch for Windsor Castle once the service concludes.

– The private burial service

The Dean of Windsor will conduct a burial service attended by the King and members of the royal family at 7.30pm.

The Queen will be buried with the Duke of Edinburgh at King George VI Memorial Chapel.

Heads of state, prime ministers and presidents, members of European royal families and key figures from public life will gather at the abbey.

Dr Hoyle will say in The Bidding: ‘Here, where Queen Elizabeth was married and crowned, we gather from across the nation, from the Commonwealth, and from the nations of the world, to mourn our loss, to remember her long life of selfless service.’

The Queen’s Piper, Warrant Officer Class 1 (Pipe Major) Paul Burns, will play the traditional lament Sleep, Dearie, Sleep after The Last Post, two minutes’ silence, Reveille and the national anthem.

The funeral will be broadcast live at around 125 cinemas and several cathedrals in the UK, and on a big screen in Holyrood Park in front of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh.

At 12.15pm, the coffin will be taken in procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch and then travel to Windsor.

The hearse will then travel in procession to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle via the Long Walk, after which a televised committal service will take place in St George’s Chapel at 4pm.

The Dean of Windsor will conduct the service, with prayers said by the Rector of Sandringham, the Minister of Crathie Kirk and the Chaplain of Windsor Great Park.

The chapel’s choir will sing, and after the penultimate hymn, the imperial state crown, the orb and the sceptre will be moved from the Queen’s coffin to the altar.

After the final hymn, the King will place the Queen’s Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on the coffin, while the Lord Chamberlain breaks his Wand of Office and places it on the coffin.

The Dean of Windsor will say a psalm and the Commendation while the Queen’s coffin is lowered into the royal vault.

After this, the Sovereign’s Piper will play a lament and the Archbishop of Canterbury will pronounce the blessing, before the congregation sings the national anthem.

Later in the evening, there will be a private interment service with senior members of the royal family.

The Queen’s final resting place will be the King George VI memorial chapel, an annex to the main chapel where her mother and father were buried, along with the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret.

Philip’s coffin will move from the royal vault to the memorial chapel to join the Queen’s.

It came after the country observed a minute’s silence at 8pm on Sunday to remember the late monarch.

However, Big Ben did not strike before and after the silence as originally planned due to a technical issue.

A UK Parliament spokesman said: ‘We have investigated this as a matter of urgency and have identified a minor technical issue that has now been resolved.

‘We will be testing the bell again later tonight and are confident that it will not affect the tolling during the state funeral procession.’

But some mourners who queued for hours through the night without wristbands to get into Westminster Hall have vented their frustrations at police after being turned away from the lying in state.

Dozens of mourners were prevented in the early hours of today from advancing any closer to Westminster Hall by police at the entrance to Victoria Tower Gardens next to Lambeth Bridge.

Mourners, some of whom were in tears, complained to police that they had been ‘lied to’ earlier in the night about the chances of being able to get into Westminster Hall.

Albert, who joined the queue without a wristband at 10pm last night, was one of the mourners who was not allowed into Westminster.

He said the Government’s official live feed was not kept up-to-date with information that no further wristbands would be distributed.

‘The communication has been terrible,’ said Albert, after having queued in central London for over six hours.

He added: ‘There were loads of people who joined the official queue based on the website, but never received wristbands.’

‘And in the queue they didn’t give us any information – just to be disrespectful to us when we got here (Lambeth Bridge) in the end.’

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said after 10.30pm on Sunday that the last people had been admitted to the line.

The department said: ‘The queue to attend Her Majesty The Queen’s Lying-in-State is at final capacity and is now closed to new entrants. 

‘Please do not attempt to join the queue. Stewards will manage those already nearby. Thank you for your understanding.’

Thousands of people have made the pilgrimage to pay their respects to the late monarch. The announcement had been expected throughout the day yesterday as waiting times hit a peak of 14 hours at 10am.

By 9pm last night the waiting time was seven hours as the last crowds filed through, with people collecting wristbands for entry at London Bridge.

5.17am: The final members of the public pay their respects at the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall today

5.05am: The final members of the public pay their respects at the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall today

4.51am: The final members of the public pay their respects at the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall today

An hour earlier, people in the queue stopped and bowed their heads to observe the national minute’s silence. They applauded to mark the end of the silence at 8.01pm.

Dozens of Metropolitan Police officers also assembled in silence beside mourners and later sang the national anthem.

St John Ambulance had expressed concern about cold temperatures overnight as people queue alongside the River Thames.

It said in the early hours of yesterday morning that 98 people needed medical support, with nine taken to hospital.

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