Explainer-How will the general public be capable of say goodbye to Queen Elizabeth? By Reuters

© Reuters. A girl places flags with the image of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth on show, following the demise of the Queen, in London, Britain September 12, 2022. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

LONDON (Reuters) – The physique of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth will lie in state inside Westminster Corridor for the general public to pay their respects earlier than her funeral on Monday, Sept. 19.

Beneath is a take a look at the preparations and the lying-in-state custom.


The physique of a deceased particular person of significance is positioned in a public constructing to permit the general public to pay their respects.

In Britain, this normally occurs in Westminster Corridor, constructed within the 12 months 1097 within the Palace of Westminster the place the Homes of Parliament are situated.

Mendacity-in-state is a uncommon honour in Britain, beforehand accorded solely 9 different instances, largely for royal members of the family, together with Queen Elizabeth’s mom in 2002.

The three events on which non-royals had been lain in state had been the deaths of former British prime ministers William Gladstone and Winston Churchill in addition to the victims of an airship crash in 1930.

Plaques on the ground of Westminster Corridor mark the precise areas the place earlier lyings-in-state had been held.


In the course of the lying-in-state interval, Queen Elizabeth’s closed coffin will relaxation on a catafalque — a raised, adorned platform used to assist it — inside Westminster Corridor.

Every nook of the platform is guarded across the clock by items from the Sovereign’s Bodyguard, Foot Guards or the Family Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

Members of the general public might be allowed to file previous the catafalque to pay their respects from 5 p.m. (4 p.m. GMT) on Wednesday, Sept. 14 till 6:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 19, the day of the funeral. The lying-in-state might be open 24 hours a day.

The federal government is making ready for a really lengthy queue, with tons of of 1000’s of individuals anticipated to attend.

“You will have to face for a lot of hours, presumably in a single day, with little or no alternative to sit down down because the queue might be constantly shifting,” the federal government mentioned in an advisory word.


Guests will undergo airport-style safety and there are tight restrictions on what folks might be allowed to absorb. Just one small bag per particular person is permitted.

Prohibited objects embrace meals and liquid of any sort, banners, placards, flowers or different tribute objects together with teddy bears. The general public can be suggested to decorate “appropriately” for the event and never take any photos.

The Instances reported that some 10,000 cops might be deployed in London and armed forces bomb disposal groups might be on standby. Police are on alert not only for terrorism-related incidents however for protesters similar to environmental activists.

A spokesman for British Prime Minister Liz Truss mentioned as much as 1,500 troopers can be available to help. Rail operators have prompt folks ought to stroll if they’ll keep away from the community.


The custom has been round since antiquity. In England, the useless our bodies of all lessons of individuals had been ready, dressed and “laid out” in an open coffin for just a few days whereas the burial was being organized. Associates and relations of the deceased would use this era to pay their respects.

“Partially, the delay between demise and burial, which gave rise to this follow, is alleged to derive from the necessity to verify that demise had really occurred, and that the corpse wouldn’t once more spring to life,” a Home of Commons word says.


The primary lying-in-state was that of former British Prime Minister William Gladstone in 1898, attended by some 250,000 folks.

The Home of Commons cited an account from the time as saying: “It may well hardly be known as ‘in state’ – so plain, even to bareness was the entire scene – a plain oak coffin on a form of altar coated with a black material.”

The others accorded the honour embrace: King Edward VII, Queen Alexandra, King George V, King George VI (Queen Elizabeth II’s father), Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mom.

In addition to Gladstone, lyings-in-state for so-called commoners had been held on solely two different events: the demise of Britain’s wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1965 and for victims of the R101 airship catastrophe in 1930.

Some 321,360 folks filed previous Churchill’s coffin and an estimated 200,000 filed previous that of the Queen Mom in 2002.

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