Queens coffin to lie in state for public to pay respects to beloved monarch

Her Majesty the Queen’s coffin is set to lie in state to allow the public to pay their last respects.

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 in the vast, medieval Westminster Hall in the Palace of Westminster.

The historic spectacle is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of people.

The Queen’s death in Scotland means there could possibly be a second mini lying in state, most likely in St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, which would allow the public to honour the monarch.

Contingency plans put in place in case the Queen died during the pandemic are believed to have included ticketing of the main lying in state, possibly in timed slots – an option which could still be employed.

Her Majesty passed away earlier today, Buckingham Palace confirmed in a statement.

Queen Elizabeth II has reigned over the United Kingdom since 1952 and is the country’s longest-serving monarch.

Buckingham Palace said: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

he Duke of Edinburgh did not lie in state, which was in accordance with his wishes, but, at this point in the Covid-19 crisis, such mass gatherings were also against the law.

In the days leading up to the funeral, members of the public will file slowly past to pay their respects in sombre silence.

For a royal lying in state, the coffin is draped in a royal flag, usually a personal standard, and rests on a catafalque – a raised platform covered with a purple cloth, flanked by a military guard around the clock.

A priceless crown and other regalia are traditionally placed on top of a sovereign’s coffin.

Each corner of the platform is watched 24 hours a day by units from the Sovereign’s Bodyguard, Foot Guards or the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

The last person to lie in state in the UK was the Queen Mother in 2002.

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