Photos and videos of a gargantuan line to see Queen Elizabeth II‘The London-to-London Coffin may be enough to make some say, “No thanks to the queue.”
But it looks like thousands of British citizens are seeing the gesture quite differently this week.
“You have to suck it. I’m here, I’m not going anywhere. I have sworn an oath to queen and country and feel it is my duty to honor her,” David Carlson, a 75-year-old veteran who is already in line, told The Telegraph..
“I have 1,001 emotions when I see her,” Chris Imafidon, another man online, told The Associated Press. “I mean, ‘God, she was an angel,’ because she touched a lot of good people and did so many good things.”
The Queen’s coffin was transported from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall on Wednesday, where it will be on public display until Monday morning, the day of her funeral, the British government announced. said.
Two hours before Westminster Hall opened on Wednesday, a line of mourners stretched 2 miles from Houses of Parliament, continuing over a nearby bridge and along the River Thames, The Associated Press reports.
The line could stretch 10 miles, with wait times of up to 30 hours to enter Westminster Hall, Sky News reports. In a warning to the public, the official guidelines published on Tuesday states: “You will be up for many hours, possibly all night, with very little opportunity to sit down, as the queue will keep moving.”
Supporters will receive numbered and color-coded wristbands before joining the line. These undetachable bracelets will allow people to go out “for a short period” to go to the toilet or buy food and drinks.
Hundreds of stewards, police and paramedics will tend to those waiting, the AP reports. Thirty multi-faith pastors and volunteers from a suicide prevention organization are also available to help with the emotional needs of anyone in difficulty.
The government even posted a livestream on YouTube which shows where the line ends for those who want to join.
Officials say they cannot predict how many mourners will want to say goodbye to the Queen, but The Telegraph estimates that up to 400,000 people could pay their respects.
And although the Brits are known for their excellent queuing skills, some fear the line will test many people’s limits.
“I’m afraid we’re sleepwalking into a really difficult situation,” Jonathan Haslam – who served as former prime minister John Major’s chief communications secretary – told Times Radio, according to The Telegraph.
Haslam said he “couldn’t imagine” that Elizabeth would “want people to endure” a 30-hour wait.
“We are going to see horrible stories about people who are suffering, trying to pay tribute to them. And there has to be a better way to do these things,” he added.