Rules issued for those wanting to pay respects to the queen

LONDON (AP) — Those wishing to pay their last respects to Queen Elizabeth II as she lies in state at the Houses of Parliament in London should be prepared for a long wait.

The government has issued guidelines for people wishing to walk past the late Queen’s closed coffin, as it is in the Palace of Westminster from 5pm (1600 GMT) Wednesday until 6.30am (0530 GMT) on September 19. Thousands are expected to want to pay their respects to the only monarch many in the UK have ever known.

The rules were released a day after thousands lined roads and bridges on Sunday as a hearse carried the Queen’s coffin through the Scottish countryside from her beloved Balmoral Castle in Edinburgh.

“If you wish to attend the Lying-in-State, please note that there will be a queue, which is expected to be very long. You will be required to stand for many hours, possibly overnight, with very little opportunities to sit down as the queue will continually move,” the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said in its guidelines.

The closed coffin of the monarch who died Thursday at 96 will rest on a raised platform called a catafalque in Westminster Hall in Parliament.

“Large crowds are expected, and there will likely be public transport delays and road closures in the area,” the ministry warned.

Visitors will have to go through airport type security and can only bring one small bag with a zipper. Larger bags can be stored in a special facility, but only if there is space available.

The department advises people to bring essentials for a potentially long wait exposed to all the elements an early autumn in London can throw at them – an umbrella or sunscreen, a mobile phone power bank and any necessary medication.

No food or liquids will be allowed after security screening of the Houses of Parliament. Neither do flowers or other tributes such as candles, toys or photographs.

“Please respect the dignity of this event and behave appropriately. You must remain silent inside the Palace of Westminster,” the advice says, adding that people should dress appropriately and switch off their mobile phones before going through security.

Included in a list of things not to do: “Creating, photographing, using mobile phones or other portable devices in the security search area or inside the Palace of Westminster. Bring or set up gazebos or tents. Light barbecues and fires.

And a long list of prohibited items includes fireworks, smoke bombs, flares, whistles, laser devices and other items that could be used to cause disruption as well as banners, placards, flags, advertising or marketing messages.


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