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: Line to pay respects to Queen Elizabeth II halted after reaching capacity


The queue to visit Queen Elizabeth II laying in state was paused by officials after reaching its capacity.

Thousands of people have joined a queue across London to visit Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin, which will remain at Westminster Hall until Monday when she will be taken to across the road to Westminster Abbey for the first state funeral since 1965.

The U.K government’s culture department launched a live tracker on Thursday showing the length of the queue. By the afternoon, people were waiting at least 9 hours to see the Queen.

On Friday morning the queue snaked all the way along the River Thames bankside from Westminster Hall, near the Houses of Parliament, to Southwark Park in South East London. The waiting time has hit 14 hours.

“Entry (to the queue) will be paused for at least 6 hours,” said the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on Twitter.

Mourners are given wristbands to go for short breaks to use the toilet or get refreshments. No food or drink is allowed past the security search point.

Keith Smart, an engineer and army veteran, waited 10 hours to pay his respects.

“Everybody in the crowd was impeccably behaved. There was no malice. Everybody was friends. It was fantastic,” he said.

It is not the first time that crowds have formed queues along the river to pay respects to a monarch.

In 1952, the streets of London were filled with people waiting to pay respect to the late King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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