Queue for queen’s coffin reopened, wait hits 24 hours

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London, Sept. 16 (BNA): A surging tide of people — ranging from London retirees to former England soccer captain David Beckham — have lined up to file past Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin as it lies in state at Parliament, so many that authorities on Friday had to call a temporary halt to more people joining the miles-long queue.


By late afternoon, a live tracker of the queue to get into historic Westminster Hall said it had reopened, but the British government warned that the waiting time to cover the 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the start of the line in Southwark Park to Parliament had climbed to more than 24 hours. The government also warned that “overnight temperatures will be cold.”


According to The Associated Press (AP), King Charles III and his siblings will be standing vigil around the flag-draped coffin on Friday evening.


Beckham was spotted in the line of mourners near Britain’s Houses of Parliament at lunchtime Friday. He’s believed to have joined the queue at 2 a.m. and to have lined up for more than 10 hours with thousands of others.


Wearing a white shirt and black tie, he bowed briefly to the coffin before moving out of Westminster Hall.


“We have been lucky as a nation to have had someone who has led us the way her majesty has led us, for the amount of time, with kindness, with caring and always reassuring,” Beckham said. “I think that’s the one thing that we all felt safe and we will continue that with the royal family. But I think (her) majesty was someone special and will be missed, not just by everyone in our country but everyone around the world.”


Helena Larsen, 76, arrived just too late at the park.


“We have literally got here and they have shut it in front of us,” she said, adding that she would likely hang around the area until the gates were reopened.


WHQ