People wishing to see the Queen lying in state have been warned of long queues and banned from taking photos, as official guidelines were issued ahead of the late monarch’s arrival at Westminster Hall.
Numerous rules and regulations were published before the late monarch was flown to London on Tuesday (13), where she will remain in state for four full days before her funeral next Monday (19).
But first, the Queen will lay in repose in Edinburgh today, after her coffin completed the more than six-hour journey from Balmoral to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
This morning King Charles and the Queen Consort will travel to the Scottish capital to join a procession from Holyroodhouse to St Giles Cathedral, where the coffin will be brought at 2.55pm.
Mourners will be able to view the coffin, topped with the Crown of Scotland, from 5 p.m.
It’s called lying in repose, rather than lying in state, which won’t happen until the Queen is in London.
The Met Office predicts a cloudy day for Edinburgh, with “some light and patchy rain”, but conditions are expected to have cleared up somewhat by the afternoon.
A hearse will take the coffin to Edinburgh Airport on Tuesday. He will be flown to London for the Queen to rest in state at Westminster Hall from Wednesday.
His closed coffin will rest on a raised platform – known as the catafalque – inside the hall. Members of the public will be able to parade to pay their respects 24 hours a day until 6.30am on Monday, September 19 – the day of the funeral, which will be a public holiday.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to flock to the capital for the once-in-a-lifetime procedure, and those planning to visit should adhere to detailed guidelines released today.
What should you expect if you visit?
Large crowds are expected, with warnings of long queues and public transport delays.
Visitors will go through airport-style security and there are strict restrictions on what you can take.
“People will have to stand for many hours, possibly all night, with very little opportunity to sit down as the queue will keep moving.
“Please consider this before deciding to attend or bring children with you,” says the official direction.
The queue may also close earlier to ensure that as many visitors as possible can enter.
What can you take with you?
There will be a strict baggage policy, with only one small bag per person allowed.
The bag must be less than 40 cm x 30 cm x 20 cm, with a simple opening or a zip.
Anyone who needs to bring a larger bag will need to leave it in a bag drop – but space is limited and there is no guarantee of storage.
There are few places to buy food along the queue, so the public is encouraged to bring food and drink. But these must be eaten or discarded before entering the palace.
A portable cell phone charger is advised, given the long queues.
What items are prohibited?
Flasks or bottles of water are prohibited – unless they are transparent.
Flowers and other tribute items, including candles, stuffed animals and photographs, are also prohibited.
Only flowers should be brought to the designated area of Green Park.
Sharp objects, spray paint, padlocks, chains, climbing gear and any other dangerous objects are prohibited.
Banners, placards, flags, advertising or marketing messages are also prohibited.
All camping gear – including coolers, laundry baskets, sleeping bags, blankets, folding chairs – is not to be brought, as well as non-folding strollers.
Will it be accessible?
Step-free access will be available for those who need it.
More information on the route will be provided on Tuesday (13).
How should you behave?
People are warned to “respect the dignity of this event”, and to remain silent in the Palace of Westminster.
Anti-social behavior including queuing, binge drinking or drunkenness will not be tolerated and people may be removed from the queue.
People are warned not to film, photograph or use mobile phones in the security search area or inside the palace.
Wristbands will be given out at the end of the queue and only those who have them can stay, so people won’t be able to queue on other people’s behalf or ask people to queue on their behalf .
You cannot bring tents or gazebos, or light barbecues or fires.
London should be dry from Wednesday until the funeral, according to the Met Office, with less than 10% chance of rain.
By Megan Baynes, Journalist