People who wish to see the Queen lying in state have been warned of long queues and banned from taking photographs, as official guidance was issued ahead of the late monarch’s arrival at Westminster Hall.
Extensive rules and regulations have been published in advance of the late monarch being flown to London on Tuesday, where she will lie in state for four full days ahead of her funeral next Monday.
But first, the Queen will lie at rest in Edinburgh today, after her coffin completed the more than six-hour journey from Balmoral to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
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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, with the Crown of Scotland placed on top, from 5pm.
This is known as lying at rest, rather than lying in state, which will not happen until the Queen is in London.
The Met Office is forecasting a cloudy day in Edinburgh, with “some patchy, light rain”, but conditions should have brightened up somewhat by the afternoon.
A hearse will take the coffin to Edinburgh airport on Tuesday. It will be flown to London for the Queen to lie in state at Westminster Hall from Wednesday.
Her closed coffin will rest on a raised platform – known as a catafalque – inside the hall. Members of the public will be able to file past to pay their respects 24 hours a day until 6.30am on Monday 19 September – the day of the funeral, which will be a bank holiday.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to flock to the capital for the once-in-a-lifetime proceedings, and those planning to visit must adhere to extensive guidance issued today.
Read more: How and where can you see the Queen lying in state?
The sight of a coffin – the moment the sense of loss hits home
As the Queen’s coffin left Balmoral Castle, her place of sanctuary, it was a time to pause and take in what has happened.
Traffic, tractors and thousands in the crowds all stopping to pay their respects along the 180-mile journey.
The sight of a coffin, is so often the moment when the sense of loss begins to hit home.
It was a journey that spanned the two most important aspects of the Queen’s life: Driving through the Highlands we saw where she personally felt most at home every summer, enjoying time with her family. But soon it was time to face the crowds of towns and cities just as she had throughout her life, where much of her official work was carried out.
Overall, there was silence, punctuated by the odd round of applause, as hundreds raised their phones in the centre of Edinburgh to capture this moment –
people all wanting to be able to show in the future they were there.
Princess Anne and her husband Admiral Sir Tim Laurence had travelled in a car behind the coffin.
Today she will join the rest of her siblings, led by King Charles, as they follow the hearse once more to St Giles Cathedral for a service of remembrance.
In death, as in life, we will again see that natural instinct to support and be there for their mother and Queen.
What should you expect if you visit?
Large crowds are expected, with warnings of long queues and delays on public transport.
Visitors will go through airport-style security and there are tight restrictions on what you can take in.
People will need to stand for many hours, possibly overnight, with very little opportunity to sit down as the queue will keep moving.
“Please consider this before you decide to attend or bring children with you,” says the official guidance.
The queue may also close early to ensure as many visitors as possible can enter.
What can you take in with you?
There will be a strict bag policy, with only one small bag per person permitted.
The bag must be smaller than 40cm x 30cm x 20cm, with a simple opening or zip.
Anyone who has to bring a larger bag will have to leave it in a bag drop facility – but space is limited and there is no guarantee of storage.
There are limited places to buy food along the queue route, so the public is encouraged to bring food and drink. But these must be consumed, or disposed of, before entering the palace.
A portable mobile phone charger is advised, given the lengthy queue times.
More on the Queen:
What happens between now and the Queen’s funeral?
The secrets behind some of the Queen’s most famous photos
What items are banned?
Flasks or water bottles are banned – unless they are clear.
Flowers and other tribute items, including candles, soft toys and photographs, are also prohibited.
Flowers only should be taken to the dedicated area in Green Park.
Sharp items, paint sprays, padlocks, chains, climbing gear and any other hazardous items are banned.
Banners, placards, flags, advertising or marketing messages are also not allowed.
All camping equipment – including coolers, hampers, sleeping bags, blankets, folding chairs – are not to be brought, as well as non-foldable pushchairs.
Read more: Stop leaving Paddingtons and sandwiches as Queen tributes, mourners told
Will it be accessible?
Step-free access will be available for those who need it.
More information about the route will be provided on Tuesday.
How must you behave?
People are warned to “respect the dignity of this event”, and remain silent in the Palace of Westminster.
Antisocial behaviour, including queue-jumping, excessive consumption of alcohol, or drunken behaviour, will not be tolerated and people risk being removed from the queue.
People are warned to not film, photograph, or use mobile phones in the security search area or within the palace.
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Wristbands will be given at the end of the queue and only those with wristbands can stay, so people will not be able to queue on behalf of others 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, the Met Office says, with less than a 10% chance of rain.
Source : BBC News