The Queen’s Queue: A Whopping 24-Hours

At one point, the queue was 10 miles long.

If you think lines at Disneyland are long, then wait until you get a load of this. Mourners from all over the world flocked to London to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, who was lying in state at Westminster Hall the days leading up to her Sept. 19 funeral. The queen’s queue estimated wait time? 24 hours.

According to the BBC, the queen’s queue registered longer than 24 hours at one point. Thousands beyond thousands of people solemnly waited in line. The queen’s queue estimated to be 10 miles long.

Depending on the number of people already in line, mourners entered the queue at Southwark Park. The line snaked along the River Thames, passing landmarks like Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Westminster Bridge, Victoria Tower Gardens, and more. Once near parliament, queuers had to go through airport level security before entering Westminster Hall.

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Among the crowd was English football icon David Beckham. “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 reassurance,” he told the Independent at Westminster Hall. Beckham reportedly waited in the queen’s queue for over 10 hours.

“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.”

With overnight temperatures dropping into low digits and strenuous periods of standing, medical examiners and ambulances were on standby. Per Today, the London Ambulance Service treated 1,078 people over the five-day queue.

Out of fear of not fitting everyone in before the Sept. 19, 6:30 BST deadline, officials didn’t allow anyone to join the queue after Sunday evening.

The queen’s funeral took place at Westminster Abbey on Monday, Sept. 19, followed by a procession to Windsor Castle. Along the route, public onlookers were able to bid their final goodbyes as the queen passed through the streets of London, past Buckingham Palace, one last time. She is eternally laid to rest at St. George’s, next to husband Prince Philip.

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more