Mourners Line Miles To Say Goodbye To Queen Elizabeth At Westminster Hall

People waited miles to say goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday when her coffin began to lie in state. Senior royals, including King Charles III, Prince William, and Prince Harry, had brought it from Buckingham Palace to Westminster in a procession.

An official tracker said that when Westminster Hall opened its doors at 5 p.m., the line of people stretched almost three miles along the River Thames.

The coffin will stay at the hall, which is in the middle of the British parliamentary estate, until Monday morning, when the funeral for the Queen will take place. As the gun carriage carrying the coffin moved along the procession route, senior royals walked behind it.

In 1997, Prince William and Prince Harry walked together in a funeral procession for their mother, Princess Diana. Both of them have said that this was a sorrowful time for them.

The Imperial State Crown was placed on the coffin and wrapped in the Royal Standard. A floral wreath was also placed on top of the casket.

Before entering Westminster Hall, where the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby led a brief liturgy, it was escorted by members of the armed forces as it was brought past The Mall, Whitehall, Parliament Street, Parliament Square, and New Palace Yard.

The Archbishop told CNN’s Clarissa Ward from the crowd on Wednesday that participating in the event is a tremendous honor and privilege. The royal undertakers Leverton & Sons told the British newspaper The Times that the Queen’s coffin was made more than 30 years ago. It is made of English oak and lined with lead.

People have been able to walk by the coffin, which is on a raised platform called a catafalque, since Wednesday evening. Thousands of people are expected to line up in the capital’s streets to pay their respects, and some may even sleep there.

Harry’s participation in Wednesday’s procession is the latest time he and William have been seen together since the Queen’s death. The brothers have been trying to show unity, even though there have been tensions between them since Harry quit as a senior royal.

William and Harry’s wives, Catherine, Princess of Wales, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, showed up together in Windsor on Saturday. This was a surprise because it hadn’t been planned ahead of time. A source told CNN that William asked the Sussexes to join the walkabout so they could see the tributes to the Queen and meet people who cared about her.

On Sunday, the Queen’s body was moved from Balmoral Castle, where she died, to Edinburgh. The route took six hours and was the first part of the late Queen’s eight-day trip to her final resting place.

People waited outside Edinburgh’s St. Giles’ Cathedral on Monday night to pay their last respects. The government of Scotland said that more than 26,000 people got to see the Queen. The Queen’s body was moved from St. Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh to Buckingham Palace in London on Tuesday.

It was taken from the cathedral to the airport in a hearse, and then a C-17 Globemaster transport plane flew it to the RAF Northolt airbase in west London. The coffin was then taken to Buckingham Palace, where the Queen’s family met it. It spent the night in the Bow Room.

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