London: The Queen queue reaches 11 hours and almost 5 miles long

London: The Queen queue reaches 11 hours and almost 5 miles long

People queuing to see the Queen's coffin

People in the queue overnight waited for 14 hours (Image: Getty)

The wait to reach Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin is now more than 11 hours and the queue stretches at least 4.4 miles – but many say it’s worth it.

Before Her Majesty is laid to rest during her state funeral on Monday 19 September, Westminster Hall will be open 24 hours a day for people to pay their last respects.

There are three days left to see the monarch lie in state at the doors of the historic landmark close to the public at 6.30am on Monday.

The prospect of showers later today also does not seem to have deterred people from all corners of the country.

Nurse Melanie Pickman, 50, left her Swansea home at 11am to join the back of the queue just before 3pm yesterday.

The mother-of-three said: “My sons think I’m mad because I’ve come to London to stand in a queue that some say can be 30 hours long.

“Last night I thought about it, and I decided to come first thing this morning. I just thought I had to come.

People queuing past the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben Tower

People queuing past the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben Tower (Image: EPA)

People queuing to see the Queen's coffin

Some mourners carried the Union Jack flag with them (Image: EPA)

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People queuing to see the Queen's coffin

Firefighters were seen handing out bottles of water to mourners (Image: Reuters)

“We will never see this again. She served our country for so long. We owe it to her to show our respect.

“Look at all these people who have lined up – she’s made them happy.

“She may be the queen, but she’s also somebody’s mother, aunt and grandmother. I just think she’s a part of us too. We have been lucky to have had her.

The wait had jumped to 14 hours early this morning, although the mileage remained the same.

Firefighters were seen handing out bottles of water, while St John Ambulance volunteers were also at the scene.

At least 400 people in the queue had to be treated, with over half on Wednesday.

People queuing to see the Queen's coffin

St John Ambulance volunteers were also at the scene (Image: PA)

People queuing to see the Queen's coffin

Mourners welcome the sunrise tomorrow as they queue (Image: Reuters)

People queuing to see the Queen's coffin

Although the wait was long and tiring, many said it was worth it (Image: Getty)

While a small number of patients suffered serious ailments, the most common complaints were blisters, dehydration and feeling faint.

But for most, queuing to see the Queen’s coffin was a “rewarding” experience.

Marc Carney finally entered Westminster Hall at 6.40pm after traveling from his home in Hythe, Kent, on Thursday morning.

The moment he got to say his personal goodbye, he was “struck by the realism” of everything that was happening.

“It blows your mind how touching it is for all of us and how much love and support there is for the Queen,” the 58-year-old said.

People queuing to see the Queen's coffin

Fast food trucks and cafes stayed open to feed those queuing (Image: Getty)

People queuing to see the Queen's coffin

Temperatures remained mild overnight, in the early 20s (Image: Shutterstock)

Mr Carney joined the queue at about 11.30am and said “it had been difficult to find the end of it because the line kept growing as I walked towards it”.

He added: “It was so rewarding and peaceful in many ways. You also got to see London under a different cloud.

“It was worth it to make the long journey. It makes you focus on what you’re here for.’

Although temperatures were mild, in the early 20s, mourners mostly came prepared, with warm blankets and raincoats in hand.

As they passed landmarks including Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, there was much good-natured chatter and discussion about the Queen’s 70-year reign.

Amy Harris, 34, and Matthew Edwards, 35, met James Cross, 65, after catching the train to London from Birmingham to queue at around 1am.

Mr Cross said: ‘Everyone in the queue was very friendly, chatting and laughing. It was actually quite delicious.

Edwards said everyone offered biscuits and drinks, adding that the three now planned to have a pint together after the long wait.

Meanwhile, Harris said the atmosphere in Westminster Hall was “breathtaking”, adding: “When you’re able to go in and have a moment to look at it and reflect, the calmness of it – to be able to show respect in those cases . a quiet place, it’s very peaceful.

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