Mourners in the queue remain undeterred by low temperatures and long waits

Mourners in the queue remain undeterred by low temperatures and long waits

The mourners remained undeterred and prepared to wait “long enough” to see the queen lie in the state, amidst warnings of a 24-hour queue and warnings from the government not to travel.

Those waiting in the queue, who now have their own BBC weather forecasts, faced temperatures of 7C just before 7am on Saturday, at which time the official queue tracker advised the public not to embark on the journey.

Despite checking the tracker regularly, the mourners went against the advice to travel to pay their respects to the late monarch.

Data from the London Ambulance Service showed in the 12 hours until midnight on Friday evening, 275 people were treated, of which 39 were taken to hospital.

Death of Queen Elizabeth II

Members of the public queue on the South Bank of the Thames opposite the Palace of Westminster in central London (James Manning / PA)

Claire Smart, 47, who arrived in the capital from Teesside, told the PA news agency that she traveled to “pay my respects and apologize for all the times I rolled my eyes as a child to hear the queen.”

He continued: “I always wanted to bow before the queen when she was alive, and somehow I felt it was important to come and do it now.”

When asked if she was put off by the expected waiting times when she left at 4:45 am, Ms. Smart replied, “I just thought I would regret not trying.”

Linda Partridge, 71, and Simon Hopkins, 59, traveled from the West Midlands to lie in the state because they felt “the need to come down”.

Ms. Partridge, who left the house at 3 am to make the journey, said: “Even though they said it was closed, I felt the need to get off.

“If we got here and then they drifted off, then that’s fine. I would just feel the need to come and then they would tell me I couldn’t go.

Death of Queen Elizabeth II

Mourners see the Queen’s coffin lying in the state on the bier in Westminster Hall (PA)

Mr. Hopkins said: “There was a feeling that maybe it was better not to travel, but just to make the journey and just to control it, and you know, if it ended up in disappointment, then so be it.”

Mrs Partridge had brought a walking stick with a seat due to knee problems, but otherwise the couple brought nothing with them.

He told PA: “I think we thought we would get off here and get rejected.

“That was the back of our mind anyway.”

Shiv Pandian, 58, of Raynes Park, southwest London, said his 30 years of working as a urologist for the NHS prepared him for a long wait.

“There are many places to eat, bathrooms and things like that; you’re used to working long hours at the NHS, ”he told PA with a laugh.

“The queen has served us for 70 years. I have served with her for 30 years. I have seen three jubilees of her, and I want to say goodbye ».

Death of Queen Elizabeth II

Audience members queuing near Tower Bridge (James Manning / PA)

He added: “I got off at Waterloo and followed the queue backwards, and then at one point I was driven here to Southwark Park. Then he reassuringly said, it’s 14 hours since I entered here, so I hope I’ll see the queen by midnight today.

Paula Priest, 53, of Wolverhampton, said she was happy to wait “long enough” to reach Westminster Hall.

“We’re here for the duration now, definitely.”

Those who made the journey despite government warnings were pleasantly surprised by the pace of the queue.

Later, Saturday morning, the tracker stopped telling mourners not to travel and the wait dropped to 16 hours.

There was constant movement through Southwark Park to the Thames Trail along Bermondsey Wall East, where the queue became more stationary.

The bright pink bracelets, which claim they do not guarantee entry to Westminster Hall, continue to be distributed.

Those waiting described the experience as well organized, with friendly staff and officers on hand to assist.

The accessible queue resumed at noon, but about four and a half hours later the DCMS announced it had reached full capacity and is now permanently closed.

The department said wristbands for all time slots were given to as many people as possible to pay homage.

A DCMS tweet advised: “Please don’t join the queue at Tate Britain. Thanks for your understanding.”

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