What to know about the queen’s lying in state in Westminster

Sep 13, 2022, 1:37 PM | Updated: Sep 14, 2022, 10:10 am

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is carried inside Westminster Hall for the Lying-in State, in Lond...

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is carried inside Westminster Hall for the Lying-in State, in London, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. (David Ramos/Pool Photo via AP)

(David Ramos/Pool Photo via AP)


              The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is carried inside Westminster Hall for the Lying-in State, in London, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. (David Ramos/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is carried inside Westminster Hall for the Lying-in State, in London, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. (David Ramos/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              The bearer party carries the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II into Westminster Hall, London, Wednesday Sept. 14, 2022. The Queen will lie in state in Westminster Hall for four full days before her funeral on Monday Sept. 19. ( Jacob King/Pool via AP)
            
              The bearer party carries the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II into Westminster Hall, London, Wednesday Sept. 14, 2022. The Queen will lie in state in Westminster Hall for four full days before her funeral on Monday Sept. 19. ( Jacob King/Pool via AP)
            
              King Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort at Westminster Hall, London, where both Houses of Parliament are meeting to express their condolences following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Monday Sept. 12, 2022. (Joe Giddens/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              King Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort at Westminster Hall, London, where both Houses of Parliament are meeting to express their condolences following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Monday Sept. 12, 2022. (Joe Giddens/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Crowds gather along the Mall ahead of the ceremonial procession of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, London, Wednesday Sept. 14, 2022. The Queen will lie in state in Westminster Hall for four full days before her funeral on Monday Sept. 19. (Aaron Chown/Pool via AP)
            
              Crowds gather along the Mall ahead of the ceremonial procession of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, London, Wednesday Sept. 14, 2022. The Queen will lie in state in Westminster Hall for four full days before her funeral on Monday Sept. 19. (Aaron Chown/Pool via AP)
            
              People gather along for the procession of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, in London, Wednesday Sept. 14, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday Sept. 8, 2022, after 70 years on the throne. She was 96. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
            
              People gather along for the procession of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, in London, Wednesday Sept. 14, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday Sept. 8, 2022, after 70 years on the throne. She was 96. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
            
              The gun carriage which will transport the coffin of late Queen Elizabeth II in procession to Westminster Hall arrives at Buckingham Place in London, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. The Queen will lie in state in Westminster Hall for four full days before her funeral on Monday Sept. 19. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, Pool)
            
              The gun carriage which will transport the coffin of late Queen Elizabeth II in procession to Westminster Hall arrives at Buckingham Place in London, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. The Queen will lie in state in Westminster Hall for four full days before her funeral on Monday Sept. 19. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, Pool)
            
              Coldstream Guards stand outside Buckingham Palace prior to the ceremonial procession from the palace to Westminster Hall, London, of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, where it will lie in state ahead of her funeral on Monday, Wednesday Sept. 14, 2022. (Ian West/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Coldstream Guards stand outside Buckingham Palace prior to the ceremonial procession from the palace to Westminster Hall, London, of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, where it will lie in state ahead of her funeral on Monday, Wednesday Sept. 14, 2022. (Ian West/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Members of the Coldstream  Guards leave Wellington Barracks ahead of the ceremonial procession of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, in central London, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. (Ben Birchall/Pool via AP)
            
              Members of the Coldstream  Guards leave Wellington Barracks ahead of the ceremonial procession of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, in central London, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. (Ben Birchall/Pool via AP)
            
              The coffin carrying Queen Elizabeth II rests in Westminster Hall for the lying in state, in London, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. (Dan Kitwood/Pool via AP)
            
              Members of the choir depart after the coffin of Queen Elizabeth arrived at Westminster Hall in London, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. The Queen will lie in state in Westminster Hall for four full days before her funeral on Monday Sept. 19. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, Pool)
            
              The coffin carrying Queen Elizabeth II rests in Westminster Hall for the lying in state, in London, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. (Dan Kitwood/Pool via AP)
            
              Members of the choir depart after the coffin of Queen Elizabeth arrived at Westminster Hall in London, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. The Queen will lie in state in Westminster Hall for four full days before her funeral on Monday Sept. 19. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, Pool)
            
              King Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort at Westminster Hall, London, where both Houses of Parliament are meeting to express their condolences following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Monday Sept. 12, 2022. (Joe Giddens/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Crowds gather along the Mall ahead of the ceremonial procession of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, London, Wednesday Sept. 14, 2022. The Queen will lie in state in Westminster Hall for four full days before her funeral on Monday Sept. 19. (Aaron Chown/Pool via AP)
            
              People gather along for the procession of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, in London, Wednesday Sept. 14, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday Sept. 8, 2022, after 70 years on the throne. She was 96. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
            
              The gun carriage which will transport the coffin of late Queen Elizabeth II in procession to Westminster Hall arrives at Buckingham Place in London, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. The Queen will lie in state in Westminster Hall for four full days before her funeral on Monday Sept. 19. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, Pool)
            
              Coldstream Guards stand outside Buckingham Palace prior to the ceremonial procession from the palace to Westminster Hall, London, of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, where it will lie in state ahead of her funeral on Monday, Wednesday Sept. 14, 2022. (Ian West/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Members of the Coldstream  Guards leave Wellington Barracks ahead of the ceremonial procession of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, in central London, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. (Ben Birchall/Pool via AP)
            
              FILE - Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair, front right, leader of the Liberal Democrats Charles Kennedy, front second right, Iain Duncan-Smith, the leader of the Conservative Party and Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, front left, file past officers from the Household Cavalry standing in vigil at the coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother as it lies in state in Westminster Hall in London Friday, April 5, 2002. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to flock to London’s medieval Westminster Hall from Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, whose coffin will lie in state for four days until her funeral on Monday. (AP Photo/Santiago Lyon/Pool, File)
            
              FILE - The gun carriage carrying the coffin of Britain's Queen Mother, is pulled by the Royal Horse Artillery, with members of the royal family following as it enters Horse Guards Parade on its journey to Westminster Hall, in London, Friday April 5, 2002. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to flock to London’s medieval Westminster Hall from Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, whose coffin will lie in state for four days until her funeral on Monday. (AP Photo/Rebecca Naden/Pool, File)
            
              FILE -  The late King George VI lies in state in Westminster Hall, London, on Feb.11, 1952. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to flock to London’s medieval Westminster Hall from Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, whose coffin will lie in state for four days until her funeral on Monday. (AP Photo/Rider)
            
              FILE - In this Feb. 11, 1952 file photo, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, left, stands with her grandmother Queen Mary, center, and her mother, Queen Elizabeth, at the entrance to London's Westminster Hall as her father's coffin arrives to lie in state. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to flock to London’s medieval Westminster Hall from Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, whose coffin will lie in state for four days until her funeral on Monday. (AP Photo/Ron Case, File)
            
              FILE -  Slowly the cortege of late King George VI turns from Kingsway into Aldwych, in London, on Feb. 11, 1952, en route to Westminster Hall. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to flock to London’s medieval Westminster Hall from Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, whose coffin will lie in state for four days until her funeral on Monday. (AP Photo/Rider)
            
              FILE -  The remains of King George V lie in state until the royal funeral, with the Household troops standing guard at Westminster Hall in London on Jan. 23, 1936. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to flock to London’s medieval Westminster Hall from Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, whose coffin will lie in state for four days until her funeral on Monday. (AP Photo, File)
            
              FILE -  A view of the pall covered coffin of King George V, lying in Westminster Hall, London, on Jan. 23, 1936. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to flock to London’s medieval Westminster Hall from Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, whose coffin will lie in state for four days until her funeral on Monday. (AP Photo, File)
            
              FILE -  The long, never ending queue of pilgrims to Westminster Hall to pay homage to King George V, was still some two miles long in London, on Jan. 26, 1936. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to flock to London’s medieval Westminster Hall from Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, whose coffin will lie in state for four days until her funeral on Monday. (AP Photo, File)
            
              FILE -  The gun carriage bearing the coffin of King George V, after leaving Westminster Hall in London on January 28, 1936. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to flock to London’s medieval Westminster Hall from Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, whose coffin will lie in state for four days until her funeral on Monday. (AP Photo/Len Puttnam, File)
            
              FILE - Vast crowds watched the coffin of the late King George V borne through London streets on a gun carriage to Westminster hall on Jan. 23, 1936, where the late Monarch will lie in state until the royal funeral. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to flock to London’s medieval Westminster Hall from Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, whose coffin will lie in state for four days until her funeral on Monday. (AP Photo, File)
            
              FILE - The Koh-i-noor, or "mountain of light," diamond, set in the Maltese Cross at the front of the crown made for Britain's late Queen Mother Elizabeth, is seen on her coffin, along with her personal standard, a wreath and a note from her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, as it is drawn to London's Westminster Hall in this April 5, 2002. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to flock to London’s medieval Westminster Hall from Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, whose coffin will lie in state for four days until her funeral on Monday. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

LONDON (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to flock to London’s medieval Westminster Hall from Wednesday to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, whose coffin will lie in state for four days until her funeral on Monday.

Here’s a look at what to expect for the occasion, including its traditions, the waiting route and what mourners will see:

HOW LONG WILL THE QUEEN LIE IN STATE?

People who want to view the queen’s coffin can do so 24 hours a day from 5 p.m. local time (1600GMT) Wednesday until 6:30 a.m. on Monday, the day of the state funeral.

WHAT WILL PEOPLE SEE?

The closed coffin is draped with the Royal Standard, a flag representing the sovereign and the U.K. It is adorned with royal regalia including the orb, the sceptre and the bejewelled Imperial State Crown — the same one the queen wore for her 1953 coronation.

The coffin is placed on a catafalque, or a raised platform, in the center of Westminster Hall. Royal guards in plumed hats and ceremonial uniform will stand 24 hours a day at each corner of the platform.

When the coffin was in Scotland earlier this week, it was topped with the Crown of Scotland and a wreath of white flowers.

LEAD-LINED COFFIN

The queen’s coffin is constructed out of English oak, lined with lead and was made decades ago, experts say.

Sarah Hayes, manager for the Coffin Works museum in Birmingham, England, says former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the queen’s husband Prince Philip and Princess Diana had such coffins made for them, she said.

“It’s to preserve the body for as long as possible, it’s really about slowing down the process of decomposition,” she said. This is especially important for the queen because her coffin will be eventually placed in a church, not buried in the ground, she added.

The coffin is made of oak from the royal family’s Sandringham Estate according to royal tradition, Hayes said.

THE QUEUE

British officials have published two waiting routes along the River Thames that the public need to join before they can enter Westminster Hall. The main queue begins on the Albert Embankment and stretches east for miles past the London Eye, the Tate Modern and Tower Bridge. There is a separate, accessible route that people who need it can join from the Tate Britain museum.

Mourners have been warned about long waits, possibly overnight. Hundreds of extra toilets and water fountains will be placed along the route, and some venues along the way, including Shakespeare’s Globe, will open around the clock to provide refreshments and rest breaks. Airport-style security checks are in place near the front of the line before people can enter Parliament.

WESTMINSTER HALL

The lying in state takes place at Westminster Hall, a 900-year-old building with an impressive timber roof. Built in 1097, it’s the oldest surviving building of the Palace of Westminster.

The medieval hall has been at the heart of British history for a millennium: It was where numerous kings and queens hosted lavish coronation banquets, and where Guy Fawkes and Charles I were tried in the 17th century. More recently, ceremonial addresses were presented in the hall to Elizabeth during her silver, golden and diamond jubilees.

WHO GETS TO LIE IN STATE?

In the U.K., lying in state is reserved for the sovereign, queen consorts, and sometimes prime ministers.

Queen Mary, King George VI and King George V were among royals who lay in state at Westminster Hall. Winston Churchill was the only British prime minister to have a lying-in-state ceremony in the 20th century.

The last person to lie in state in Britain was Elizabeth’s mother, known as the Queen Mother. Some 200,000 people paid their respects to her over three days when she died in 2002.

WHEN DID THE TRADITION START?

The tradition of lying in state stretches back to the 17th century when Stuart monarchs lay in state for a number of days.

Edward VII set the modern tradition of royal lying in state in Westminster Hall. He lay in state in 1910.

WHERE IS THE QUEEN’S FINAL RESTING PLACE?

After the state funeral, the coffin will be taken to Windsor, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of London. The queen will be laid to rest in the King George VI Memorial Chapel, within St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where her mother and father were interred and her sister Princess Margaret’s ashes were placed.

Prince Philip’s coffin, which is currently in St. George’s Chapel’s Royal Vault, is expected to be moved to the memorial chapel to join the queen’s.

St. George’s is where many of Britain’s royals were baptized, married and buried throughout history. It has long been the resting place for the royals, and 10 former sovereigns were buried there.

___

Follow AP coverage of Queen Elizabeth II at https://apnews.com/hub/queen-elizabeth-ii

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What to know about the queen’s lying in state in Westminster