Farewell to the Queen: King Charles and Prince William visit those waiting
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Farewell to the Queen
King Charles and Prince William visit those waiting
17/09/2022, 15:19 hrs
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to say goodbye to the Queen this weekend in London. They sometimes queue for a day in front of Westminster Hall. The surprise should have been all the greater when suddenly King Charles and Prince William stood before them.
British King Charles III. and Prince William made a surprise visit to mourners waiting in the mile-long line outside London’s Westminster Hall. The new British monarch and his son shook hands and chatted with waiting citizens on Lambeth Bridge, which spans the Thames.
The crowd greeted the two royals with applause, cheers and shouts of “God save the King”. “I hope you’re not too cold,” the new king told a woman waiting in line, the BBC said. In London, temperatures had risen to several digits overnight. A security guard warned those waiting to “put their phones away, shake hands and enjoy the moment”.
Ahead of Elizabeth II’s funeral service and her funeral on Monday, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to bid farewell to the late Queen at the coffin this weekend. Westminster Hall will remain open to the public until 7.30am Monday morning, with the monarch’s coffin set up. The authorities expected another huge stampede on Saturday and Sunday.
There were already miles of queues in front of Westminister Hall on Friday. The waiting time was up to 24 hours. Sometimes mourners were not allowed to queue anymore – the government said there was no more space in the park at the end of the queue. According to estimates by the London transport authorities, a total of 750,000 people will have paid their respects to the Queen on Monday morning.
Visit to the police
On Friday, King Charles III. and his three siblings, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, held an evening vigil at their mother’s coffin as mourners continued to march through Westminster Hall.
Charles also visited emergency services for one of the largest operations in the history of London’s Metropolitan Police. The 73-year-old exchanged views with new Police Commissioner Mark Rowley, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Britain’s new Home Secretary Suella Braverman at Scotland Yard headquarters.
London police, who have repeatedly been negatively in the news in recent years about their treatment of protesters, women and minorities, are scheduled to undergo a major operation before the state funeral next Monday. Phone booths, trenches and a number of other places had already been checked across the city in recent days to ensure the safety of hundreds of state guests and hundreds of thousands of spectators.