Government officials have released guidance about the security systems in place for the lead up to the Queen’s funeral on Monday.
People heading for the capital either for the lying-in-state at Westminster Hall, which starts on Wednesday evening, or the State Funeral next Monday can expect huge queues, airport-style security and no sitting.
Large bags, flasks or water bottles – with the exception of clear water bottles – are banned from Westminster Hall, as is food of any kind.
Sharp items are also banned, as well as fireworks, banners, placards, coolers, and non-foldable pushchairs.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport warned: “Please note that there will be a queue, which is expected to be very long. You will need to stand for many hours, possibly overnight, with very little opportunity to sit down as the queue will be continuously moving.
“Large crowds are expected, and there are likely to be delays on public transport and road closures around the area. You should check ahead, plan accordingly and be prepared for long queues.
“Visitors will go through airport-style security and there are tight restrictions on what you can take in. Only small bags are permitted.” The queuing time is expected to be “many hours”.
Visitors are instructed they cannot: “Film, photograph, use mobile phones or other handheld devices in the security search area or within the Palace of Westminster. Bring or erect gazebos or tents. Light barbecues and fires.”
There will be a bag drop facility and before entering the Palace of Westminster people will enter through an airport-style security search point.
Larger bags can be stowed at a special facility — but only if there is space available.
The Queen’s lying in state opens to the public at 5pm on Wednesday 14 September. It will be open 24 hours a day until it closes at 6.30am on Monday 19 September.
According to one report the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has asked all international heads of state and their spouses planning to arrive in London for the State Funeral have been asked to arrive on commercial flights rather than private jets and have also been asked not to use helicopters to get around. They have reportedly been told they cannot use their own state cars to arrive at the service at Westminster Abbey scheduled for 11am local time and would instead be taken by bus from a site in west London.