The Queen lying-in-state is first major security hurdle

September 12, 2022


Around 750,000 people are expected to converge on London when The Queen lies in state for four days this week – causing the first major security hurdle for the Metropolitan Police.

Her Majesty’s coffin will rest in Westminster Hall with a continuous 24 hour procession of her subjects passing by to pay their respects.

It will prove to the first of many security and logistical barriers for the Metropolitan Police to cross as people may find they have to queue for up to 30 hours.

The line could be five miles long, according to some estimates.

Lying-in-state is the tradition where the coffin of a monarch is placed on view ahead of a State Funeral. The Queen’s State Funeral takes place on Monday.

Some observers say it will mark the biggest security operation in the country’s history and certainly the biggest since the London 2012 Olympics.

Security expert Philip Ingram MBE said with leaders jetting in from across the Commonwealth and the wider world the threat levels are “through the roof”.

He said much has been mitigated in the planning for the Queen’s death, codenamed Operation London Bridge.

Former Black Rod Lt Gen David Leakey said the lying in state at Westminster Hall will only pause in the early hours of the morning to clean carpets, change candles and flowers. The guard will also change every 30 minutes or so, said Lt Gen Leakey.

Today, it emerged that tens of thousands of people visiting the Queen’s coffin in Edinburgh will encounter airport-style security checks and travel disruption.

Well-wishers will be able to file past the coffin, which is lying at rest, from 5.30pm on Monday, September 12 until 3pm on Tuesday, September 13.

Roads have been shut in the capital which is expected to have a “significant knock-on impact” on surrounding trunk roads and the Edinburgh city bypass.

Mourners have been advised they will have to stand in long queues to collect a wristband allowing them into St Giles’ Cathedral.

One wristband per person will be issued and only those with a wristband will be allowed to enter St Giles’ Cathedral.

Flowers are being laid in Middle Meadow Walk and Palace of Holyrood House but will not be permitted into the cathedral.

People are also warned the queue may close early to ensure as many visitors as possible can enter the cathedral before the Lying-At Rest period ends.

Airport-style security checks for entering St Giles’ will be in place at George IV Bridge.
There will be tight restrictions on what can be brought in to the cathedral.

A statement from Buckingham Palace said: “Her Majesty The Queen’s Coffin will depart St Giles’s Cathedral for Buckingham Palace tomorrow, Tuesday 13th September 2022.

“Having travelled from St Giles’ Cathedral, Her Majesty’s Coffin will depart in a Royal Air Force aircraft from Edinburgh Airport in the early evening, arriving into RAF Northolt.

“The Princess Royal accompanied by Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence will travel with the Coffin on its journey.

“At Edinburgh Airport, The Coffin will be conveyed onto the aircraft by a Royal Air Force Bearer Party and a Guard of Honour will be found by The Royal Regiment of Scotland. There will be a Royal Salute as the Coffin arrives. The Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland will also be present on the apron.

“As the aircraft leaves, the Guard of Honour will give a final Royal Salute. The Band will play one verse of the National Anthem.”

The State Hearse will then convey the Coffin to Buckingham Palace. The route will be:


Eastbourne Terrace

Lancaster Gate

Bayswater Road

Marble Arch

Park Lane

Hyde Park Corner

Constitution Hill

Centre Gate Centre Arch of Buckingham Palace


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