The line to Westminster Hall to pay respects to Queen Elizabeth II has reopened after British authorities halted the queue for more than seven hours Friday due to a surge in numbers.
But officials said Friday afternoon that people may have to stand in line for more than 24 hours before reaching the queen’s coffin. And they say that it will be cold during the night.
Mourners continued to stream in Friday evening as King Charles III stood vigil by his mother’s coffin.
A live tracker of the tail said it was “at capacity” earlier in the day as waiting times reached 14 hours and the line stretched 5 miles from Parliament to Southwark Park in south London and then around the park.
Also Friday, King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla traveled to Wales after spending a day out of the public eye. Hours later, they returned to London where the king met with faith leaders at Buckingham Palace.
Mourners kept silently streaming into Westminster Hall even as King Charles III and his three siblings stood vigil around the flag-draped coffin of Queen Elizabeth II for 15 minutes on Friday evening in London. A baby’s cry was the only sound.
He stood along with his siblings, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
Before the vigil, Edward said the royal family had been “overwhelmed by the tide of emotion that has engulfed us and the sheer number of people who have gone out of their way to express their own love, admiration and respect (for) our dear mama .”
On Saturday, all eight of Queen Elizabeth II’s grandchildren are expected to stand vigil beside her coffin.
King Charles embraces UK’s religious diversity in remarks
The new king, traditionally known as the “Defender of the Faith,” called himself a “committed Anglican Christian” in a meeting with faith leaders Friday at Buckingham Palace. But he also embraced the faith diversity of modern Britain and promised to protect it.
The king reminded the leaders, meeting in the Bow Room, that as sovereign he takes oaths to uphold the Protestant faith in the UK, but he believes he has an additional duty to protect “the space for faith itself.”
“By my most profound convictions, therefore – as well as by my position as sovereign – I hold myself bound to respect those who follow other spiritual paths, as well as those who seek to live their lives in accordance with secular ideals,” he said .
“This conviction was the foundation of everything my beloved mother did for our country, over her years as our queen,” he said. “It has been the foundation of my own work as Prince of Wales. It will continue to be the foundation of all my work as king.”
After closing for several hours Friday, the line to Westminster Hall, where the queen is lying in state for two more days, reopened for mourners to pay respects. However, officials are saying that people may have to wait in line for 24 hours, potentially in some chilly overnight weather, to reach Queen Elizabeth’s coffin.
The temperature in London Friday was 60 degrees and sunny, but temperatures could drop into the 50s or below overnight, according to The Weather Channel.
The line was about 5 miles long, snacking along the banks of the River Thames.
Authorities laid on more than 500 portable toilets, while around 1,000 stewards and marshals were on duty at any given time.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to pay their respects before Monday’s state funeral.
Soccer great David Beckham has joined the miles-long queue of people waiting to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II as she lies in state.
People spotted the former England captain in the line of mourners near Britain’s Houses of Parliament at lunchtime on Friday. He is believed to have joined the queue at 2 am and to have lined up for more than 10 hours with thousands of others.
Officials temporarily halted people joining the back of the line on Friday after a park at the farthest end became full. People who arrived were directed to holding areas and slowly allowed to join the queue.
Upon the news of the queen’s death Beckham remembered her reign on Instagram telling his followers how the news “saddened” him.
“How devastated we all feel today shows what she has meant to people in this country and around the world. How much she inspired us with her leadership,” he wrote. “How she comforted us when times were tough. Until her last days she served her country with dignity and grace.”
King Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort, have arrived in Wales for an official visit. The visit began with a service at Llandaff cathedral in Cardiff and will include a meeting with Welsh parliament and stop by Cardiff castle.
For more than 50 years up to his mother Queen Elizabeth II’s death last week, Charles was the Prince of Wales — a title that has now passed to his son, Prince William.
The royal couple previously visited Scotland and Northern Ireland, the other nations making up the United Kingdom, following last week’s death of Queen Elizabeth II at age 96.
A steady stream of mourners continues for the third day of paying respects to Queen Elizabeth IIwho is lying in state in Westminster Hall.
The crowds are the latest manifestation of a nationwide outpouring of grievance for the only monarch most Britons have ever known, who died at her beloved Balmoral summer retreat Sept. 8 at age 96, ending a 70-year reign.
As the line has reached capacity people are being told not to join the line to view Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin. British officials said Friday morning that the organized line was at capacity and no one will be allowed to join it for at least six hours.
Caroline Quilty of London said that she got to the line around 4 am Friday.
“I think it is a moment in history, and if I did not come and celebrate it and see it and be part of it, I think I would really regret it,” she said.
The line stretched for 5 miles from Parliament to Southwark Park in south London.
The government says the park is now full and entry to the queue is being “paused.” asking mourners to “not attempt to join the queue until it re-opens.”
All eight of Queen Elizabeth II’s grandchildren will stand vigil beside her coffin on Saturday as it lies in state at Westminster Hall. King Charles III and his siblings will stand vigil Friday evening.
Officials said Friday that Prince William and his brother Prince Harry, will attend the 15-minute vigil. William, who is heir to the throne, will stand at the head of the coffin and Harry at the foot. Both princes, who are military veterans, will be in uniform.
Also attending will be Princes Anne’s children, Zara Tindall and Peter Philips; Prince Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie; and the children of Prince Edward, Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn.
The ceremony will follow a vigil by the queen’s four children on Friday evening.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to pay their last respects by filing past the coffin during the lying-in-state, which began Wednesday and concluded Monday, the day of the queen’s funeral.
Prince William and Princess Katenow Prince and Princess of Wales, Thursday greeted thousands of people outside Sandringham, the royal country estate in Norfolk.
The couple appeared outside the gates of the 20,000-acre estate to view the sea of floral tributes left for Queen Elizabeth II and to greet thousands of well-wishers..
William and Kate walked slowly along metal barriers as they received bouquets from the public and chatted to well-wishers.
Crowns and jewels:What did Queen Elizabeth leave behind in the House of Windsor’s estate
Jane Wells, 54, was among those who turned up and spoke to William, 40, about how he and brother Prince Harry, 38, walked behind the queen’s coffin with their father, King Charles III, and the king’s siblings, in the procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall for the start of the lying-in-state on Wednesday.
The walk yesterday was challenging,” William said, according to Wells.
“I said how proud his mother would have been of him, and he said how hard it was yesterday because it brought back memories of his mother’s funeral,” Wells reporter told afterward.
Sandringham is the monarch’s privately-owned retreat a few hours by train northeast of London. It’s where the late queen spent some of her childhood years and where she presided over many Christmas family gatherings.
Buckingham Palace has announced that two minutes of silence will be observed across the United Kingdom at the end of Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral.
The funeral is to be held at Westminster Abbey on Monday, with some 2,000 guests attending, including visiting heads of state and other dignitaries on Monday.
The guest list for the state funeral is a roll-call of global power and pomp, from Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and King Felipe VI of Spain to US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and the prime ministers of Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
After the funeral, the late queen’s coffin will be transported through the historic heart of London on a horse-drawn gun carriage.
It will then be taken in a hearse at Windsor, where the queen will be interred alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, who died last year.
Contributing: Elise Brisco, Nicole Fallert, Maria Puente and Associated Press