Royal mourners queuing to see Queen’s coffin warned of bitter overnight chill

The queue of well-wishers who want to pay their final respects to the late Queen as she lies-in-state could be in for a chilling wait.

But royal fans waiting overnight to guarantee themselves a good spot at the front of the line face a miserable few hours. Weather forecasts for London show a dramatic drop in temperatures over the next few days.

The Met Office predicts that early on Saturday morning (September 17) the queue of mourners could be shivering in 9C temperatures or lower, with a north-west wind adding to the chilly feeling.

READ MORE: Queen mourners left 'retching' over stench of portable toilets for those in queue

Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said that at least it won’t be as rainy as the past few days: "The main thing is people can be staying dry, with some light northerly winds, but that will mean it will start to feel a little bit fresher as the day moves on."

A "fresher feel" will be more noticeable as the sun goes down, and it will "start to feel a bit chillier" overnight into tomorrow (Friday, September 16) as temperatures drop to around 9C.

He warned: "If you are standing around for a few hours then you will definitely need to wrap up a bit warm."

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The Queen’s coffin is lying in state in Westminster Hall, which will be open to the public 24 hours a day until 6.30am on Monday, the day of her funeral.

Official plans allowed for around 750,000 visitors but officials admit it could be many, many more. They're expecting many more people than the 200,000 who saw the Queen Mother’s coffin in 2002.

The Government has reminded anyone thinking of attending that the queue will be almost continuously moving – with little chance to rest or sit down – and has urged people to “dress appropriately” for the conditions.

Hundreds of thousands of people braved the overnight chill to wait in line along the Thames embankment, sometimes for up to 30 hours.

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As soon as the queue officially opened at 5pm yesterday (Wednesday, September 14) it was already over two miles long, meaning a wait time of around 12 hours.

The most recent update from the official Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Twitter account puts the beginning of the queue somewhere around Bermondsey Beach, over three miles away and a good hour’s walk even without a queue.

Live video of the scene at Westminster Hall is available on the BBC’s red button service, as well as the BBC Parliament channel, ITV and Sky are also running extensive coverage.

The coverage has become cult viewing, with social media users expressing how essentially British it is to watch ordinary people paying their last respects to a monarch.


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