LONDON — The line to view the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II lying in state in Westminster Hall was three miles long on Thursday. By Friday morning, it had grown to five miles. Then, an update from the government: The line — known in Britain as the Queue — was full, and would-be mourners would be temporarily turned away for at least six hours, starting at about 9:50 a.m.
“We are sorry for any inconvenience,” the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said in its post on Twitter. “Please do not attempt to join the queue until it re-opens.”
Officials have been posting live updates about the length of the line and had warned that they might have to close off entry. The estimated wait time for those who had scraped through before the cutoff was 14 hours.
Hundreds of thousands of people, some traveling to London from across the country, have formed up to pay their respects to the queen, who will be laid to rest in a state funeral on Monday.
By Friday, the line had spilled into Southwark Park, across the river and several miles east of the coffin’s location in Westminster Hall.