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Queen’s lying-in-state ‘worth’ potential 48-hour wait in ‘rain, snow, hail’: mourners

As Queen Elizabeth II’s body travels from Scotland to London, the first people queue up on Tuesday to see the lying-in-state in Westminster Hall, with some saying that a potential 48-hour wait is “worth it”.

Being the first at the queue’s starting point, Vanessa Nathakumaran, aged 56, decided to set up camp on Monday and stay on Lambeth Bridge until the Queen’s coffin is brought to Westminster on Wednesday.

To support her dedication, she told Reuters she felt a sense of “duty” to be there.

“This great lady, dutiful and steadfast, did everything meticulously and made sure the royal family followed all the rules. And she was great. And [it is] our duty to pay respect for that,” she said.

Holding the seventh and eighth positions in line, according to their self-made system, queue members Monica and Stephen did not mind the long wait.

“I feel absolutely fabulous. And I’m happy to be here. It could rain, snow, hail. It doesn’t really bother me. We are well prepared and I’m just here because my heart is bringing me here today and I just want to be able to experience and to say thank you once again for the queen,” Stephen said.

As for Monica, originally from the Philippines, she felt subject to their compatriots’ envy.

“I know I’m the envy of the Philippines and all my friends who are not here in London! And I am here representing you,” she said.

On Tuesday, the late Queen Elizabeth’s coffin was taken from St Giles’ Cathedral to Edinburgh airport where it will be flown to London, accompanied by her daughter Princess Anne. The takeoff is scheduled for 4 pm (GMT).

The Queen’s coffin will arrive at a military airfield outside London before being taken to Buckingham Palace. In there, crowds of mourners, King Charles and Queen-Consort Camilla will meet the Queen’s remains.

On Wednesday, the coffin will be on display in Westminster Hall for the lying-in-state ceremony where members of the public will be able to come and pay their respects until the morning of the funeral on Monday.

Queen Elizabeth II passed away in her Scottish home of Balmoral last Thursday. Her eldest son, Charles, automatically became King and leader of the Commonwealth.

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