The U.K. will hold a minute of silence at 8 p.m. local time (3 p.m. ET) Sunday as the country has one more day of queuing to see Queen Elizabeth’s coffin lying in state.
The numbers of mourners continued to grow with a line stretching at least 5 miles. On Saturday, U.S. President Joe Biden and other world leaders and dignitaries flew into London ahead of the queen’s state funeral on Monday.
And the government shared details where the public can watch the day’s procession, including 125 cinemas screening the funeral. In addition to a number of viewing areas along the route, mourners will be able to watch on screens set up in Hyde Park, close to Buckingham Palace. There also will be screening sites at several towns and cities across the U.K.
Queen’s funeral will result in more than 100 flight cancellations at Heathrow Airport
London’s transport authority expects around 1 million people to visit the British capital Monday for Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral.
Transport for London chief Andy Byford said the capital has seen “huge numbers of additional passengers” since the queen died on Sept. 8. But he said demand will “reach a climax” on Monday.
Across the country, some 250 extra train services will run, including some overnight trains. Peter Hendy, chairman of Network Rail, said Monday will see the “biggest public transport operation since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
More than 100 Heathrow Airport flights will be canceled to prevent aircraft noise from disturbing the funeral at Westminster Abbey Monday morning and the queen’s committal service at Windsor Castle afterward.
The west London airport said 15% of its 1,200 flights scheduled to take off or land on Monday will be disrupted.
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The infamous queue to see Queen Elizabeth II’s lying in state will soon come to an end.
As the nation prepares to lay its monarch to rest, officials announced that the queue will close to the public Sunday once it reaches final capacity.
“To avoid disappointment, please do not set off to join the queue,” the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said in a tweet, adding the line was already at a 13-and-a-half-hour wait and could increase. For four days, thousands of people have joined the miles-long wait to see the monarch’s coffin in the Palace of Westminster. The crowds are the latest manifestation of a nationwide outpouring of grief for the only monarch most Britons have ever known.
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U.S. President Joe Biden has arrived in London to pay his respects to the queen
The president was expected to sign the official condolence book and attend a reception Sunday at Buckingham Palace hosted by King Charles III before attending the queen’s funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday.
Biden is among many world leaders traveling to the United Kingdom to honor Queen Elizabeth’s long reign. Biden and first lady Jill Biden were greeted at the airport by U.K. Ambassador Jane Hartley, Lord Lieutenant of Essex Jennifer Tolhurst and others.
After the queen’s death, Biden issued a proclamation directing that all American flags be flown at half staff “as a mark of respect for the memory of Queen Elizabeth II” until sunset on the day of her interment. Before coming to London, he spoke with the king to offer his condolences and went to the British Embassy.
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Queen Elizabeth II’s grandchildren stand vigil by coffin
All eight of Queen Elizabeth II’s grandchildren stood in silent vigil beside her coffin early Saturday evening.
King Charles III’s sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, were joined by Princess Anne’s children, Zara Tindall and Peter Philips; Prince Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie; and the two children of Prince Edward, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.
The heir to the throne, William, stood with his head bowed, at the head of the coffin and Harry at the foot. Both princes, who are military veterans, were in uniform. Harry wore civilian clothes days ago during the procession of the queen’s coffin from Buckingham Palace because he is no longer a working member of the royal family, but the king requested that both his sons wear their military uniforms at the vigil.
Before the vigil, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie issued a statement praising their “beloved grannie.”
“We, like many, thought you’d be here forever. And we all miss you terribly. You were our matriarch, our guide, our loving hand on our backs leading us through this world. You taught us so much and we will cherish those lessons and memories forever,” the sisters wrote.
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Contributing: Edward Segarra, Naledi Ushe and Nicole Fallert, USA TODAY, and The Associated Press