Second-hand wristbands from Queen’s laying in state queue selling for triple figures on eBay

Members of the public in the queue near Tower Bridge in London, as they wait to view Queen Elizabeth II lying in state ahead of her funeral on Monday. Picture date: Saturday September 17, 2022.

Second hand wristbands given out to people queuing to see the Queen laying in state in Westminster Hall are being sold on eBay for triple figures.

After paying their respects to the Queen, some mourners have speedily posted their used wristbands on the online marketplace, with the highest price so far achieved standing at £199.99.

At least five of the colourful bands have sold on the site so far, with more auctions ending over the next few days.

Bids on bands currently on sale, include a bright orange one fresh from today – Saturday – which has already received bids of over £400. The auction is not set to end until Tuesday. Despite the high price tag, the seller is sweetening the deal with free postage.

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Members of the public in the queue near Tower Bridge in London, as they wait to view Queen Elizabeth II lying in state ahead of her funeral on Monday. Picture date: Saturday September 17, 2022.
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Members of the public in the queue near Tower Bridge, London

Meanwhile, two dark green bands, which the seller says were used by her and her daughter on Thursday during an eight hour wait to file past the coffin has a top bid of £396, plus £3.35 postage from Derby (at time of writing).

Yellow bands from the accessible queue are also available to buy on the site, with one seller even offering to send “two newspapers collected on the day at Westminster” along with their two yellow accessible bands.

Plus, some mourners had managed to take of their bands without breaking the seal, and so selling them “intact”.

One optimistic seller put their band – which they said was from the first day of queuing – up for £22,000, but later removed their post.

Despite the possibility of buying a wristband online, purchasers will not be able to use them to skip the queue as they cannot be reused.

The coloured and numbered bands have been issued by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to help manage the huge numbers of people keen to catch a glimpse of the Queen lying in state. Bands have different number and colour shades each day.

The DCMS website explains the process for queuing, saying the band is “a record of when you joined the queue”.

However, it adds that “having a wristband does not guarantee your entry to the Lying-in-State”.

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King Charles and Prince William met with mourners in central London.

The site goes on: “Wristbands are specific to each person joining the queue, and are strictly non-transferable. You must keep this wristband on at all times as it will be checked along the route.”

Bands make it possible for mourners to leave the queue in order to go to the toilet or grab food and drink. With some people queuing for around 24 hours, such refreshment breaks are essential.

The Queen has been lying in state since Wednesday, with her children holding a vigil on Friday, and her grandchildren due to hold a vigil on Saturday evening.

Sky News has contacted the DCMS for comment on the sale of the bands.

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