Waiting time in queue to see Queen Lying in State reaches nine hours

Members of the public stand in the queue on the South Bank in London opposite the Palace of Westminster. Credit: PA

The queue to see the Queen Lying in State at Westminster Hall has reached an estimated eight hours, as scores of mourners brace themselves to wait overnight to pay their respects to Her Majesty.

The queue to honour the late monarch stretched for almost five miles past Tower Bridge on Thursday, an official queue tracker showed as night fell on Thursday..

As authorities prepared to open the Hall to mourners at 5pm on Wednesday, the tracker showed the initial queue was around 2.5 miles long and stretched all the way to London Bridge.

But those who waited in line said it was worth it - as the moments spent in quiet reflection near the coffin allowed them to pay proper tribute to the Queen, becoming a part of history in the process.

Watch ITV News' continuous live coverage of mourners queuing to pay their respects to the Queen Lying in State in Westminster Hall

Three well-wishers who befriended each other in the queue said there had been a friendly “camaraderie” among the crowds, despite miserable weather, before an atmosphere of sombre reflection inside the hall.

Amy Harris, 34, and Matthew Edwards, 35, met James Cross, 65, after getting the train to London from Birmingham to join the queue at about 1am.

Mr Cross said: “Everyone in the queue was very friendly, chatting and having a laugh. It was really quite lovely.”

Mr Edwards added: “Everyone was offering biscuits, drinks,” adding that the three were now planning to have a pint together after the long wait.

Members of the public file past the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II lying in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall. Credit: PA

The atmosphere in Westminster Hall was “breath-taking,” Ms Harris said.

“When you’re able to go in and have a moment to look at it and reflect, the serenity of it – to be able to pay your respects in such a serene place, it’s very peaceful.”

“It’s just like the only person that’s there is you,” Mr Cross said. “You walk in and you could hear a pin drop.”

People hoping to see the Queen Lying in State are being urged to "plan ahead and prepare appropriately".

Numbers could be capped at around 350,000, with people warned to expect up to a 30-hour wait in the queue.

Mourners are also being urged to check the list of prohibited items.

The remarkable life of the Queen remembered in our latest episode of What You Need To Know