The House of Commons has upheld a ban on letting MPs skip the queue to pay respects to Queen Elizabeth II.
Politicians will not be able to jump in the miles long line – which is an estimated 12 hour wait – to offer their respects to the 96-year-old monarch who is currently lying in state in Westminster Hall after she died at Balmoral on 8 September prior to her state funeral on Monday (19.09.2022).
A statement from the legislative chamber said: “Unfortunately, based on the projected numbers we are expecting to join the queue over the coming days, it is not possible to open up access further without the risk of impacting access for queueing members of the public.
They emphasised the “absolute priority” was to make it possible for as “as many” people could witness the Queen’s coffin for themselves, which has been visited by a number of political figures such as Prime Minister Liz Truss, the Labour leader Keir Starmer and former Prime Ministers Theresa May, Gordon Brown and Boris Johnson.
“The absolute priority has been to ensure as many members of the public as possible are able to pay their respects, many of whom have travelled from across the country and queued, often over nine or 10 hours.
“We do not in any way wish to jeopardise their ability to pass through Westminster Hall by introducing additional pressures on numbers.”
Mourners have been coming across the country to see the coffin, such as Marc Carney, 58, from Kent, who said the his farewell allow him to feel “struck by the realism of everything that is happening”.
He told the Guardian newspaper: “It hits you how moving it all is and how much love and support there is for the Queen.”
“It was difficult to find the end of it because the line kept on growing as I was walking towards it.”
In light of the funeral – which will be attended by a variety of world leaders such as US President Joe Biden and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – the Civil Aviation Authority ruled that no aircraft, including drones, will be able to fly below 2,500 feet over central London and Windsor.
The CAA said they had “decided that it is necessary in the interests of security” and the ruling will impact flights from London City Airport, London Heathrow, Royal Air Force Northolt and London Heliport.