The UK will hold a minute’s silence at 8 p.m. local time (3 p.m. ET) on Sunday as the country still has a day’s queue to view Queen Elizabeth’s coffin in state.
The number of mourners continued to grow with a line stretching at least 5 miles. On Saturday, US President Joe Biden and other world leaders and dignitaries flew to London ahead of the Queen’s state funeral on Monday.
And the government has shared details of where the public can watch the day’s procession, including 125 cinemas showing the funeral. As well as a number of viewing areas along the route, mourners will be able to watch on screens set up in Hyde Park, near Buckingham Palace. There will also be testing sites in several cities across the UK
The infamous queue to see Queen Elizabeth II in state will soon end.
As the nation prepares to rest its monarch, officials announced the queue will be closed to the public on Sunday once it reaches final capacity.
“To avoid disappointment, please do not queue“, said the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in a tweet, adding that the queue was already at 1.5 hours and could increase. For four days, thousands of People joined the miles-long wait to see the monarch’s coffin in the Palace of Westminster. The crowd is the latest in a wave of nationwide grief for the only monarch most Britons have ever known.
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US President Joe Biden has arrived in London to pay tribute to the Queen
The president was due to sign the official book of condolences and attend a Sunday reception 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 UK to honor Queen Elizabeth’s long reign. Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were greeted at the airport by British Ambassador Jane Hartley, Lord Lieutenant of Essex Jennifer Tolhurst and others.
After the queen’s death, Biden issued a proclamation ordering all American flags to be flown at half-mast “as a sign of respect for the memory of Queen Elizabeth II” until sunset on the day of her burial. Before coming to London, he spoke with the King to offer his condolences and visited the British Embassy.
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The Queen’s grandchildren watch over the coffin
Queen Elizabeth II’s eight grandchildren watched in silence next to 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; the daughters of Prince Andrew, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie; and Prince Edward’s two children, 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. The two princes, who are military veterans, were in uniform. Harry wore civilian clothes a few days ago during the Queen’s coffin procession from Buckingham Palace because he is no longer a working member of the Royal Family, but the King has asked that his two sons wear their military uniforms at the vigil.
Ahead of the wake, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie released a statement praising their “beloved grandma”.
“We, like many, thought you would be here forever. And we all miss you terribly. You were our matriarch, our guide, our loving hand on our back leading us through this world. You have taught us so much and we will cherish those lessons and memories forever,” the sisters wrote.
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Contributors: Edward Segarra, Naledi Ushe and Nicole Fallert, USA TODAY and The Associated Press