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Full Guidance: Her Majesty The Queen’s Lying-in-State at the Palace of Westminster

During the Lying-in-State period, Her Majesty The Queen’s closed coffin rests on a raised platform, which is called a catafalque, inside Westminster Hall in the Palace of Westminster (also known as the Houses of Parliament).

Members of the public attending will file past the catafalque to pay their respects.

Her Majesty The Queen’s Lying-in-State at the Palace of Westminster opens to the public at 5pm on Wednesday 14 September. It will be open 24 hours a day until it closes at 6.30am on Monday 19 September.

If you wish to attend the Lying-in-State, please note that there will be a queue, which is expected to be very long. You will need to stand for many hours, possibly overnight, with very little opportunity to sit down as the queue will be continuously moving.

Details about the route for the Lying-in-State queue will be added to this guidance at 10pm on Tuesday 13 September.

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Large crowds are expected, and there are likely to be delays on public transport and road closures around the area. You should check ahead, plan accordingly and be prepared for long queues.

Visitors will go through airport-style security and there are tight restrictions on what you can take in. Only small bags are permitted. There is more information in the section below on what you should and should not bring.

Where, when and how to queue

Details about the route for the Lying-in-State queue will be added to this guidance from 10pm Tuesday 13 September.

Queueing time

Please note that the queue is expected to be very long. You will need to stand for many hours, possibly overnight, with very little opportunity to sit down, as the queue will keep moving.

Please consider this before you decide to attend or bring children with you.

The queue may close early to ensure as many visitors as possible can enter the Palace before the Lying-in-State period comes to an end.

Step-free and accessible options will be available for those who need them. The section on accessibility will provide more information.

What you should and should not bring

There is a strict bag policy in operation. You are only permitted to bring one small bagper person into the Palace of Westminster. It must be smaller than 40cm x 30cm x 20cm, with one simple opening or zip so you can move quickly through the security check.

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If you have to bring a larger bag, you will need to leave it in the bag drop facility, which you will be directed to. However, capacity is limited and there is no guarantee that there will be space at the facility.

Items are left at your own risk. Waiting for bag storage space to become available will increase your queuing time.

Read the bag drop facility section for more information

Remember to bring:

  1. Suitable clothing for the weather conditions. This might include warm, protective clothing or an umbrella in cold or wet weather, or sunscreen if you might need it.
  2. Food and drinks to consume in the queue. There are limited places to buy refreshments along the route. Any food items and liquids must be consumed or disposed of before you enter the security search point outside the Palace of Westminster. Clear water bottles are permitted, but must be emptied of their contents before you enter the security search point.
  3. Mobile phone charger. You are likely to be in the queue for a long time, so consider bringing a small portable power bank to use if you need to charge your phone.
  4. Essential medication or equipment that you need to keep with you.Please explain this to the security staff or police at the security search point so they can check the items.
PoW Prohibited items GovUK 960x640 01 1

You must not bring any of the following items into the security search point or Palace of Westminster.

Prohibited items will be confiscated and will not be returned. Illegal items will be dealt with by the police.

  • Bags larger than 40cm x 30cm x 20cm in size, bags or rucksacks with expandable compartments, bags or rucksacks with multiple pockets or complex openings, solid-sided bags, or bags on wheels.
  • Flasks or water bottles, except clear water bottles. Clear water bottles must be emptied of their contents before you enter the security search point at the Palace of Westminster.
  • Food and liquid of any kind. Any food or liquids must be consumed in the queue or disposed of before you enter the security search point at the Palace of Westminster.
  • Flowers or other tribute items (including candles, soft toys and photographs). These items cannot be taken into or left in the Palace of Westminster. Floral tributes only should be taken to the dedicated floral tribute area in Green Park.
  • Sharp items, including knives, Swiss Army knives, scissors, cutlery and screwdrivers.
  • Personal defence equipment or any object that could be used as a weapon and/or compromise public safety, including personal defence sprays.
  • Paint sprays, padlocks, chains, climbing gear, and dangerous or hazardous items.
  • Fireworks, smoke canisters, air-horns, flares, whistles, laser devices, and other items that could be used to cause a disturbance or noise.
  • Banners, placards, flags, advertising or marketing messages, and other similar items that could be used to cause a disturbance.
  • Coolers, hampers, sleeping bags, blankets, folding chairs and camping equipment.
  • Non-foldable pushchairs.
  • Any other items as directed by security staff or police.

Bag drop facility

A bag drop facility is available but capacity is limited, and there is no guarantee that there will be space at the facility.

Waiting for bag storage space to become available will increase your queuing time.

Further information on the bag drop facility will be added shortly.

Security and searches

To keep everyone safe, security measures are in place at the Lying-in-State. Please follow instructions given by the police and stewards.

The police may conduct security searches along parts of the queue.

Before entering the Palace of Westminster you will go through an airport-style security search point.

Restrictions on bags and other items will be strictly enforced. Prohibited items, including drinks and other liquids, will be confiscated at the search point and disposed of.

If there is a security incident or you spot a suspicious item, alert the stewards or the police and follow their instructions.

Accessibility

Step-free access will be available for those who need it. More information about the route for the Lying-in-State queue will be provided at 10pm on Tuesday 13 September.

The security search point and Palace of Westminster have step-free access.

Guide dogs, hearing dogs and other official assistance dogs are permitted within the Palace of Westminster. No other animals are permitted.

Conduct and behaviour

Please respect the dignity of this event and behave appropriately. You should remain silent while inside the Palace of Westminster.

Stewards and police officers will patrol the queue. Antisocial or inappropriate behaviour (including queue-jumping, excessive consumption of alcohol or drunken behaviour) will not be tolerated and you will be removed from the queue.

You should:

  1. Dress appropriately for the occasion to pay your respects at the Lying-in-State. Do not wear clothes with political or offensive slogans.
  2. Turn your phone off (or to silent mode) before entering the security search area.
  3. Dispose of litter using the litter bins provided.
  4. Keep noise to a minimum, and respect people who live in residential areas near the queue.
  5. Follow the instructions of stewards, marshals and the police at all times.

You must not:

  1. Film, photograph, or use mobile phones or other handheld devices in the security search area and the Palace of Westminster.
  2. Bring or erect gazebos or tents.
  3. Light barbecues or fires.
  4. Attempt to queue on behalf of others or ask others to queue on your behalf. Only those given wristbands at the end of the queue will be able to stay in the queue.
  5. Leave personal items unattended in the queue. If you leave bags or other items unattended they will be removed and may be destroyed.

Exiting the Lying-in-State

As you leave the Palace of Westminster, you should move away from the exit straight away so that you do not prevent others from exiting. This will help everyone to keep the queue moving.

You will be asked to remove your wristband when you exit.

If you have left a bag or other item at the bag drop facility, you must collect your item straight after your visit.

When you leave the Palace of Westminster, follow the signs and directions given by stewards to return to the bag drop facility and collect your bag or item.

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