Elizabeth II: Quarter of a million people filed past Queen’s coffin in London

Around a quarter of a million people paid their respects in person to the Queen by viewing her coffin as it lay in state in London.

Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan gave the figure the morning after the nation’s longest-reigning monarch was buried at Windsor Castle.

Ms Donelan said her department was still “crunching the numbers” as to how many people had queued for hours in London to process past the Queen’s coffin at Westminster Hall, but that she believed they numbered around 250,000.

The royal family is observing another week of mourning for the Queen after a state funeral on Monday that was full of emotion and ceremony under the gaze of the world.

Around a quarter of a million people paid their respects in person to the Queen by viewing her coffin as it lay in state in London.

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Ms Donelan said that most British people would see the cost of the Queen’s funeral as “money well spent”, but could not put a figure on what that cost might be.

Pressed on Sky News about the cost of the funeral, she said: “I’m not sure of the exact costings but as I say, I think the British public would argue that that was money well spent.

“You saw so many thousands out there and I don’t think anybody can suggest that our late monarch didn’t deserve that send-off, given the duty and the selfless service that she committed to over 70 years.”

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She said it would be “downright preposterous” to suggest otherwise.

“It was great sense of the community coming together. I always think of our late monarch as the glue that brought society together,” she added.

Ms Donelan described the queue for Westminster Hall as “phenomenal”, as she paid tribute to the volunteers who helped manage and support the proceedings of recent days, including the lying-in-state.

She told BBC Breakfast: “There’s no dress rehearsal is there for this kind of scenario. It has been in the plans for years, but obviously we stress-tested everything and worked with community groups.”

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She praised the help of the Samaritans, the Red Cross, the police and establishments across the South Bank that opened their doors to those queuing.

“It was a real team effort to enable people to have that moment to say goodbye and I want to pay tribute to everybody that was involved – all the volunteers, all the marshals, the stewards, it was incredible.”

King Charles III decreed on September 9, the day after the Queen died following her 70-year reign, that a period of mourning would be observed until seven days after the funeral.

Members of the royal family are not expected to carry out official engagements, and flags at royal residences will remain at half-mast until 8am after the final day of royal mourning.

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The Queen was finally laid to rest with her husband the Duke of Edinburgh during a private evening burial service attended just by close family.

The simple committal service at St George’s Chapel contrasted with the earlier state funeral, with the Queen’s close staff represented, including her senior dresser and personal adviser Angela Kelly, alongside individuals such as Earl Spencer, the brother of Diana, Princess of Wales.

The state funeral at Westminster Abbey was attended by dignitaries including hundreds of heads of state, and with London full with mourners the event called for the largest policing operation undertaken by the Metropolitan Police.