Those in charge of logistics, the Whitehall chiefs, have estimated that the number of visitors seeking to view the Queen lying in state could surpass hundreds of thousands a day, forming overnight queues.
How many people will visit the Queen lying in state?
The Whitehall chiefs originally predicted that 40,000 people per day would turn up to pay their respects to the Queen during the five-night vigil.
However, this has since been updated to the possibility that over 200,000 members of the public may turn up daily, exceeding the number of visitors Queen Elizabeth II’s mother had in 2002 as she lay in state.
Whitehall chiefs suggested the number could even approach the million mourners who made the journey in Rome to mourn the loss of Pope John Paul II in 2005.
When will the Queen lie in state in London?
As Operation Unicorn is implemented, the Queen will make her final journey from Edinburgh to London by plane tomorrow, September 13.
The public will then be able to visit the Queen’s coffin at Westminster Hall from Wednesday afternoon to 6.30am the following Monday.
Her state funeral will take place at 11am that Monday at Westminster Abbey.
Queen Elizabeth II’s mother was the last person to lie in state in the UK twenty years ago on 9 April 2002 at Westminster Hall.
What is the expected route for mourners in London?
Potters Field Park, an open green space located by the Thames next to Tower Bridge, is the anticipated starting point of the mourners’ route.
From here, the miles-long queue will form along the South Bank and cut past the Palace of Westminster and the London Eye before reaching Lambeth Bridge.
Then mourners will make a, comparatively, shorter trip to Westminster Hall to pay their respects.
The route will be prepared in advance with extra portable loos and water stations to ensure visitors are looked after on their way to viewing the Queen’s coffin.
Will there be disruptions to public transport?
London train operators are represented by the Rail Delivery Group who have warned of busy public transport services, urging the public to think ahead about the time required for travel as road congestion is possible.
London’s transport commissioner, Andy Byford, told the BBC: “We are working with our partners to keep our city moving smoothly and to ensure that everyone who is planning to attend the memorial events can do so safely.”
Accommodation services are also being strained in London in wake of the Queen lying in state.
Travelodge, which owns roughly 80 hotels in London, revealed that room demands had shot up, their spokesperson said: “As one of London’s largest hotel chains, we are seeing a surge in London bookings from all corners of the UK.
“Our teams across our 78 London-based Travelodge hotels are working around the clock and gearing up for a busy period in the lead up to the Queen’s state funeral.”