London mourners brave 9-hour wait to say goodbye to queen

The queue to pay respects to the late queen at Westminster Hall was at least a nine-hour wait, snaking across a bridge and along the south bank of the River Thames beyond Tower Bridge.

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World News

September 15, 2022 - 3:38 PM

Members of the public file past the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, inside Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, in London on Wednesday. (Ben Stansall/Pool/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

LONDON (AP) — Thousands of mourners waited for hours Thursday in a line that stretched for nearly 4½ miles across London for the chance to spend a few minutes filing past Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin while she lays in state at Britain’s Parliament. King Charles III spent the day in private to reflect on his first week on the throne.

The queue to pay respects to the late queen at Westminster Hall was at least a nine-hour wait, snaking across a bridge and along the south bank of the River Thames beyond Tower Bridge. But people said they didn’t mind the wait, and authorities rushed to offer services like portable toilets to make the slog bearable.

“I’m glad there was a queue, because that gave us time to see what was ahead of us, prepared us and absorbed the whole atmosphere,” health care professional Nimisha Maroo said. “I wouldn’t have liked it if I’d had to just rush through.”

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