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Queen’s lying in state enters first full day as rehearsals take place overnight for late monarch’s funeral | UK News

The Queen’s lying in state has entered its first full day, with mourners braving lengthy queues for the chance to file past the late monarch’s coffin.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to walk through the ancient hall of Westminster Palace after the doors opened to the public at 5pm on Wednesday.

It will stay open for four full days until 6.30am on Monday – the day of her funeral.

Queen lies in state as guard faints – latest news

There are predictions the line could stretch for up to 10 miles with waits of up to 30 hours to get into Westminster Hall.

However, as of 5am on Thursday it was 2.1 miles long – stretching to Southwark Bridge.

Sky News reporter Olive Enokido-Lineham waited six hours to enter the palace, suggesting wait times are much shorter than initially feared.

Police officers, volunteers, and stewards are managing the queue, while toilets and water fountains are being provided at various points along the route.

People waiting in line are being given a coloured and numbered wristband to prevent any queue jumping, and to allow them to leave for short periods, such as to get food.

Watch the Queen lying in state

Members of the public wait in line in central London, to view Queen Elizabeth II lying in state in Westminster Hall ahead of her funeral on Monday. Picture date: Wednesday September 14, 2022.

Rehearsals for funeral take place overnight as King takes day for reflection

Rehearsals have been taking place overnight for the Queen’s funeral.

Members of the military could be seen in Westminster carrying a stand-in coffin, ahead of Monday’s state funeral.

An early morning rehearsal for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London, ahead of her funeral on Monday. Picture date: Thursday September 15, 2022.
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An early morning rehearsal for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth
An early morning rehearsal for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London, ahead of her funeral on Monday. Picture date: Thursday September 15, 2022.

King Charles has returned to his Highgrove home in Gloucestershire. He will have a private day of reflection and is not expected to attend any public events.

In the detailed planning for the aftermath of the Queen’s death – known as Operation London Bridge – a day was set aside at this point for the new monarch to have some time away from public duties.

A rehearsal for the Queen's funeral procession
A rehearsal for the Queen's funeral procession
A rehearsal for the Queen's funeral procession

The period will allow the King to pause, but it is understood he will be working in preparation for his new role and will already be receiving his red boxes of state papers.

Read more on Queen:
Seven things to look out for as the Queen lies in state
Queen leaves Buckingham Palace for final time
In pictures: Meghan reunited with Royal Family

Elsewhere, King’s Counsel will take part in wreath laying after the death of the Queen.

Senior barristers, now known as KCs instead of QCs after the proclamation of the King, have been invited to dress in robes and court mourning attire.

They will then gather outside the Old Bailey before walking to Gray’s Inn Chapel for the ceremony.

Meghan postpones celebratory event

Members of the royal family, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, walk as the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown placed on top, arrives at Westminster Hall, London, where it will lie in state ahead of her funeral on Monday. Picture date: Wednesday September 14, 2022.
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Sophie, Countess of Wessex, the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Meanwhile, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, has postponed a celebratory event she was due to attend as a woman of honour, as well as the release of her podcast, out of respect for the Queen.

Meghan was selected alongside other high-profile women, including Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and Malala, as part of US outlet Variety’s Power of Women event.

The honourees will feature on the cover of the publication’s Power of Women special edition, with an event taking place on Wednesday, 28 September.

“Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, was chosen as one of one of this year’s stellar honorees,” Variety said.

“The Duchess’ cover will be postponed to a later date, out of respect for the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

“Similarly, she will not attend the Power of Women event in Los Angeles later this month.”

Meghan’s podcast, Archetypes, will also not be released during the duration of the mourning period for the Queen.

The bearer party carries the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II into Westminster Hall, London, where it will lie in state ahead of her funeral on Monday. Picture date: Wednesday September 14, 2022.
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The bearer party carries the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II into Westminster Hall

Among her fellow honourees was US talk show host Oprah Winfrey, who conducted the explosive interview with Harry and Meghan in March 2021.

Speaking recently at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Winfrey said she hoped the Queen’s death will allow the Royal Family to come together and provide “an opportunity for peacemaking”.

The royals were reunited as they joined a procession behind the Queen as she left Buckingham Palace for the final time on Wednesday.

King Charles, the Prince of Wales and Duke of Sussex accompanied the monarch on the journey to Westminster Hall for her lying in state. The Queen Consort, Princess of Wales, Countess of Wessex and Duchess of Sussex travelled by car.

Jamal Edwards’ mum Brenda marks late son’s birthday with fundraiser on ‘bittersweet day’ to celebrate his life | Ents & Arts News

Music entrepreneur Jamal Edwards’ mum Brenda has paid tribute to her son on what would have been his 32nd birthday.

The YouTube star, who helped launch the careers of artists including Ed Sheeran, Dave and Jessie J, died suddenly at home in Acton, west London, in February.

Ahead of a fundraising celebration to mark his birthday, TV presenter and stage star Brenda Edwards told Sky News it was a “bittersweet day”.

“It has only been six months and it’s been a hard six months for myself, his sister and the family and his close friends,” she said. “But we feel that we have to do something to celebrate.”

Born in Luton, Jamal grew up on a council estate and went on to be appointed an MBE for services to music as well as an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, which helps young people set up their own businesses.

His online urban music platform SBTV helped dozens of UK artists rise to prominence over the years.

Acts including Big Narstie, Mist and Fleur East are due to perform at the SBTV “mega cook-up” to mark what would have been his birthday on Wednesday, with surprise guest performances also promised.

Following Jamal’s death, many music stars including Sheeran paid tribute. In July, the Shape Of You star released the video for Are You Entertained, a collaboration with US rapper Russ, which had been planned by his late friend.

“I wish Jam was here to see it, I wish we’d done it together, but he would be buzzing how all his people came together and brought his vision to life,” Sheeran said at the time.

“Ed and Jamal’s relationship has gone for many, many, many years and I’m just really grateful,” Brenda said. “Ed’s been so supportive. There has been so much support from all around, so I’m really grateful for everything.”

She said the birthday event was about celebrating her son’s life “in the best way that we know how [as] music was one of the ways that he tried to bring everybody together”.

Read more: It all started in his bedroom: How SBTV founder Jamal Edwards changed the UK music scene

File photo dated 26/03/15 of Jamal Edwards with his Member of the British Empire (MBE), after it was awarded to him by the Prince of Wales at an Investiture Ceremony, at Buckingham Palace in central London. British entrepreneur Jamal Edwards has died at the age of 31, according to the BBC. Issue date: Sunday February 20, 2022.

She added: “It’s going to be a bittersweet day but I’m smiling thinking about him as well as the sad emotion that I’ve obviously got…

“I know he’s going to be looking down watching us.”

Earlier in August, a coroner concluded that Edwards died after taking cocaine and suffering cardiac arrhythmia.

Following his death, his mother warned others of the dangers of taking recreational drugs, saying in a statement: “It’s so important that we drive more conversation about the unpredictability of recreational drugs.

“Jamal is proof that this can happen to anyone. His passing has shown that one bad decision on any one occasion can lead to devastating consequences.”

Proceeds from the birthday fundraiser will go to the Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust, which was set up in his memory to help combat homelessness, support people with mental health issues, and provide life skills to young people in need.