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Focus turns to Queen’s funeral as world leaders arrive, scaffolding is erected and rehearsals get under way | UK News

Preparations are well under way for the Queen’s state funeral with scaffolding being erected, world leaders arriving in London and rehearsals at Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle.

As the lying in state continues in Westminster Hall, the queue of mourners waiting to see the monarch’s coffin is now expected to take around 22 hours from the back to the front.

Representatives from the Commonwealth nations have been invited to pay their respects, and heads of state from around the world are arriving throughout the weekend, both to attend the Queen’s funeral, and to sign a book of condolences.

A sign in Southwark Park in London, informing members of the public that the queue to view Queen Elizabeth II lying in state ahead of her funeral on Monday is 14 hours plus. Picture date: Friday September 16, 2022.

Meanwhile, King Charles will meet the chiefs of staff at Buckingham Palace before visiting police headquarters, where he will thank representatives from all the emergency services involved in the planning and delivery of the events during the mourning period.

He will also attend, with Camilla, the Queen Consort, a lunch for governors general – the people who represent the monarch in overseas realms – at the palace.

Man in custody after trying to rush Queen’s coffin, queues through a cold London night – all the latest, live

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The Queen’s children stand vigil for a final time ahead of her grandchildren’s tribute

Also on Saturday, the Queen’s grandchildren will take their turn standing in vigil around her coffin.

The Prince of Wales will stand at the head, the Duke of Sussex at the foot.

William will be flanked by his cousins Zara Tindall and Peter Philips – the children of the Princess Royal – while Harry will be with the Duke of York’s daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall and her husband Mike Tindall leave after attending the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral during the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London, Britain, June 3, 2022. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
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Peter Phillips (L), Zara Tindall and her husband Mike Tindall (2nd L) during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations

The Earl of Wessex‘s children Lady Louise and Viscount Severn will stand near the middle.

Read more:
David Beckham in tears as he views Queen’s coffin after queueing for 13 hours
Watch live stream of the Queen lying in state

Forecasters say the sun is expected to shine on those waiting in the queue and those already securing the best spots for the funeral procession. After a cold start, Saturday should see long, sunny spells with maximum temperatures of 17C (62F), they predict.

London to Windsor route revealed where thousands can see Queen’s coffin on day of funeral

Queen Elizabeth II portrait

A London Fashion Week diversity fashion show will also take place in honour of the late Queen on Saturday. Models will carry a white lily in tribute.

Codenamed Operation London Bridge, arrangements for the Queen’s death have been carefully pored over for years, with the monarch herself overseeing and approving every detail before her passing.

However, the exact details were kept under wraps until the sitting sovereign, King Charles III, gave it his final seal of approval.

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What is a state funeral?

Monday’s funeral is at Westminster Abbey, one of London’s most recognisable landmarks and near the Palace of Westminster.

It has been the setting for every coronation since 1066, and was where the then-Princess Elizabeth married Prince Philip in 1947.

Watch and follow the Queen's funeral on TV, web and apps on Monday from 9am
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Watch and follow the Queen’s funeral on TV, web and apps on Monday from 9am
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.