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Epic queue to see Queen’s coffin closes after 400,000 line up over 109 小时

THE queue to see the Queen’s coffin closed last night — and by the time the last person left Westminster Hall at 6.30am today more than 400,000 souls will have devotedly braved the wait.

Tens of thousands determined to pay their respects to our beloved monarch 加入 the line yesterday despite warnings they could be there 14 小时, the last handful making it with seconds to spare.

Members of the public wait in the queue in the early hours of the morning, on the South Bank of the River Thames

Members of the public wait in the queue in the early hours of the morning, on the South Bank of the River Thames信用: 法新社
Crowds wrap up in blankets and warm hooded jackets as temperatures fall

Crowds wrap up in blankets and warm hooded jackets as temperatures fall信用: 盖蒂
One of the last mourners checks in to claim place as she arrives just in time

One of the last mourners checks in to claim place as she arrives just in time信用: 功放
Sign warns of at least a 14-hour wait to get inside

Sign warns of at least a 14-hour wait to get inside信用: 路透社

It had all begun at 5pm on Wednesday, although first mourner, Vanessa Nanthakumaran, 56, of Harrow, 西北 伦敦, started it off on Monday at noon at Lambeth Bridge before the official starting point was revealed.

昨天, 一些 109 几个小时以后, “The Queue E2” — which had stretched five miles at its longest, with waits of up to 24 hours — was no more.

Officials said they had left it open “as long as we possibly could” to give as many people as possible the opportunity to say their farewell.

Among the crowds to arrive yesterday were ex-Royal Engineer Staff Sergeant Craig Taylor-Hinds, 42, and family, of Aylesford, 肯特, who took a 5am train to reach the start point early at Southwark Park in South East London.

克雷格, who wore his campaign medals, was with partner Tracie, 44, his kids Evie, 十, Ava, 九, and Henry, 七, who wore their school uniforms.

他说: “The kids wanted to look as smart as possible for 皇后.

“The idea to come up was actually Henry’s, my youngest, while we watched the procession earlier in the week. We’ll be waiting as long as it takes.”

Hairdresser Claire Phillips, 36, also travelled on a morning train with her girls Florrie, 六, and Maisie, 十, and friend Ally Parks, 54, with her 13-year-old daughter Lexi.

Claire, from Bournemouth, 说: “My husband thinks we’re all mad but it’s a moment of history we’ll all remember for life.”

Florrie, who had a pack of sherbert lollipops to keep her going, held a home-made “Our Queen, Our Hero” sign.

迈西, whose sign read “We Will Miss You”, planned to practise stretches to pass the time.

Many in yesterday’s queue were wrapped in blankets handed out by a small army of volunteers following a very chilly night.

Members of the public queue in the shadow of the London Eye

Members of the public queue in the shadow of the London Eye信用: 盖蒂
A Marshall holds the treasured wristbands at the end of the queue

A Marshall holds the treasured wristbands at the end of the queue信用: 功放
Hundreds of well-wishers at London landmark Tower Bridge near start of queue

Hundreds of well-wishers at London landmark Tower Bridge near start of queue信用: 雷克斯

‘Pay their respects

All wore wristbands which enabled them to rejoin the wait after going to get food and drink or use the loo.

Among the multitude was Philomena Groome, 56, who joined the back of the queue after pulling out on Friday.

She walked away in order to take her son to university in Stoke-on-Trent after having waited for seven hours.

The nurse, from Surbiton, 伦敦西南部, 说: “I could have joined where I dropped out but I didn’t want to queue jump, so I started again. They say it’s going to be 14 hours this time.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury, 贾斯汀·韦尔比(Justin Welby), 泰勒·巴尔蒂拉 (Tyler Baltierra) 为他的 30 岁生日分享裸照,青少年妈妈的粉丝们疯狂了 paid tribute to the thousands who braved the chill to queue.

他说: “When you see all these thousands of people — the good feeling and humour, my overwhelming sense is admiration and steadfastness to queue in the cold and keep going.

“My feeling is one of deep admiration for the queue. It makes you think, what an amazing country.”

一个 政府 source said: “The whole aim has been that we wanted as many as possible to be able to pay their respects.

We have had some very busy days and difficult moments, but on Sunday things went very well and the queue had one of its best days.”

Crowds at Queen’s Gallery near end of the route

Crowds at Queen’s Gallery near end of the route信用: 功放
Families and individuals united in mourning as they all want to pay tribute

Families and individuals united in mourning as they all want to pay tribute信用: 盖蒂