Inside Westminster Hall, It's The People Not The Queen Who Draw The Eye

The Queue itself is what the lying-in-state is for.
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Inside Westminster Hall the most striking thing isn’t the coffin, the crown or the soldiers in ceremonial uniform. It’s the people.

They are overwhelmingly dressed mostly not in black suits and ties, but in t-shirts, white trainers and jeans.

There are backpacks, handbags and plastic Waitrose bags for life.

It’s not disrespectful, that’s just how people dress.

Fans of the Queen felt like they knew her. And you don’t need to dress up smartly when you visit someone you’ve known all your life.

From a vantage point on a raised platform under the hammer-beam roof, The Queue can be seen filing slowly past the Queen.

For some the moment seems to genuinely move them to tears, stopping for one last look before walking through the giant exit door at the front of the hall.

Others wander past perhaps more in curiosity than sorrow - the lying-in-state is a thing and they were there.

Selfies and phones are banned so they will just have to remember it.

But most - whatever the reason for queuing for hours for their two second experience - stop to bow slightly before moving on.

The view given to journalists inside the hall is essentially the same as that shown on the BBC’s live feed.

But what is harder to appreciate on TV is the silence.

This only punctured once by man unable to twice stop his phone ringing. Yet it seems rude to further ruin the peace by shushing.


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