Queen lying in state: King and Prince of Wales greet mourners queuing to see coffin – live | Queen Elizabeth II

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King and Prince of Wales greet people in queue to see coffin

The King and Prince of Wales are meeting people waiting in the queue for the Queen’s lying in state at Westminster Hall.

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As King Charles III got out of the car along Albert Embankment, he was immediately greeted with cheers.

“I hope you’re not too frozen,” the King could be heard telling one woman.

He chatted briefly to a woman clutching a Paddington Bear toy who said she had come from Peru.

The Prince of Wales also made a surprise appearance and spent time shaking hands with people in the crowd – he remarked how warm some of them were.

As the King made his way along the queue people were consistently urged by a security guard to put their “phones down, shake hands and enjoy the moment”.

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Key events

Beatrice and Eugenie: ‘We thought you’d be here forever’

Two of the Queen’s granddaughters, Beatrice and Eugenie, have paid their own tribute to their grandmother, saying they thought that she would be there “forever”.

The sisters, who are the daughters of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, said there had been “tears and laughter, silences and chatter, hugs and loneliness, and a collective loss for you, our beloved Queen and our be loved grannie”.

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It is full of evocative personal memories they have of their time with the Queen, including picking heather and raspberries.

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The statement reads:

Our dearest grannie,

We’ve not been able to put much into words since you left us all.

There have been tears and laughter, silences and chatter, hugs and loneliness, and a collective loss for you, our beloved Queen and our beloved grannie.

We, like many, thought you’d be here forever. And we all miss you terribly.

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You were our matriarch, our guide, our loving hand on our backs leading us through this world. You taught us so much and we will cherish those lessons and memories forever.

For now dear grannie, all we want to say is thank you. Thank you for making us laugh, for including us, for picking heather and raspberries, for marching soldiers, for our teas, for comfort, for joy. You, being you, will never know the impact you have had on our family and so many people around the world.

The world mourns you and the tributes would really make you smile. They are all too true of the remarkable leader you are.

We’re so happy you’re back with grandpa. Goodbye dear grannie, it has been the honour of our lives to have been your granddaughters and we’re so very proud of you.

We know that dear uncle Charles, the King, will continue to lead in your example as he too has dedicated his life to service.

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God save the King.

The Queen’s death has ignited debates and discussions in Commonwealth countries, including Antigua and Barbuda according to Agence France-Presse. The governor general met King Charles at Buckingham Palace earlier on Saturday.

Republican movements may be gaining steam in British realms across the globe, but in the tiny Caribbean paradise of Antigua and Barbuda, residents have decidedly mixed feelings about their leaders’ push to break that final link.

Days after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Antigua and Barbuda became the first of the 14 remaining realms now ruled over by her son, Charles, to openly float the idea of replacing the British monarch as its head of state.

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Doing so would not be “an act of hostility” but “the final step to complete the circle of independence,” the prime minister, Gaston Browne, told ITV news, saying that he hopes to hold a referendum on the matter within the next three years.

Whether his people want to take that step is an open question, admitted Browne’s chief of staff, Lionel Hurst, during an interview at the prime minister’s office overlooking the port capital of St John’s in the country’s main island, Antigua.

“We’re not sure yet,” he said on Friday. If Browne wins the next general election, which must be held by 2023, the years before any referendum would be spent “selling the idea” to Antiguans and Barbudans.

On St John’s busy Market Street, most residents agreed the idea would need to be sold.

“I think we should stay with the crown. This country cannot manage on its own,” Leonie Barker, 53, told AFP after buying groceries ahead of Tropical Storm Fiona, due to brush past the island on Friday night.

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Others said that it was too early to take a stand.

Education and engagement on the idea are needed, Peter Thomas, 58, said.

“I think we have reached a stage in life [where] we would like to be on our own, but are we ready? That’s the next story,” he said.

Accessible queue ‘permanently closed’

The accessible queue to see the Queen lying in state has closed “permanently”.

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It was closed temporarily yesterday overnight after it reached capacity. The alternative queue was set up for people with mobility issues or who may need assistance attending the event at Westminster Hall.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has said that all wristbands for time slots have already been allocated.

The accessible queue for Lying-in-State has reached full capacity and is now permanently closed

Wristbands for all time slots are allocated so that as many people as possible can pay their respects

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Please do not join the queue at Tate Britain. Thank you for your understanding pic.twitter.com/wKruNLCxiK

— Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (@DCMS) September 17, 2022

The latest update from the most famous queue in Britain, as the government has said the wait time is “at least 13 hours” to see the Queen’s coffin.

That’s a big fall compared to the past few days, where it was closed as it reached capacity and at one point people were warned that it would take at least 24 hours.

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The line still ends in Southwark Park, five miles away from Westminster Hall. Temperatures are predicted to fall to below 10C again tonight, with the public warned to wrap up if they are planning on waiting overnight.

Venues along the queue’s route, including the National Theatre on the Southbank have opened as “rest centres”. The Salvation Army is also on the scene giving out bottles of water.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has warned that the queue will close well before 6:30am on Monday, when the Queen’s lying in state will end.

Zaina Alibhai

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A sketch of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip drawn in the aftermath of her death that went viral is being sold to raise money for charity.

In the illustration, the Queen can be seen reunited with her husband on a picnic blanket above the words “Hello again Lilibet”, a childhood nickname.

Queen illustration by Kerri Cunningham
Queen illustration by Kerri Cunningham Photograph: Kerri Cunningham/Murphy’s Sketches

The pair, who have their arms around each other, are joined by one of the Queen’s many beloved Corgis.

Kerri Cunningham, 34, from Lancashire, is not usually in the business of sketching the royal family but as news of the Queen’s death broke, she decided to pay tribute to the monarch.

The inspiration for the drawing came from a photo of the Queen and Philip sitting in the grass at Balmoral on a family picnic.

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It was so natural and wasn’t something you’d usually see. When it became clear how poorly she was, the image sprung to mind,” Cunningham said.

“They were just two people who loved each other in their happy place. It really moved me at the time.”

Charlie Moloney

People with disabilities wanting to pay their respects to the Queen have reported waiting for hours after the accessible queue, which had been temporarily closed, reopened.

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The accessible queue built up when it was closed, and stretched for about several miles by the time it reopened at noon.

Shortly after midday, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said that the accessible queue had resumed.

But in a statement posted on Twitter, it added: “The area is busy and capacity is limited. There may be lengthy queues. The queue may need to be paused if capacity is reached and all available time slots are taken.”

Dr Erin Dooley said she had been unsure whether to make the hour’s journey from her home in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, because of what she called “spotty and misleading comms from the government”.

“All of my information to date has been from Twitter,” Dooley, a lecturer at the University of Bristol, said. “An online booking system would have been best, an information app at the bare minimum.”

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Shanti Das

Shanti Das

Posts containing abuse and misinformation were widely shared on social media in the days after the news broke – many of them aimed at Camilla, the new Queen Consort.

Doctored photos of Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, and posts claiming that Her late Majesty had been murdered because she held secrets on politicians, or was killed by the Covid-19 vaccine, were also widely shared, analysis shows.

On TikTok, the fastest-growing news source in the UK, whose user base is dominated by Gen Z, the most watched royal-themed clips included those that derided Camilla’s appearance and pitted her against the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

One video, liked 1.1m times on TikTok since it was posted a week ago, contained a montage of photos of Camilla and Diana. The captions read: “The woman he cheated with … The woman he cheated on,” prompting vitriolic comparisons between the women in the comment section.

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There are reports on Twitter that Green Park has been closed to the public this afternoon, as hundreds descend on the area to lay floral tributes.

Earlier on Saturday, The Royal Parks tweeted: “St James’s Park, The Green Park and the areas around Buckingham Palace are exceptionally busy. If you are coming to lay flowers, there is a Floral Tribute Garden in Hyde Park.”

Green park sits adjacent to Buckingham Palace, and has attracted thousands of floral bouquets over the past week.

People gather to lay flowers for the Queen at Green Park.
People gather to lay flowers for the Queen at Green Park. Photograph: Emilio Morenatti/AP

PM’s Biden talks cancelled as ‘full bilateral meeting’ planned on Wednesday

Lisa O'Carroll

Lisa O’Carroll

Downing Street has announced that Liz Truss will hold a full bilateral meeting with the US president, Joe Biden, in New York on Wednesday, instead of the Sunday afternoon meeting originally planned ahead of the Queen’s funeral.

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Biden was due to be one of six leaders to meet the prime minister over the weekend.

The White House also confirmed that the Biden’s meeting with Truss would not take place this weekend in the UK, but next week in New York.

“The President will hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Truss on Wednesday in New York when both are attending UNGA,” a spokesperson said.

Meetings with the Irish taoiseach to discuss the Northern Ireland protocol and talks with leaders from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Poland will continue as arranged for Saturday and Sunday. These are not being classified as full bi-laterals.

On Saturday, the prime minister held a phone call with Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, president of the UAE, during which he expressed his condolences following the death of the Queen.

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It is expected Truss will hold a call with Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, this evening.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex have met well-wishers outside Buckingham Palace.

Edward and Sophie were greeted with cheers from the crowd as they emerged from the palace on Saturday afternoon.

The Queen’s youngest son could be heard asking mourners where they had come from and whether they were making their way to Green Park to lay flowers.

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Meanwhile, his wife was given bouquets and a stuffed toy as she shook hands with those gathered.

The Prince and Princess of Wales joined the King and Queen Consort for a Buckingham Palace lunch with governors-general from the Commonwealth realms.

The governors-general of Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu were among those present.

The Queen Consort and the Princess of Wales during a lunch held for governors-general of the Commonwealth nations at Buckingham Palace in London.
The Queen Consort and the Princess of Wales during a lunch held for governors-general of the Commonwealth nations at Buckingham Palace in London. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Second hand wristbands given out to people queuing to see the Queen laying in state in Westminster Hall are being sold on eBay for triple figures, Sky News reports.

Some mourners have posted their used wristbands on the online marketplace, with one fetching £199.99.

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At least five of the bands have sold on the site so far, with more auctions ending over the next few days.

Bids on bands currently on sale include a bright orange one from Saturday, which has already received bids of over £400.

Liz Truss has concluded meetings with her counterparts from Australia and New Zealand at the government’s Chevening country residence.

The prime minister spoke with Australian leader Anthony Albanese and New Zealand’s premier Jacinda Ardern as she kicked off talks with world leaders travelling to the UK for the Queen’s funeral.

The prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, and his wife, Sophie Trudeau, sign a book of condolence at Lancaster House in London.
The prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, and his wife, Sophie Trudeau, sign a book of condolence at Lancaster House in London. Photograph: Reuters
The prime minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, signs a book of condolence to late Queen Elizabeth, next to his partner Jodie Haydon.
The prime minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, signs a book of condolence to late Queen Elizabeth, next to his partner Jodie Haydon. Photograph: David Parry/AP

The London ambulance service have said they have cared for 710 people along the lying-in-state queuing route since Wednesday, with 81 people taken to hospital.

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The service said it treated 291 patients on Wednesday, of whom 17 were taken to hospital, 144 patients on Thursday, of whom 25 were taken to hospital, and 275 patients on Friday, of whom 39 were taken to hospital.

The majority of the incidents were faints and collapses, which resulted in head injuries, the service said.

There are also concerns the numbers could rise with temperatures due to drop tonight.

Director for ambulance operations, Darren Farmer, said: “It’s important that people joining the queue follow the advice provided on the government website, including bringing with them any regular medication, appropriate clothing, drink plenty of water and eat regularly.

“It’s likely to be cold, so it’s important people wear appropriate clothing to keep them warm.”

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The King has thanked emergency service staff for their work during the mourning period and ahead of the Queen’s funeral on Monday.

Charles met London’s Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, and was briefed by the deputy assistant commissioner, Jane Connors, and Commander Karen Findlay, who are leading police operations around London ahead of and during the funeral of the Queen.

King Charles is greeted by (left to right) Dame Lynne Owens, deputy commissioner of the metropolitan police service, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, the home secretary, Suella Braverman, and the Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley.
King Charles is greeted by (left to right) Dame Lynne Owens, deputy commissioner of the metropolitan police service, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, the home secretary, Suella Braverman, and the Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley. Photograph: Kirsty O’Connor/PA

The Prince of Wales also visited the Met service special operations room, while the home secretary, Suella Braverman, and the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, were present.

During the visit on Saturday in Lambeth, south London, he also met police staff, who he thanked for their planning and delivery of policing in the days leading up to his mother’s funeral, as well as workers at London Ambulance Service, London Fire Brigade, Transport for London and the army.

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The funeral is expected to be “the largest international event that the UK has hosted in decades, possibly ever”, according to sources.

While speaking to the operation planning team, who also prepare the policing efforts at football matches and protests in the capital, the King asked them questions relating to the planning around Operation London Bridge.

He asked the officers: “Have you been planning for a long time… or have you just been drafted in?”

One officer responded: “Yes your Majesty, we’ve been planning for about three years. There were teams before us.”

He replied: “And the plans are working?”

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The officer said: “They are, absolutely.”

“That’s the most encouraging thing,” the King said, and began to chuckle.





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