At least 250,000 in line for the Queen’s coffin

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At least 250,000 people joined the huge queue to see the Queen’s coffin lay in state for four days in London’s Westminster Hall in Parliament, an official said.

The figure was released a day after Britain ended 10 days of mourning for the late monarch, who died in Scotland on September 8 at the age of 96 after 70 years on the throne.

On Monday, hundreds of world leaders and dignitaries attended her state funeral at Westminster Abbey, and huge crowds thronged the streets of London and Windsor to witness history and say a final goodbye to their Queen before she was buried in St George’s Chapel. .

Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan said officials were still “crunching the numbers” but estimated that about 250,000 people joined the longest line most have ever seen for a chance to pass by the Queen’s casket of September 14 until shortly before her Monday state funeral.

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Many in line waited until 1pm, braving the autumn cold and spending whole nights shuffling for miles along the River Thames to pay their respects.

The London Ambulance Service said staff and volunteers looked after about 2,000 people who queued and took 240 people to hospital.

The Queen was buried late Monday next to her late husband Prince Philip and her parents in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, a Gothic church steeped in royal history for centuries.

The late monarch’s parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, later known as the Queen Mother, were buried there, as were the ashes of Elizabeth’s sister Princess Margaret.

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Outside Windsor Castle, cleaners were busy cleaning up on Tuesday, and international news crews removed their gear a day after thousands packed the streets to watch the military procession escort the Queen’s casket from London to Windsor.

“The nation has certainly come together. As for the crowd yesterday, it was really incredible,” said Marion Brettle, 73.

“I think the whole nation stopped, and thought, listened and looked.”

More than 26 million people in Britain watched the Queen’s funeral service on television, preliminary figures show, making the event one of the biggest TV viewers ever in the country.

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That compares to about 32.1 million viewers who watched Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997.

TV Black Box reports that that was matched in Australia by nearly 5 million people listening to Monday night’s funeral proceedings.

The royal family is observing another week of mourning and is not expected to carry out any official orders.

British media reported that the King and Queen Consort flew to Scotland on Tuesday to mourn privately. They reside at the Balmoral Estate, where the late monarch died less than two weeks ago.

Flags on British government buildings are flying again with full staff on Tuesday. Those in royal residences remain at half-mast until after the last day of royal mourning.

-with MONKEY

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