While Queen Elizabeth II is currently in state in London’s Westminster Hall, she has yet to truly rest.
A man was arrested Friday after leaving his place in line at the parliamentary estate, running up the stairs and touching the queen’s coffin, according to The Guardian. The Metropolitan Police detained him shortly before 10 p.m., just hours after the royals held a vigil.
It was only the second day that grieving Britons were allowed to pay their respects to the late royal, with commoners and celebrities like David Beckham queuing for hours to reach her coffin. That line spanned several kilometers and caused waiting times of up to 30 hours.
“We are aware of an incident at Westminster Hall in which a member of the public stepped from the queue to the catafalque,” a parliamentary spokesman told the TBEN. “They have now been removed from the hall and the queue has resumed with minimal disruption.”
Scotland Yard told the TBEN that “officers from the Met’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command” detained and arrested the man “for an offense under the Public Order Act”. This happened just hours after King Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Edward kept watch.
Known as the ‘Vigil of the Princes’, this tradition involves members of the royal family keeping a proverbial watch when a relative is laid in state. public can pay tribute personally.
While this proceeding is being streamed live to the rest of the world, the feed was abruptly interrupted for a view outside for 15 minutes after the arrest, according to The Wall Street Journal. Christine Elliott, a 72-year-old who had been in line for 14 hours, said, “People in the neighborhood were screaming.”
The arrested man was ultimately not the only person in line to be charged on Friday, as PA Media reported that 34 people faced a “string of violations” before morning’s end. One of them reportedly saw a 19-year-old expose himself before pushing two women from behind.
The British government said Queen Elizabeth II will be transported to Westminster Abbey on Monday for her state funeral.