LONDON: The British government on Friday (Sep 16) urged people not to join the miles-long queue to see Queen Elizabeth lying in state in London after warning of waiting times of at least 14 hours.
Elizabeth died in Scotland aged 96 last week, prompting an outpouring of emotion that drew tens of thousands out to see her coffin on its journey to London, and that has now compelled many more to join long lines pay their respects during a four and a half day lying-in-state ceremony.
"Entry (to the queue) will be paused for at least six hours," Britain's culture department said on Twitter. "Please do not attempt to join the queue until it re-opens."
Undeterred, several members of the public took to social media to say they were joining the queue.
The constantly moving queue is snaking its way from Southwark Park in central southeast London to Westminster Hall, where some 750,000 people in total are expected to file past the Queen's coffin before Monday morning.
Temporary toilets have been installed along the route of the queue, and mourners have been asked not to bring camping equipment, sleeping bags or folding chairs.
"I've no sensation in my knees at all or my legs," said Hyacinth Appah, a mourner from London who was in the queue.
"But it's been fine. Most of the people have been lovely and we've had quite a nice time."
The queue was around 4.9 miles (around 8km) long as of 9am GMT (5pm, Singapore time) the culture department's live queue tracker showed.
Members of the public approaching the final stretch of the queue after waiting all through the night told Reuters they were tired and cold but felt coming to pay their respects to the queen was the right thing to do.
Naomi Brown, from London, said she had waited for nearly 11 hours after joining the queue Thursday night after work.
"I just thought, I'm never going to do it again. I have so much respect for the queen, not once did she ever falter," 29-year-old Brown said, speaking to Reuters as she was nearing the front of the queue.
"She has been such a good symbol for our country ... it feels like we have lost a family member."
Later on Friday, King Charles, his sister Princess Anne, and brothers Princes Andrew and Edward will keep a silent vigil at the queen's coffin for 15 minutes.