Speed Reads

Mourning the Queen

Thousands line up to mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Thousands of people lined up in London to pay respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II as she was lying in state in Westminster Hall on Wednesday.

The line stretched approximately 2.5 miles and had some people camping out overnight as well as through rainy weather to secure their spots, Reuters reports. The viewing began Wednesday evening and the people in line were warned they may be waiting a considerably long time, potentially around 30 hours, to view the queen, and it may be difficult, especially for those with younger children and medical conditions. The Telegraph reported that those in line may "see some horrible stories about people suffering."

The long wait has brought concerns about violations of the Equality Act, due to potential accessibility issues, even though a separate line was created for those unable to wait for a long time. Kamran Mallick, chief executive of Disability Rights U.K., said despite the separate line, there was "a breathtaking lack of awareness around the needs of disabled people."

There will be police, stewards, first aid crews, and more than 1,000 volunteers to assist people in the line, along with portable toilets, and adjoining venues providing food around the clock, The Guardian reports.

Despite the potentially grueling wait, many people are enthusiastic about the prospect of paying their respects. Mark Bonser, a 59-year-old waiting to see the queen said "she's given 70 years of her life to us. I'm sure I can give 24 hours of mine."