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Live updates: King Charles and his siblings stand ceremonial guard over mother’s coffin

The line in London was suspended for hours Friday after reaching capacity, as thousands waited for the chance to file past the queen's coffin at Westminster Hall.

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LONDON — The line of mourners waiting for the chance to pay their final respects to Queen Elizabeth II in London grew so long that it was closed for several hours Friday.

It is back up and running, but with a 24-hour wait time, meaning a difficult evening ahead for those joining the line as temperatures start to dip Friday night.

Still, thousands are determined to get the chance to file past the queen's coffin in Westminster Hall, where she will lie in state until the funeral Monday.

King Charles and his wife, Camilla, who have already attended ceremonies in Scotland and Northern Ireland, returned to London from Wales to join his siblings to mount a vigil by the queen's coffin.

Here’s what to know:

  • The queen will continue to lie in state at Westminster Hall until her funeral Monday.
  • King Charles and the queen consort traveled to Wales, where they attended a thanksgiving service at Cardiff’s Llandaff Cathedral before joining a reception at Cardiff Castle, a building steeped in 2,000 years of history.
  • Following the visit to Wales, the king hosted a reception for faith leaders at Buckingham Palace.
  • Charles and his siblings mounted a vigil by the queen's coffin.

Follow here for live coverage.

People continue to queue to pay respect to the queen

Image: Queen Funeral
People queue Friday night in front of the Parliament and Big Ben in London to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall.Martin Meissner / AP
Image: Queen queue
People queue in front of Tower Bridge in London on Saturday morning to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall.Martin Meissner / AP

Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako head to London for queen's funeral

TOKYO — Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako left for Britain on Saturday to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral to pay respects to her and the British royal family who considered as a model for Japan’s monarchy in modern history.

Naruhito and Masako’s trip to Britain is their first as the Emperor and Empress. The Queen’s invitation for them to visit following Naruhito’s 2019 ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne had to be postponed due to the pandemic.

Traditionally, a Japanese emperor stays away from funerals except for those of their own parents because of a cultural belief based in the Shinto religion that considers death impure.

The decision for the emperor and empress to attend the queen’s funeral underscores the importance and the deep bond between the royal families. Former Emperor Akihito, as crown prince, attended the Queen’s 1953 coronation and her Diamond Jubilee in 2012. Queen Elizabeth visited Japan in 1975.

Image: Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako
From left, Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako depart Tokyo for London on Saturday to attend the state funeral of Britain Queen Elizabeth II. Kazuhiro Nogi / AFP - Getty Images

Man accused of sexually assaulting women waiting to see queen

London police said a man was charged Friday with two counts of sexual assault after two women reported being assaulted in a garden where people were waiting in line to see Queen Elizabeth’s coffin lying in state.

Adio Adeshine, 19, who appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday, was also charged with two counts of breaching a sexual harm prevention order, the Metropolitan Police said.

“As those present in the queue will have seen, officers were on hand to immediately respond and arrest the man,” Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy said in a statement.

“Stewards and police officers in London are present throughout the route to help and support those who are queuing to pay their respects to Her Majesty the Queen ... There has been very little crime or other incidents where officers have had to intervene.”

Planeloads of Turkish carnations headed to the UK for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral

ISTANBUL — Planeloads of Turkish carnations are headed to the United Kingdom for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral next Monday.

Flower producers in southern Turkey are working to meet high demand for the event in London.

Turkish Cargo said Friday that after the queen’s death last week orders for flowers shot up by 90%. Suppliers chose air transport over trucks to cope with demand and deliver on time.

The cargo company said more than 500,000 flower stems, weighing around 13 metric tons, are being sent to London.

Turkey is a major exporter of cut flowers, principally carnations, to Europe.

Queen's children surround her coffin in somber vigil

King Charles III and his siblings stood in silent contemplation as they guarded their mother’s coffin in Westminster Hall.

The new monarch was joined by his brothers, Princes Andrew and Edward, and his sister, Princess Anne.

All were dressed in military uniforms after an exception was made for Andrew, who is no longer a working royal after he was stripped of his military titles and royal patronages. On this occasion, he was allowed to wear the uniform as a “special mark of respect” for the queen.

Other members of the family, including some of Elizabeth's grandchildren, looked on.

King Charles III attends a vigil for Queen Elizabeth II
King Charles III attends a vigil for Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Hall in London on Friday.Hannah McKay / Pool via AP
King Charles III, Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Edward, Earl of Wessex hold a vigil
King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward hold a vigil beside the coffin of their mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in Westminster Hall in London on Friday.Yui Mok / WPA Pool/Getty Images file

King to host reception for heads of state and other officials before funeral

King Charles III and Camilla, queen consort, will host a reception for heads of state and other “official overseas guests” at Buckingham Palace, ahead of the queen’s funeral Monday, the palace said in a statement.

Royal family 'overwhelmed by the tide of emotion,' Prince Edward says

The royal family has been “overwhelmed by the tide of emotion” in the wake of the queen’s death, Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex and Forfar, said.  

“We have been overwhelmed by the tide of emotion that has engulfed us and the sheer number of people who have gone out of their way to express their own love, admiration and respect to such a very special and unique person who was always there for us,” Edward said as he viewed flowers left by mourners at Windsor Castle.

“Thank you for your support, you have no idea how much it means,” he said, adding that his mother's memory should be “long cherished even as the baton she has carried for these past 70 years now passes to the next generation and to my brother, Charles.”

Hundreds of people treated as they lined up to see queen's coffin

Hundreds of people were treated by first responders as they lined up to see the queen's coffin, a spokesperson for the London Ambulance Service said.

The majority of incidents were related to people fainting and collapsing, which in some cases resulted in head injuries, a spokesperson for the service said.

“Working with our partners, we cared for 435 patients up until midnight at the end of Thursday,” the spokesperson said. At least 291 people were treated Wednesday, with 17 taken to hospital and 144 were treated Thursday, with 25 taken to hospital, they added.

It was not immediately clear how many people were treated Friday, when the British government said the line had to be paused for hours after reaching capacity.

Maxar satellite imagery shows crowds waiting to pay respects

Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies
Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

Line to pay respects reopens, but with 24-hour wait

The line for mourners to pay their respects to the queen has reopened after it was halted for more than six hours due to reaching capacity.

However, those looking to join the line will now face a 24-hour wait, according to the British government.

The government warned that "overnight temperatures will be cold" for those who will be waiting in the mileslong line.

The temperature in London is around 15 Celsius (59 Fahrenheit) at the moment, but is expected to dip to 12 C (53.6 F) by midnight, dropping to 9 C (48.2 F) by early Saturday, according to the Met Office, the U.K.'s official weather service.

King uses his own pen after leaky ink incident

King Charles III brought out his own pen to sign a visitor's book at Llandaff Cathedral in the Welsh capital, Cardiff, days after he expressed frustration over a leaky pen during a visit to Northern Ireland.

Charles pulled a pen out of an inner jacket pocket. He later handed the pen over to his wife, Camilla, and tucked it back inside his pocket after she had signed.

The moment was captured days after he expressed frustration over a leaky pen during a signing ceremony at Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland, saying: "I can't bear this bloody thing ... every stinking time."

Line to pay respects still at capacity after 6 hours

The line of people waiting to pay their respects to the queen is still at capacity six hours after the British government first announced entry would be suspended due to an influx of mourners.

Earlier this morning around 10 a.m. (5 a.m. ET), the government said the line would have been halted for at least six hours after it "reached capacity."

Now, after 4 p.m. (11 a.m. ET) a live tracker maintained by the government monitoring the line says it continues to be "at capacity and entry is currently paused."

"Please do not attempt to join until it resumes," it says.

'Many mentions of corgis' in Welsh Parliament's fond reflections

King Charles appeared to chuckle as he heard how there were "many mentions of corgis" as members of the Welsh Parliament reflected on their memories of the queen, his mother.

Charles was visiting the Parliament, known as the Senedd, to receive a motion of condolence. He laughed as Llywydd Elin Jones, the presiding officer, recalled anecdotes members had shared of the queen's most recent visit to Wales, to help open the Parliament's sixth term in October.

"As you may imagine, there were many mentions of corgis — her constant, lifelong Welsh companions," Jones said. After all, "corgi," she explained, is a Welsh word meaning "literally, small dog."

"And of course the members here representing Pembrokeshire were particularly keen to champion her preference for the Pembrokeshire corgi," she added. "And the member for Ceredigion, me, was silent, and ever so slightly jealous, of the queen’s choice of the Pembrokeshire corgi over the Cardiganshire corgi."

National moment of reflection to take place this weekend across the U.K.

A national moment of reflection will take place at 8 p.m. (3 p.m. ET) Sunday to mourn the queen's death and "reflect on her life and legacy," the British government has said.

In a separate statement, the Scottish government called on people across the country to take part in the moment of reflection, which it said would be "marked by a one-minute silence across the U.K."

"The silence can be marked privately at home, with friends and family or at locally arranged events and vigils," it said, adding: "Community groups, clubs and other organizations across Scotland are also encouraged to take part."

Mourners wait for hours to pay their respects

Crowds waited in a line from Westminster Hall all the way to Tower Bridge on Friday morning to pay their respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II, in London, where she is lying in state in Westminster Hall.

AFP-Getty Images; AP

The line has been "at capacity" for hours, with the government urging people not to "attempt to join" until it can resume.

David Beckham says 'it's special to be here' after waiting over 12 hours to pay respects to queen

Former English football superstar David Beckham said it was "special to be here" after waiting more than 12 hours in a line with fellow mourners to pay respects to the queen.

Speaking to Sky News just after 2 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET), 12 hours after he joined the line, Beckham said he wanted to take part in celebrating Britain's "special" queen. “It’s special to be here, to celebrate, and to hear the different stories that people have to say," he said.

"The most special moment for me was to receive my O.B.E.," he reflected, referring to the Order of the British Empire. "I took my grandparents with me, who were the ones that really brought me up to be a huge royalist and a fan of the royal family, and obviously I had my wife there as well."

“To step up, to get my honor, but then also Her Majesty, to ask questions, to talk, I was so lucky that I was able to have a few moments like that in my life, to be around Her Majesty," he said.

King and queen consort meet mourners in Wales as 'We’ll Keep A Welcome' rings out

The royal family's official Twitter account shared video of the king and queen consort smiling as they met with the public in Wales.

Voices could be heard singing "We'll Keep a Welcome," a song strongly associated with Wales, in the background.

"We'll keep a welcome in the hillside. We'll keep a welcome in the vale," the song goes. "This land you knew will still be singing, when you come home again to Wales."

Meghan's Variety magazine cover to be postponed following queen's death

Variety magazine has announced that Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, was chosen as an honoree in its upcoming "Power of Women" issue this month.

However, the magazine reported that the duchess's cover would be postponed to a later date, out of respect for the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

Similarly, she will not attend its coinciding "Power of Women" event in Los Angeles on Sept. 30 in the wake of the queen's death, Variety said.

King Charles beams as he leaves prayer service in Cardiff

Frank Augstein / AFP - Getty Images

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern pays her respects to the queen

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Friday visited Westminster Hall where Queen Elizabeth II is lying in state ahead of her state funeral Monday.

Last week, Ardern paid her respects to the queen.

“She has come to define notions of service, charity and consistency,” Ardern said.

“She has also demonstrated courage, compassion and humor.”

King speaks of William's 'deep love' for Wales during visit in Welsh address

As William takes up his father's former title of the Prince of Wales, King Charles spoke of how fond his older son is of the country during his visit to its capital.

"It was a privilege to be Prince of Wales for so long. Now my son, William, will bear the title. He has a deep love for Wales," he said in Welsh during a visit to the Senedd, or the Welsh Parliament.

In Welsh, "Braint oedd bod yn Dywysog Cymru mor hir. Yn awr, bydd fy mab William yn derbyn y teitl. Mae ganddo ef gariad dwfn at Gymru."

Charles also said that "through all the years of her reign, the land of Wales could not have been closer to my mother’s heart" as he accepted a motion of condolence from the Parliament.

"I take up my new duties with immense gratitude for the privilege of having been able to serve as Prince of Wales," he said. "That ancient title, dating from the time of those great Welsh rulers, like Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, whose memory is still rightly honored, I now pass to my son, William, whose love for this corner of the Earth is made all the greater by the years he himself has spent here." 

British archbishop to represent pope at queen's funeral

A British-born archbishop will represent Pope Francis at the queen's funeral Monday, the Vatican said in a statement Friday.

“The Most Reverend Paul R. Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations, will represent Pope Francis at the Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II," the Vatican said in a news release.

Francis had praised Queen Elizabeth II and shared his condolences with the royal family in a message sent to Britain's new king, Charles III.

The queen met with four popes during her reign of 70 years, according to the Catholic News Agency, most recently with Francis in 2014. She also met Pope Pius XII in 1951 before taking the throne.

King Charles greets well-wishers in Cardiff

Frank Augstein / AFP - Getty Images

King arrives at Welsh Parliament

The king and the queen consort have arrived at the Senedd, or the Welsh Parliament, where they will receive a "Motion of Condolence."

After the session has taken place, Charles and Camilla will view condolence messages and meet members of the Welsh Youth Parliament.

Time slots for 'accessible' line to pay respects to queen now full for the afternoon

Time slots for an "accessible" line for those with disabilities or long-term conditions who want to pay their respects to the queen at Westminster Hall "have now filled up," the British government said.

"The accessible queue is very busy," the British Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said in a statement.

"There are long wait times," it said. "Please consider this before making your way to the accessible queue."

The accessible line is available for those who are unable to line up for an extended period of time.

3 major tube stations to be closed the morning of queen's funeral

Three major subway stations in London will be closed the morning of the queen's funeral Monday, officials said.

"Tube services will start at around 05:30 and will run for an extra hour in the evening to support customers leaving central London," Transport for London, the local government body responsible for most of London's transport network, said in a statement.

Westminster, St. James's Park and Hyde Park Corner stations would all be closed for most of the morning Monday, Transport for London said in a news release.

"We will aim to reopen stations to help customers leaving the Westminster area following the end of the funeral service," it said.

State funeral will be the largest policing event in London

The policing operations around Monday's state funeral will be larger than anything the Metropolitan Police has ever undertaken, officials said Thursday.

The operation in London will be larger than what was deployed for the 2012 Summer Olympics and the queen's Platinum Jubilee weekend, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy said at a news briefing.

"This will be the largest global protection operation the Met police has ever undertaken," he said.

Numerous U.K. and world leaders will be visiting London to attend the state funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday. Cundy declined to share details of the operations around that event, citing safety concerns.

Campers line the Mall outside Buckingham Palace

LONDON — They’re roughing it for the royals.

A small but determined group of campers have pitched their tents near Buckingham Palace ahead of the queen’s funeral Monday, and said they’re staying there until the final farewell.

“The queen gave 70 years of service to us, so this is the least I can do,” Maria Scott, who hails from the town of Rowlands Gill in northern England, told NBC News. “I’m camping here to pay my respects. She did so much for our country and I feel it’s my duty to do it.”

Plus, Scott said, “I want to show support for King Charles too.”

Scott spoke outside a pop-up tent, one of many pitched along the Mall, the flag-lined route leading up to the palace.

Loic Venanace / AFP - Getty Images

34 people arrested in recent days, Metropolitan Police say

Thirty-four people have been arrested in recent days during the events surrounding the queen's death, the Metropolitan Police said in a briefing Friday morning.

None of the arrests were related to protesting, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy said.

"People have a right to protest and our response here in London will be both proportionate and balanced and our officers will only be taking actions when it is absolutely necessary," he added.

Meet Camilla, the Queen Consort

In the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, there is no longer a British queen, but there is a queen consort. That title was bestowed upon Camilla, King Charles III’s wife of 17 years. 

In practical terms, the role of queen consort involves accompanying the monarch to official engagements, at which she is addressed as “Her Royal Highness.” 

The queen consort also serves as a counselor of state, along with the next four royals who are in the line of succession: Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince Andrew and Princess Beatrice. The role allows her to temporarily carry out some duties on behalf of Charles if he is ill or traveling abroad.

For Camilla, 75, the road to becoming queen consort was neither smooth — nor direct.

Read story here.

Charles is now king, but his realm looks set to shrink

LONDON — The prime minister of the Bahamas had just signed the condolence book for Queen Elizabeth II when he made an announcement that would not have been music to the dead monarch’s ears.

Prime Minister Phillip Davis said he intended to hold a referendum to remove Elizabeth’s son and successor, King Charles III, as the official head of state in the Bahamas and turn his country, which has been politically independent since 1973, into a republic.

Davis’ decision and the Bahamas itself are a product of the empire, which at its height saw Britain’s monarch rule over a quarter of the world’s population. It was the largest empire in history with colonies and protectorates around the world that included what’s now Australia, Canada, South Africa, Pakistan and India.

Elizabeth, who died last week at age 96, devoted much of her reign to preserving and reinforcing ties with what’s called the Commonwealth— a voluntary association of more than 50 independent countries that were former British colonies. As the monarch, she was the symbolic head of the association.

Read story here

King Charles III arrives at t Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff, Wales

Image: King Charles III And The Queen Consort Visit Wales
Pool / Getty Images

Thanksgiving service at Cardiff's Llandaff Cathedral underway

King Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort, have joined a thanksgiving service at Cardiff's Llandaff Cathedral.

The cathedral posted photos ahead of the service, saying the "scene is set" for the national service of prayer and reflection for Elizabeth.

King Charles III lands in Wales

King Charles III has arrived in Cardiff, Wales — the latest stop in the new monarch's tour of the United Kingdom's countries.

The king could be seen in video captured by British broadcasters arriving by helicopter in the capital of Wales Friday morning.

He will now attend a service at Llandaff Cathedral. He is later expected to Welsh parliament and Cardiff Castle.

Mourners file past queen's coffin at Westminster Hall

Danny Lawson / AFP - Getty Images

King to host reception for faith leaders at Buckingham Palace

King Charles will host a reception for faith leaders in the Bow Room at Buckingham Palace after he returns from Wales on Friday, where he is expected to "say a few words," according to an official announcement.

The king will then leave the palace for Westminster Abbey, where he will hold vigil with his three siblings: the Duke of York, the Princess Royal and the Earl of Wessex.

Crowds gather for arrival of King Charles III in Cardiff

Frank Augstein / AP

London mayor 'absolutely' certain capital is ready for security demands of queen's funeral

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the city is “absolutely” well prepared city-wide crowd control for the queen's funeral next Monday, telling Sky News on Friday the secret security plans have been “years in the making.”

“This funeral is unprecedented. It’s the largest gathering of world leaders for decades. On top top that you’ve got literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions, coming to pay their respects and you’ll be seeing over the course of the next few days prime ministers, sovereigns, arriving,” the mayor said.

The country's 43 other police forces will also be in London along with the armed forces to ensure security for the crowds as well as dignitaries from across the world.

Khan also advised mourners visiting London to pay their respects to the queen to check official announcements and public transport arrangements ahead of time, and to prepare for different weather conditions. Currently, the line has been halted for at least six hours after reaching capacity.

Line to see queen's coffin halted for at least 6 hours after reaching capacity

The line to pay respects to the queen has been temporarily paused for at least 6 hours after a park holding mourners "reached capacity," the British government said.

"Southwark Park has reached capacity. Entry will be paused for at least 6 hours. We are sorry for any inconvenience," the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport announced.

"Please do not attempt to join the queue until it re-opens," it said.

The line currently runs 4.9 miles long along London's Thames River, with wait times estimated to be at least 14 hours.

Hong Kong mourners form long line outside British Consulate

Anthony Kwan / AP

Prince Harry to wear military uniform at Saturday vigil

Prince Harry will be allowed to wear his military uniform on Saturday as he and the queen's seven other grandchildren stand vigil beside her coffin in Westminster Hall.

A spokesperson for Kensington Palace said both Princes William and Harry would be in uniform at King Charles III's request. William will be standing at the head of queen's coffin as they mount the 15-minute vigil, while Harry will be standing at the foot.

As a non-working member of the royal family, Harry did not wear a military uniform at ceremonial events leading up to the queen's funeral on Monday.

Harry and his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, stepped back from their roles as senior members of the royal family in March 2020.

The king and his siblings are expected to hold a vigil at Westminster Hall later today.

Hundreds gather in Uganda to honor queen at memorial service

KAMPALA, Uganda — Hundreds of Ugandans attended a memorial service in honor of Queen Elizabeth II, a somber ceremony that underscored affection for the departed British monarch in this East African country.

Speakers in the Anglican cathedral in the Ugandan capital on Thursday included Foreign Affairs Minister Jeje Odongo, who paid tribute to the queen as an “endearing” leader.

“She wasn’t the queen of England alone,” she said. “She was the queen of all of us in the Commonwealth.”

The Rev. Jonathan Kisawuzi, the cathedral’s dean, spoke of the queen’s “faith, courage and direction” in her 70-year reign. “We will remember her always,” he said.

Uganda is one of the 56 member states of the Commonwealth, a group of mostly former British colonies that now includes others, such as Rwanda, that were not part of the British Empire.

Image: Uganda mourns Queen Elizabeth II
A choir sings during a Commemorative Service in honor of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at St Paul Cathedral Namirembe, Uganda, on Sept 15, 2022.Ajar Nalwadda / AP

Day breaks over the River Thames as mourners line up across London

Petr David Josek / AP

Line to pay respects is so long it may have to be paused, U.K. government warns

The UK government on Friday warned entry for the line to pay respects to the queen as she lies in state at Westminster Hall will be paused if the park holding waiting mourners hits capacity.

Officials called on members of the public to reconsider joining the line.“If you have not yet set off to join, please consider waiting until numbers have reduced," an official update at 8:30 a.m. (3:30a.m. EST) read.

The line for the queen on Friday is expected to stretch over 11 hours. The queen's lying in state is open to the public for 24 hours a day until her funeral on Monday.

Mourners face 14-hour wait as they join nearly line to see queen

Mourners hoping to pay their final respects to Queen Elizabeth II face a 14-hour long wait in a line stretching for 4.9 miles along London's River Thames.

As of early Friday morning, thousands of people were lined up for the chance to file past the queen's coffin in Westminster Hall, where the late monarch will be lying in state until her funeral Monday.

The line is so long that the U.K. has launched a live tracker monitoring wait times:

Friday morning lines at London Bridge

Christophe Ena / AP

What to expect on Friday

Thousands of people in Britain's capital continue to join a miles-long line to pay their final respects to Queen Elizabeth II.

Meanwhile, King Charles III and the queen consort are expected to travel to Wales today after a quiet Thursday.

Charles and Camilla will attend a thanksgiving service at Llandaff Cathedral in the Welsh capital Cardiff, before joining a reception at Cardiff Castle.

Charles and his siblings are later expected to mount a vigil by the queen’s coffin at around 7:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m. ET).