Following his mother Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral procession through London on Wednesday, King Charles III watched as hundreds of thousands of mourners paid their respects.
Six days after passing away in Scotland, Queen Elizabeth’s body will be transported from her Buckingham Palace residence to Westminster Hall on a horse-drawn gun carriage. There, she will remain for four days until her funeral on Monday.
The king and other senior royals are anticipated to follow the hearse in silence as it travels through the streets of the capital. When it arrives at the enormous 12th-century hall of the Westminster parliament complex, they will hold a vigil.
The general public will be allowed in starting at 5:00 pm (1600 GMT), and mourners have already been advised that the 24-hour lines will be an endurance test.
Vanessa Nanthakumaran, a 56-year-old administrative assistant who is originally from Sri Lanka, said as she took her place at the front of the line on Monday evening, “It’s going to be emotional and I don’t know how I’ll feel going in there as the first one.
“It’s our duty to say thank you. It’s going to be prayers from the heart. It’s going to be very sombre, quiet and overwhelming.”
The exact route of the line, which could extend for up to five miles (eight kilometres) along the Thames and end in Southwark Park, was published by the government on Wednesday.
According to the spokeswoman for Prime Minister Liz Truss, “many more” people are anticipated than the 200,000 who filed past the queen’s mother’s coffin when she passed away in 2002, thus strict guidelines and airport-style security procedures have been put in place.
Some people could have to wait all night to see the coffin, as the administration has recommended visitors to dress “suitable clothing” and to bring portable power packs to keep their cell phones charged.
Even cheap hotel rooms in the capital may cost up to £300 ($350) per night, and police and transportation officials are under pressure to keep the city safe and moving even in emergency situations.
The newly appointed head of the London police force, Mark Rowley, told Sky News on Tuesday: “It’s a massive challenge for the Metropolitan Police and for me personally, but we have been prepared for many, many years.”
The late 96-year-old monarch’s remains was transported to London on an RAF plane on Tuesday night from the Scottish city of Edinburgh after passing away “peacefully” at her Balmoral Estate.
Images of her coffin arriving for one last night at home were splashed over Wednesday’s newspapers as it was subsequently taken to Buckingham Palace.
The Sun ran with the title “Welcome Home Ma’am,” the Times with “Home to Rest,” and the Daily Mail with “Home to her Family.”
The procession on Wednesday will be a replica of the event that took place in Edinburgh on Monday, when her coffin was transported to St. Giles’ Cathedral through the city’s quiet streets.
According to the Scottish government, 33,000 people passed the casket there from Monday night to Tuesday afternoon.
“Scotland has now bid our Queen of Scots a sad, but fond farewell. We will not see her like again,” said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
On Tuesday, Charles visited Northern Ireland for the first time as king, continuing his tour of the four countries that make up the United Kingdom after visiting Scotland and England.
On Friday, a trip to Wales is anticipated.
A rare instance of public harmony in Britain resulted from the 73-year-old new head of state’s polite and frequently sympathetic response to his mother’s passing.
Since his ex-wife Diana died in a 1997 automobile accident, he has seen his popularity rebound, and a new study released on Tuesday shows that his ratings have risen recently.
The country’s deep political differences and a severe cost-of-living problem, which is anticipated to significantly worsen poverty throughout the winter, have also been temporarily hidden by the grief, however momentarily.
All of the queen’s siblings will be there for the start of the funeral procession at precisely 2:22 pm (13:22 GMT).
In Hyde Park, Big Ben will chime and army guns will salute.
The queen’s scandal-plagued son Andrew, who settled a case in the US earlier this year in which he was accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old, will also play a key role in the ceremony.
He has recently made what is anticipated to be a fleeting comeback to the public glare during a time of national sorrow.
Despite widespread media attention, not everyone agrees with the popular sentiment of memory and loss inspired by the queen’s passing. Royal fatigue is becoming more pronounced on social media.
Civil liberties organizations have also criticized British police for how they have handled anti-monarchy demonstrators who have openly contested Charles’ throne ascension.
Video evidence and eyewitness accounts of police bullying or arresting individuals who chanted anti-monarchy slogans or waved “Not My King” signs have received attention.
The day has been designated a public holiday in Britain and will see 2,000 VIP visitors attend the queen’s funeral in Westminster Abbey.
Russia, Belarus, Myanmar, and North Korea have not been invited to send ambassadors, despite the fact that hundreds of heads of state and government as well as international nobility are anticipated.
The attendance of French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and US President Joe Biden has all been confirmed.