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Mourners’ fury after being refused entry to Queen’s lying-in-state after queuing for hours

Mourners have complained that they were given “false hope” they would be able to view the Queen’s lying-in-state after queuing through the night without wristbands.

Dozens of mourners were prevented in the early hours of Monday from advancing any closer to Westminster Hall by police at the entrance to Victoria Tower Gardens next to Lambeth Bridge.

Pauline Pearce, who queued in central London for seven hours, said “constant misinformation” was given to those in the queue.

Ms Pearce, who was dubbed the “Hackney heroine” after she was filmed confronting rioters in 2011, said: “All of us have felt angry today.

“We were sent from one point to another and living off the false hope that they might let us in. At one point they said they were going to open the gates, then suddenly they didn’t. There was no empathy at all from the organisers.”

Fiona Harper, 60, said the organisation of the last night of queuing was characterised by “inaptitude” with confusion about where wristbands were to be handed out.

Ms Harper said: “The problem was that we were all lead to believe that you picked up your wristband at the end of the queue. So, we were querying for an hour and a half before they told us there were no more wristbands.”

Mourners, some of whom were in tears, complained to police that they had been “lied to” earlier in the night about the chances of being able to get into Westminster Hall.

Thousands of people have made the pilgrimage to pay their respects to the late monarch in the last four days.

The final mourner viewed the Queen’s coffin at 6.30am on Monday ahead of the state funeral.

(REUTERS)

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said after 10.30pm on Sunday that the last people had been admitted to the line.

The department said: “The queue to attend Her Majesty The Queen’s Lying-in-State is at final capacity and is now closed to new entrants.

“Please do not attempt to join the queue. Stewards will manage those already nearby.

“Thank you for your understanding.”

Mourners argue with police outside queue to see Queen lying in state

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Mourners argue with police outside queue to see Queen lying in state

(REUTERS)

By 9pm the waiting time was seven hours as the last crowds filed through, with people collecting wristbands for entry at London Bridge.

An hour earlier, people in the queue stopped and bowed their heads to observe the national minute’s silence. They applauded to mark the end of the silence at 8.01pm.

Dozens of Metropolitan Police officers also assembled in silence beside mourners and later sang the national anthem.

St John Ambulance had expressed concern about cold temperatures overnight as people queue alongside the River Thames.

It said in the early hours of Sunday morning that 98 people needed medical support, with nine taken to hospital.

SOURCE: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/queen-lying-in-state-funeral-b2170163.html

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