Cheers of "hip, hip, hooray" echoed all across Lambeth Bridge as Britain's new head of state and heir to the throne shook hands and chatted with those lined up to enter Westminster Hall. "Dad, I can’t talk right now," one woman in the queue said into her phone. "I’ve just shook hands with Prince William."
The queue has become a subject of social media memes and online buzz as the crowd reached a fever pitch. On Friday, mourners were advised that they may have to wait in line for over 24 hours to pay their respects to the Queen. Despite the warnings and cold overnight temperatures, hundreds of people continued to line up to enter the palace, where the Queen’s coffin is on display 24 hours a day.
As of Saturday afternoon, the expected wait time in the queue is 13 hours.
People have traveled from far and wide to join the queue. On Saturday, the BBC interviewed a family that flew to England from Florida to see the late Queen's coffin.
The hourslong wait and frigid conditions haven't seemed to deter folks much. Those who were waiting in line on Friday told BuzzFeed News they'd come fully prepared with portable chargers, food, and beverages. Thames Water, the region's water management utility company, was recruited to supply drinking water stations.
Earlier on Saturday, the King thanked emergency services workers for their support. William and his brother Prince Harry are expected to stand vigil at their grandmother's coffin along with their cousins later in the day.
The Queen's coffin will be on display until early Monday, the day of her state funeral.