Queen’s funeral latest: People told not to join capacity queue after mourners brave cold night

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Linda Partridge, 71, and Simon Hopkins, 59, travelled down from the West Midlands for the lying in state, despite warnings that the queue was closed, because they felt “they need to come down”.

Ms Partridge, who had left home at 3am, told PA on Saturday morning: “Even though they said it was closed I felt that need to come down.

“If we’ve got here and then they turned away, then fine. I would have just felt I needed to come and then be told I couldn’t go”.

Mr Hopkins added: “There was a sense of perhaps ‘best not travel’ but just to make the journey and just to check it out, and you know, if it ended in disappointment, and then so be it.”

He likened the experience to a “pilgrimage”, which he said “is a bit strange because that kind of goes against my grain”.

“I’ve been kind of drawn into it,” he added.

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Officials reopen queue

The queue for the Queen’s lying in state has been reopened – but officials have warned that the waiting time is 24 hours.

The huge line is now accessible via Southwark Park.

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Brain tumour patient ‘burst into tears’ opening one of the Queen’s last letters

A brain tumour patient said she is “still in shock” after receiving one of the last letters from the Queen before her death.

Kerri Parker, 38, has raised more than £16,000 for UK-based medical charity Brain Tumour Research and wrote to the Queen to thank her after attending a Platinum Jubilee Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in July.

Ms Parker, who was also crowned Ms Universe World International in Miami last month, said it “broke my heart a little” to receive a response from the monarch dated September 5, just three days before the Queen died at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire.

“I just can’t believe it – my name and what I’ve done for Brain Tumour Research was one of the last things that she’d have seen, as far as correspondence goes,” Ms Parker, from Norwich, told the PA News agency.

“Someone of that stature, to not (have just) seen my name but seen what I’ve achieved for Brain Tumour Research is just absolutely remarkable.

“It’s such a wonderful tribute and must have been one of her last letters… It’s a little bit of history, something I’ll treasure that broke my heart a little.

“I’m still in shock, it’s crazy.”

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Man arrested after approaching the Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall

A man is in police custody after reports of someone running up the steps to the catafalque and touching the coffin.

The Metropolitan police were said to have rushed to detain the man just before 10pm last night, hours after senior royals held a vigil.

A statement from Scotland Yard said: “Around 22:00hrs on Friday 16 September officers from the Met’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command detained a man in Westminster Hall following a disturbance.

“He was arrested for an offence under the Public Order Act and is currently in custody.”

A spokesperson for UK parliament added: “We’re aware of an incident in Westminster Hall, in which a member of the public moved out of the queue and towards the Catafalque.

“They have now been removed from the Hall and the queue restarted with minimal disruption.”

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The Queen was discussing her love for her horses ‘right to the very end’

The Queen was in “tremendous form” before she died and discussed “her love for her horses right to the very end”, according to her trusted bloodstock and racing adviser.

John Warren features in one of the most repeated TV clips of the last week, when the Queen clapped her hands and beamed as her horse Estimate claimed victory in Royal Ascot’s Gold Cup in 2013 – the first time in the race’s 207-year history that it had been won by a reigning monarch.

Mr Warren said he spent the weekend before the Queen died in Scotland, discussing her horses, as they had done so many times before.

“We sat there for hours over the weekend strategising and making plans going forward”, he said.

“And I think the nicest thing for me is to know that she was surrounded by her family members.

“She was in such a healthy state of mind and in tremendous form.

“It’s very important to know that she was absolutely, wonderfully switched on.”

Mr Warren said the Queen had seen a lot of the King and Queen Consort, who were also in Scotland, and was enjoying having different groups of family staying at Balmoral.

“She really loved having them right there with her and being able to talk about her horses and her love for her horses right to the very end,” he said.

“I left her on Monday afternoon, the prime ministers were coming in on the Tuesday, she had a winner on the Tuesday.

“On the Tuesday evening she was in really good form, delighted she had had a winner, and talked about the prime ministers coming in and out, and I can hardly believe it possible that within less than 48 hours the Queen had died.”

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Queen’s grandchildren to hold vigil at her coffin

The Queen’s eight grandchildren, including Princes William and Harry, will hold another vigil in Westminster Hall tonight.

The Prince of Wales will stand at the head, the Duke of Sussex at the foot. At the King’s request, they will both be in uniform.

The other grandchildren will be in morning suits and dark formal dresses with decorations.

William will be flanked by his cousins Zara Tindall and Peter Philips, the children of the Princess Royal; while Harry will be with the Duke of York’s daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

It follows reports that the Duke of Sussex has been given permission to wear his military uniform at the vigil after Palace officials reportedly intervened on his behalf.

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Truss set to meet world leaders ahead of Queen’s funeral

Liz Truss is set to hold meetings with world leaders as they travel to the UK for the Queen’s funeral.

The Prime Minister will speak with counterparts from New Zealand and Australia on Saturday, with the conversations framed by No 10 as chats rather than formal bilateral meetings.

Downing Street suggested they would be an opportunity for condolences over the Queen’s death, with politics likely to come up.

The first meeting is at the Government’s Chevening country residence, rather than Chequers, which is said to be undergoing routine maintenance work after Boris Johnson’s exit.

Ms Truss will meet New Zealand’s premier Jacinda Ardern and Australian leader Anthony Albanese on Saturday.

Ms Ardern has said the Queen’s death and new King will be the “focus of conversation”, with the pair also likely to discuss Ukraine and the UK’s free trade agreement with New Zealand.

But all will be “within the context of the week of mourning that the UK is currently in”.

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Crowds urged not to join the queue for lying in state

Officials are urging people not to travel to join the queue whch is near capacity – with waiting times of at least 24 hours.

The Government tracker is urging people to check its tracker for updates.

However people were still seen joping the queue early on Saturday.

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