People queue at Southwark Park to visit Britain's Queen Elizabeth lying in state, following her death, in London, on September 16, 2022. Image Credit: REUTERS

LONDON: Entry to the queue to see Queen Elizabeth’s lying in state has resumed and the expected waiting time was now more than 24 hours, the government said on Friday, having earlier closed admittance after it reached capacity.

“Entry to the queue has resumed. Expected queuing time is over 24 hours and overnight temperatures will be cold,” the culture department said on Twitter. “The queue may be paused again if it reaches capacity.”

Earlier in the day, thousands of people continued to stream into Southwark Park, even as announcements at the London Underground station nearby advised people not to join the queue. Inside the park, police still allowed people to walk in and join the back of the queue.

Temporary toilets have been installed along the route of the queue, and mourners have been asked not to bring camping equipment, sleeping bags or folding chairs.

“I’ve no sensation in my knees at all or my legs,” said Hyacinth Appah, a mourner from London who was in the queue. “But it’s been fine. Most of the people have been lovely and we’ve had quite a nice time.”

The queue was around 4.9 miles long as of 0900 GMT, the culture department’s live queue tracker showed. The duration has not been updated since then.

Members of the public approaching the final stretch of the queue after waiting all through the night told Reuters they were tired and cold but felt coming to pay their respects to the queen was the right thing to do.

Naomi Brown, from London, said she had waited for nearly 11 hours after joining the queue Thursday night after work.

“I just thought, I’m never going to do it again. I have so much respect for the queen, not once did she ever falter,” 29-year-old Brown said, speaking to Reuters as she was nearing the front of the queue. “She has been such a good symbol for our country. ... It feels like we have lost a family member.”