Queen Elizabeth II death: Queen’s funeral to be biggest operation in Metropolitan Police’s 193-year history

London will fall silent for two minutes on Monday during what is expected to one of its busiest ever days as the city becomes the epi-centre of the world for the Queen’s state funeral.

The scale of the anticipated crowds of mourners will see the Metropolitan Police mount the biggest operation in its 193-year history – larger than for the 2012 Olympics.

The event will also be the largest global protection operation the force has dealt with, as world leaders and hundreds of VIPs are expected to attend.

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So many people converged on central London on Friday to pay their respects to the Queen lying in state in Westminster Hall that access to the queue was paused for a time when it stretched for five miles as far as Southwark Park in south-east London.

Mourners queuing to pay their respects to the Queen lying in state in Westminster Hall stretching past Tower Bridge nearly three miles away on Friday. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire
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It resumed around 5pm, but with an expected queuing time of more than 24 hours.

On Monday, the Queen’s coffin will be taken in procession at 10:44am from the Palace of Westminster for the funeral at Westminster Abbey at 11am.

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Afterwards it will travel via Broad Sanctuary, Parliament Square, Parliament Street, Whitehall, Horse Guards, Horse Guards Road, The Mall, Queen’s Gardens, Constitution Hill and Apsley Way to Wellington Arch.

It will then be transferred to the State Hearse to travel to Windsor, where the procession there will begin just after 3pm at Shaw Farm Gate on Albert Road.

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The route for the funeral processions to take place in London and Windsor. Graphic: PA

It will go via Long Walk, Cambridge Gate, Cambridge Drive, George IV Gate, Quadrangle, Engine Court, Norman Arch, Chapel Hill, Parade Ground and Horseshoe Cloister Arch to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle for a committal service.

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Police have already deployed more than 22 miles of barriers in central London to control crowds and keep key areas secure.

Transport chiefs warned services into and within London would be “extremely busy” on Monday.

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More than 100 Heathrow Airport flights will be cancelled to prevent aircraft noise disturbing the funeral and later proceedings at Windsor Castle, where the Queen will be buried.

Her Majesty The Queen's Lying-in-State Queue Tracker at 5.40pm on Friday
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Glasgow-based Loganair will ground all its flights across the UK during the funeral as a mark of respect and to enable staff the option to watch it.

Transport for London (TfL) said the "best option" for passengers arriving by train would be to continue their journey on foot rather than use public transport.

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Full bus and tube services are due to operate, with Underground trains running for an extra hour in the evening to help get people home, but passengers should expect queues at stations.

However, many buses will be diverted around the funeral route.

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Westminster, St James's Park and Hyde Park Corner tube stations will be closed for most of the morning until after the funeral around noon, to prevent overcrowding.

Green Park station will be exit only between 10am and 8pm.

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TfL said buses would pull over "if it is safe and practical to do so" and switch their engines off during the two-minute silence at the end of the funeral service at around 11:55am.

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Victoria Coach Station will be closed, with many National Express services switched to Wembley Stadium in north-west London, and megabus and Flixbus services to Hillingdon in west London.

London's main line stations will remain open overnight to provide shelter for people waiting for trains home, including Euston, which serves the west coast main line to Glasgow, and King's Cross, for the east coast main line to Edinburgh, and to Aberdeen and Inverness.

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Network Rail, which runs the stations, said many of their shops, restaurants and toilets would stay open “to help passengers be as comfortable as possible throughout the night”.

Stationary "welfare” trains will be used as overnight waiting areas at some stations as a "last resort", with mourners invited to board by station staff and priority given to the elderly and vulnerable.

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A full weekday rail timetable will operate, with about 250 additional services, including some overnight trains, mainly serving destinations within the M25.

Long-distance trains are expected to be busiest in the late afternoon and evening after the funeral, so passengers with shorter journeys are urged to delay their return home to ease pressure on stations.

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LNER, which operates between Scotland and London on the east coast line, said it would operate a full service after engineering works in Newcastle were suspended.

Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy said: "The railway is going to be extremely busy on Monday, particularly on routes into London.

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"This is the biggest public transport operation since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and we're working closely with all train operators to run extra trains through the day and into the night.

"To help us provide the best possible experience and avoid lengthy queues at stations we're asking people not to rush home after the funeral and the processions, but to take their time and experience London on this memorable day.”

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Andy Byford, London’s Transport Commissioner, said he had prepared for “significant travel demand”.

He said: “Our services will run later into the evening on Monday to allow Londoners and visitors to the city to continue marking this historic day.

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"It is going to be extremely busy in London on Monday and there may be short-notice changes and queues to enter stations as a result of the large number of people travelling.

"We would encourage people to consider making use of the wide range of facilities open across London for refreshments after the state funeral.

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"As well as allowing time to continue to pay respects, this will help ensure smoother journeys home for everybody."

Heathrow Airport said 15 per cent of its 1,200 flights due to take off or land on Monday would be disrupted.

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These will mainly affect British Airways, which has cancelled 100 short-haul flights that are likely to include some services to and from Edinburgh and Glasgow.

BA said Gatwick and London City airports were due to operate as planned.

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Met Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy said: "This will be the largest single policing event that the Met Police has ever undertaken.

"As a single event, this is larger than the 2012 Olympics, it is larger than the Platinum Jubilee weekend.

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"The range of officers, police staff and all those supporting the operation is truly immense."

During the 2012 Olympic Games in London, up to 10,000 police officers were on duty per day.

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Mr Cundy said that, following the death of the Queen, in mutual aid alone – officers who are drafted in from outside forces to help – there will be 20,000 officer shifts throughout the week and 2,000 officers in a single day at the peak.

Specialist teams involved in the operation include motorbike escort riders, mounted branch, firearms officers, dog teams and the marine unit.

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