Thousands queue overnight in Edinburgh to pay respects to Queen

Thousands queue overnight in Edinburgh to pay respects to Queen

Mourners in Edinburgh have shown up in their “tens of thousands” to pay their respects to the Queen, with many queueing for hours overnight.

Lord Ian Duncan, the Deputy Speaker in the House of Lords, said crowds along the Royal Mile were “ten-deep”, while the streets surrounding the historic precinct were equally crammed with people.

“The sheer quantity of individuals moving into Edinburgh today (indicates) that there will be many tens – possibly even hundreds – of thousands of people who will wish to pay their respects to the late Queen,” Lord Duncan told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio National programme on Tuesday morning.

Members of the public queuing to enter St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh, to view and pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin on Monday
Members of the public queuing to enter St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh, to view and pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin on Monday (Katharine Hay/PA)

“By goodness, they were ten-deep. They had to stop people trying to get there because it would have become dangerous.

“The streets around (the Royal Mile) were crammed and now, as people wait to walk past the coffin itself, the expectation of the numbers and the sheer quantity of humanity in Edinburgh today is extraordinary.”

While many people were warned to expect a 12-hour wait to see the monarch’s coffin at St Giles’ Cathedral, those who queued overnight said their wait-time was five or six hours.

People queued into the early hours of Tuesday morning outside St Giles’ Cathedral to see the Queen’s coffin (Gavin Hamilton/PA)

“It took about five and a quarter hours waiting in line to see her,” he said, adding that he made into the cathedral just before 3am.

“There were people in the queue with me who had travelled from Aberdeen, over 100 miles away, to do this. There were thousands of people in line at 12.30am at the start of the queue.

“The people were still (lining up) after 2.50 am when I got into the cathedral.”

Siblings Mitch Stevenson and Moira Henderson outside St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh
Siblings Mitch Stevenson and Moira Henderson made it into the cathedral to pay their respects to the Queen around 1am (Mitch Stevenson/PA)

The siblings had initially been advised they would likely need to wait 11 hours to see the Queen’s coffin but were not deterred.

“It was a very important occasion for us – we lost our mum earlier this year and she would have loved to have been able to go, so we went for her memory also,” Mr Stevenson told PA.

People filed into St Giles' Cathedral throughout the night to pay their respects to the Queen
People filed into St Giles’ Cathedral throughout the night to pay their respects to the Queen (Mitch Stevenson/PA)

Members of the public started going into the cathedral at about 6pm, and the procession was temporarily paused to allow the royal family to take part in a short vigil at about 8pm.

Guernsey Press