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Where is Westminster Hall and is it open to the public? Can anyone visit queen Elizabeth’s coffin?

Members of the public can now visit Westminster Hall to observe the Queen in her coffin though queues are extremely long and could take more than a day.

Members of the public file past the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign's orb and sceptre, lying in state.

The Queen is lying in state in Westminster Hall in central London, ahead of her funeral at the beginning of next week.

Some members of the public queued for more than 48 hours to catch a glimpse of Her Majesy’s coffin. Even with this wait they may be counted as the lucky ones. The current three and a half-mile queue is expected to reach five miles and could take 30 hours to traverse.

Where is Westminster Hall?

Westminster hall is a part of the Palace of Westminster. It is the oldest part of the Westminster estate which includes buildings such as the Houses of Parliament.

Built in 1097 by the second Norman King William II, the hall was at the time the largest in Europe. It has played host to numerous functions such as being a major court and a location for major trials in English history. This includes the trial of King Charles I at the end of the British civil wars in the 17th century, as well as Catholic Guy Fawkes for his part in the plot to destroy the Houses of Parliament in 1605.

Elizabeth II is not the first person to lie in state in the great hall as most royals are given the honour. Only two non-members of the royal family were allowed to lie in state there in the whole 20th century; Frederick Sleigh Roberts and Winston Churchill.

Can anyone visit queen Elizabeth’s coffin?

As long as you are willing to queue for hours and hours anyone can visit, though there are concerns surrounding the scale of the whole operation.

“We are talking about the challenge of having so many people from a very wide age group, perhaps with large sections tending towards the elderly, who are going to be on their feet for over a day and it’s the sort of endurance an athlete might find difficult, even before weather is taken into account,” said Professor Keith Still, a visiting professor of crowd science at the University of Suffolk and a specialist in crowd safety.

The public are able to file past the coffin 24 hours a day from 5 p.m. local time on Wednesday 14 September until 6.30 a.m. on the day of the funeral, Monday 19 September.