Hundreds of thousands of people line up to walk past Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin.
All eight grandchildren of Queen Elizabeth II stood in silent vigil next to her coffin on Saturday, closing another great day when thousands came to pay their last respects.
The mourners huddled in a line that wound through London, enduring the coldest night in months and waiting times of up to 16 hours.
Authorities warned that more cold weather was expected Saturday night. “Tonight’s forecast is cold. Warm clothes are recommended,” the ministry in charge of the line tweeted.
Prince William and Harry stood silently on opposite sides of the coffin, heads bowed, for the 15-minute vigil in the sprawling Westminster Hall where the coffin has been lying since Wednesday, as a line of mourners streamed past the mooring of the late monarch-state.
The Queen died on September 8 at her summer estate in the Scottish Highlands, aged 96.
Hundreds of thousands of people have queued for hours in a line that stretches along the River Thames, waiting to pass by the coffin and pay tribute to the Queen – a testament to the affection with which she was held.
Earlier on Saturday, Charles and his heir William shook hands and greeted benefactors in line, asking how long they had been there and if they were warm enough.
Cries of “God save the king,” Charles and William spoke to mourners near Lambeth Bridge, as they neared the end of the long line to see the recumbent in state at historic Westminster Hall.
On Friday evening, Charles joined his three siblings – Princess Anne and Princes Andrew and Edward – in a silent vigil at the coffin.
“She wouldn’t believe any of this, really,” William was heard to say to a husband of the late Queen, who came to the throne in 1952. “It is astonishing.” One woman told Charles it was “worth the wait” and others wished him well and cheered as he walked past the line.
World leaders arrive in London
Ahead of the state funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday, world leaders also began arriving in the British capital.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese were among the dignitaries on Saturday, while New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern bowed to the coffin on Friday.
US President Joe Biden was due to go to the supine state on Sunday.
On Saturday, Charles met the leaders of the 14 countries where he is head of state, such as Canada, Australia and Jamaica, after meeting the governors general – the people who represent the monarch in overseas territories – at Buckingham Palace.
London police have described the funeral as the largest security operation it has ever undertaken as prime ministers, presidents and royals gather and huge crowds crowd the streets.
The king paid a visit to the police station on Saturday to thank the emergency services who were involved in the planning.
Underlining the risks, police said a man had been arrested after a witness told Sky News that he “ran for the Queen’s coffin”. Footage shows a man being knocked to the ground by police officers and taken away.
In the silent hall, some mourners wept as current soldiers and veterans saluted their former commander in chief. Others in line fell to their knees.
There has been a flood of emotions across the country and 10 days of choreographed events since the Queen died at Balmoral in Scotland. Her coffin was first laid up in Edinburgh before being flown south to London.
The Queen’s children have described being overwhelmed by the reaction to their mother’s death.
The state funeral, attended by nearly 100 presidents and heads of government, is arguably one of the largest ceremonial events ever held in the UK.