Queen Elizabeth death: U.K. warns of ‘risks to public safety’ due to crowds

Click to play video: '‘God Save the Queen’: Crowds of mourners gather across UK after news of Elizabeth’s death'
‘God Save the Queen’: Crowds of mourners gather across UK after news of Elizabeth’s death
Crowds of mourners sang Britain's national anthem outside Buckingham Palace in London on Thursday following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. – Sep 8, 2022

The U.K. government is anticipating large crowds in central London in the coming days as mouners visit Buckingham Palace and the royal residences to express their condolences for the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

On Friday, the Cabinet Office issued a statement warning the public of potential “risks to public safety” and “delays on some public transport” as large numbers gather for ceremonial and commemorative events.

After the queen’s death was announced Thursday, a crowd of thousands gathered outside of Buckingham Palace, braving the heavy rain. The numbers started to accumulate much earlier in the day, when officials were still just “concerned” about Elizabeth’s health.

People gather outside Buckingham Palace following the announcement of the death of Queen Elizabeth II, in London, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. Victoria Jones/PA via AP

The queen reigned over England for 70 years and most people in the country have never known another monarch.

Story continues below advertisement

During the funeral of Princess Diana, around one million bouquets of flowers were left by the public, according to The Guardian.

When the queen’s funeral takes place, the crowd could be of an entirely different magnitude.

The date of the queen’s funeral hasn’t been determined officially, but will likely come at the end of the 10-day period of mourning, which began when the sovereign died on Thursday.

Read more: Queen Elizabeth death — What’s next for Canada’s 10 days of mourning

The U.K. government announced that “Access to some areas, especially in central London, will be restricted, with road closures and diversions that will cause delays to vehicles and pedestrians,” as preparations are made throughout the city for the queen’s state funeral and related events.

“The public should check ahead and plan accordingly,” the statement reads. “Those who do travel are asked to follow any instructions given to them by stewards and the police.”

The Cabinet Office is also asking the public to only lay flowers in designated areas at the royal residences in London, Windsor, Edinburgh, Balmoral, Hillsborough Castle and Sandringham.

Even before the state funeral happens, a number of important events related to the queen’s death and King Charles III’s accession are likely to draw large crowds.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: IN PHOTOS — Scenes as the world marks Queen Elizabeth II’s death

A remembrance service for the queen will take place at St. Paul’s Cathedral, a 96-gun salute will ring out in several locations across London, and there will be a formal ceremony declaring King Charles III at St. James’ Palace.

Huge numbers are expected for the four days that the queen’s body will lie in state at Westminster Hall, the BBC reported.

In 2002, more than 200,000 people paid their respects to the Queen Mother as she lay in state.

In 2011, during the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, Westminster city council estimated that around one million people gathered in the streets of London and 52 people were arrested during the event.


Sponsored content