How to travel to the Queen’s funeral in London and where to stay

Across the world, millions are grieving the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

Tributes have poured in from every corner of the globe, from New Zealand to New York.

But London – the city where the monarch spent the Blitz and lived much of her life – will doubtless be the centre of commemoration.

Many mourners will head to the city, and the cabinet office is urging travellers to plan ahead.

“We recognise that many people will travel to Buckingham Palace and other Royal Residences as a mark of their respect,” a spokesperson said.

“We expect large crowds, which can pose risks to public safety. Those who do travel are asked to follow any instructions given to them by stewards and the police.”

If you want to visit the capital to pay your respects, here’s everything you need to know.

Key timeline of events

If you’re visiting London, you’ll want to line up your visit with the key commemoration events. Most will take place within the next ten days. The UK is in an official period of mourning from now until seven days after the Queen’s funeral.

When and where will the Queen lie in state?

Once the Queen’s coffin has been flown to London, it will be borne on a gun carriage from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall. This will probably happen within the next five days. Specific dates are expected soon.

The Queen will then ‘lie in state’ for five days, mounted atop a catafalque in the middle of Westminster Hall. The hall will be open to the public for 23 hours a day. Expect long queues – many mourners lined up for hours to catch a glimpse of the Queen Mother’s coffin in 2002.

To get to Westminster hall, take a tube to Westminster station, St James’ Park, or Embankment. All are within a five minute walk.

When is the Queen’s funeral – and can you go?

A funeral date is not yet confirmed, but it will likely take place in 10 days. Monday 19 September is rumoured to be a possible date

The government hasn’t revealed whether the day will be an official bank holiday, though many shops in London will probably be closed.

Where will the Queen’s funeral be held?

The funeral will be held in Westminster Abbey. It is a huge church close to Westminster tube station, and it’s where the Queen married Prince Philip in 1947, and was crowned in 1953. The funeral should start around 11am, and at midday, the UK will observe a two minute silence.

Before the event, there will be a short procession between Westminster Hall and Westminster Abbey. The service itself will be closed to the public; just 2,000 dignitaries and notables will attend. But the event will be televised on all major TV channels. Princess Diana’s 1997 funeral remains the most-watched live televised event of all time.

Can I go to the Queen’s funeral procession?

After the one hour funeral service in Westminster Abbey, the Queen’s coffin will proceed to Wellington Arch, at London’s Hyde Park Corner.

The large ceremonial procession will contain members of the royal family and hundreds of soldiers. To watch, head to the Mall – the large avenue stretching up to Buckingham Palace. The nearest tube stations are Hyde Park Corner, Charing Cross, St James’s Park, and Green Park.

It is likely to get busy very early, so to secure a good spot, such asnear the railings, you will have to arrive very early. For previous royal processions, onlookers have camped out overnight to get the best spots, or gathered from first light.

Have concerts and other big events in London been cancelled?

If you are travelling to London for a different event, check before you leave home – it may have been cancelled.

The Royal Albert Hall confirmed that the final two nights of the BBC Proms on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 September will no longer go ahead, while several football matches and local community events were also cancelled.

Where in London can you go to pay your respects?

Buckingham Palace itself is already a sea of flowers. Floral tributes will be removed every 12 hours and placed in the ‘tribute area’ at nearby Green Park. Members of the public can also lay flowers directly at these sites.

The nearest tube stations to Buckingham Palace are Hyde Park Corner, Charing Cross, St James’s Park, and Green Park.

Mourners may also leave flowers at Windsor castle, a short journey out of London, a long-time Royal residence. Tributes will be brought inside the castle each evening, and placed on the Castle Chapter grass.

The Royal Family website has added a “Book of Condolence” for people to pay tribute to the Queen.

How to get to London for the Queen’s funeral

If you’re travelling into London from other parts of the UK, trains are a good option. As a mark of ‘respect,’ the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) have called off a planned rail strike on 15 and 17 September.

There are no planned strikes or disruptions to planes or trains into the UK from other parts of Europe. However, there has been disruption at UK airports recently so check with your airline and airport before you travel.

Are London trains and tubes running as normal?

The UK government expects delays on some services in the aftermath of the Queen’s death. Access to some areas in central London will be restricted, with road closures and diversions.

However, the tube, buses, and trains will likely be your best bet.

Where to stay in London that’s close to the Mall, Buckingham Palace, and Hyde Park

It may be hard to get accommodation, so plan ahead. In 2021, political news website Politico obtained memos warning that London could become ‘full’ after the Queen’s death.

For hotels near the action, you’ll have to book in central London.

Options include the Royal Lancaster London, a luxury hotel near Hyde Park, with swish double rooms from around £400 per night. Boutique hotel the Guardsman in Westminster is also right near by, with doubles from £280.

Sloane Place has a long history of royal patronage. The Chelsea hotel is linked to the Sloane Club, a private members’ establishment founded in 1922 by Princess Helena, Queen Victoria’s daughter. Nightly rates at Sloane Place start from £200 (€234) on a B&B basis.

The Hux Hotel offers boutique accommodation right by Kensington Gardens, immediately to the West of Hyde Park. Doubles start from £360 per night. 

Just off Piccadilly circus, the Dilly Hotel is another option for those looking for a place to stay close to the commemorations. Doubles prices vary significantly depending on the day, byt start from £280.

For less expensive options, try Zedwell (£89 (€104.49) per night for a double). The chain offers soundless, windowless and air-purified cocoons in a Piccadilly Circus location.

If you want to book a homestay or apartments, try one of the ethical alternatives to Airbnb.

Read the full article here

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button