Queen Elizabeth II funeral: Man runs up to touch coffin in Westminster Hall, gets arrested | Watch
The Metropolitan Police at Westminster Abbey on Saturday arrested a person for running towards the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II and touching it while thousands of mourners paid their respects.
A video of the incident has been going around on social media that shows a man running towards the coffin in an attempt to touch it. Immediately the police nab him. "He was arrested for an offence under the Public Order Act and is currently in custody," the police said in a statement.
The police said that the man has been arrested under the UK’s Public Order Act. He was later taken into custody. The incident occurred on Friday night and eyewitnesses reported seeing the man “run up” towards the raised platform on which the late monarch's coffin is laid along with the Imperial crown and other regalia.
The police in a statement related the incident. The statement stated, "Around 10 pm on Friday 16 September, officers from the Met's Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command detained a man in Westminster Hall following a disturbance.”
"We're aware of an incident in Westminster Hall, in which a member of the public moved out of the queue and towards the catafalque (raised platform),” a Parliament spokesperson said.
"They have now been removed from the hall and the queue restarted with minimal disruption," the spokesperson said. It comes as the public queue for the Lying-in-State has been running to full capacity, with a minimum of 16-hour wait times as people continue to travel from different parts of the UK to join the mourners. Footballer David Beckham was among some of the high-profile figures to join the queue, which has been running at over 8 kilometres along the River Thames.
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On Friday, King Charles III was joined by his siblings – Princess Anne and Princes Andrew and Edward – for a 15-minute vigil at the coffin. Their children, the Queen’s grandchildren, will observe a vigil on Saturday. William, Prince of Wales, will be joined at the vigil by brother Prince Harry and cousins Zara Tindall, Peter Philips, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount James Severn.
At Charles' "request", Prince Harry will wear a military uniform at the vigil, for the first time since 2020. He has worn civilian clothes at public events since the Queen died as he is no longer a working royal, having stepped back from frontline royal duties two years ago when he moved to the US with his wife Meghan Markle.
The Queen will lie in state at Westminster Hall until her state funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday. The queue to see the coffin will close on the morning of the funeral for preparation of the procession to convey the coffin a short distance to the Abbey service.
China banned from viewing Queen's coffin
The UK has refused permission for a high-level Chinese government delegation to attend Queen Elizabeth's Lying-in-State at Westminster Hall within the Parliament complex before the funeral at Westminster Abbey here on September 19, according to UK media reports on Friday.
The British queen breathed her last in Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8. Following a six-hour journey from Balmoral Castle to the Scottish capital on Sunday, her coffin arrived at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.
(With inputs from PTI)
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