Americans in London -- Queen's funeral edition
September 15, 2022 9:16 AM   Subscribe

We are two Americans who happen to be in London Monday during the Queen's funeral and want to potentially see the procession to Westminster Abbey before the funeral service. Best options?

We are two Americans who happened to have scheduled a trip to London that will coincide with the Queen's funeral and are interested in watching the final procession from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey.

Is there a good vantage point where we don't have to camp out for hours to get a view? I don't think we need to be right up on the street, even if there's a public area like a bridge or rooftop where we could see from a distance, that might be okay as well (unless there's a good street spot!).

If this is not possible to do without standing waiting for many hours, that's acceptable and we'll look for alternative ways to witness. We just want to make the most of being able to witness a historic moment.

Thank you!
posted by greta simone to Travel & Transportation around London, England (4 answers total)
 
The relevant UK government page is due to be updated (in the details section near the bottom) with more information about the funeral procession in London for members of the public - I'd expect this guidance to cover where spectators can & can't stand, the procession route etc. Gov.uk are generally pretty good at clear communication on this kind of stuff, I imagine civil servants are frantically working on getting those pages built right now.
posted by terretu at 9:38 AM on September 15


Buckingham Palace has notes on the procession route, before lying in state begins after the church ceremony:

The Queen will Lie-in-State in Westminster Hall until the morning of the State Funeral. ... The Procession will travel via Queen’s Gardens, The Mall, Horse Guards and Horse Guards Arch, Whitehall, Parliament Street, Parliament Square and New Palace Yard. After the Coffin arrives at Westminster Hall, The Archbishop of Canterbury will conduct a short service assisted by The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, Dean of Westminster, and attended by The King and Members of the Royal Family, after which the Lying-in-State will begin.

The Mall is made for this, but will likely attract the most crowds.

There are also official guides for queuing to see the lying-in-state. They expect a queue as long as 5-8 miles for which you'd need food and water for an all-day shuffle. I read that as warning you against the worst it can be so you're forewarned.
posted by k3ninho at 9:48 AM on September 15


Is there a good vantage point where we don't have to camp out for hours to get a view? I don't think we need to be right up on the street, even if there's a public area like a bridge or rooftop where we could see from a distance, that might be okay as well

I would strongly suspect that any spots like this are going to be well-known by the locals, and absolutely full of people trying to avoid the crowds/lines just like you are.

If this is not possible to do without standing waiting for many hours, that's acceptable and we'll look for alternative ways to witness. We just want to make the most of being able to witness a historic moment.

Unfortunately, I think the only option to view anything without standing and waiting for hours is going to be on TV.
posted by Jawn at 12:47 PM on September 15 [3 favorites]


Best answer: Westminster Abbey is literally just across the road from Westminster Hall. Even with the awkward route they're taking the procession will only last 8 minutes. There are no clever vantage points. Watch on a big screen in Hyde Park.

After the funeral, the coffin will be taken in procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch which is a much longer route and this is the final procession. Do you by any chance know anyone in the New Zealand High Commission or anyone who leases an office in their large building New Zealand House, 80 Haymarket? New Zealand House will have views of most of the procession from its roof terrace and the terrace accommodates a lot of people.

Keep an eye on London-obsessives Diamond Geezer and ianvisits who may well give oblique hints of clever places to see the final procession.
posted by boudicca at 3:40 PM on September 15


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