King Charles, Prince William make surprise visit to crowds, as UK government urges mourners not to travel to join Queen's queue – ABC News

King Charles, Prince William make surprise visit to crowds, as UK government urges mourners not to travel to join Queen's queue
Follow live as the queue to view the Queen lying in state enters its final hours ahead of tonight's funeral
King Charles shook hands and spoke to well-wishers queuing for hours in central London to file past the coffin of his mother, Queen Elizabeth, and he has thanked emergency workers who are helping to stage the late monarch's funeral.
To cheers of "hip, hip, hurrah" and shouts of "God save the King", King Charles walked alongside mourners waiting to see the Queen's lying in state on Saturday, asking those lining up how long they had been there and whether they were warm enough.
His son and heir, Prince William, also chatted to the crowds wanting to honour the late monarch.
"She wouldn't believe all this, she really wouldn't," William was heard telling one man of the late Queen.
"It's amazing."
One woman told the King it had been "worth the wait" and others wished him well and cheered as he moved down the line.
Tens of thousands of people have already filed past the coffin in a steady, solemn stream, queuing for hours through the dark and cold to pay their respects to Britain's longest-reigning monarch — a testament to the affection in which she was held.
By 5pm local time, Britain's culture ministry said the waiting time to reach the lying-in-state was up to 11 hours.
Earlier on Saturday, they had said it would pause entry to the queue if demand became too high, adding at 1am local time (10am AEST): "Please do not travel."
The death of the Queen on September 8 at her summer estate in the Scottish highlands has sparked an outpouring of emotion across the country.
Having laid at rest in the Scottish capital for 24 hours, the coffin was flown south to London, where tens of thousands of people crowded onto a normally busy road in driving rain to observe the flag-draped casket being driven to Buckingham Palace.
On Friday night King Charles joined his three siblings — Princess Anne and Princes Andrew and Edward in a silent vigil at the coffin while their eight children, including William and Harry, will form their own ceremonial guard later on Saturday.
After standing in line for 14 hours, 60-year-old real estate agent Sarah Boniface was teary as she left the great Westminster Hall where she saw the new King hold the vigil as she passed by the Queen's coffin.
"It's been worth every minute. Every minute," she said, visibly holding back tears. "I'm so lucky to have paid my respects to the Queen and seen our new King."
For retiree Hasmukh Vara, 62, his decision to stand for 13 hours to observe the lying in state reflected his desire to say thank you to the late monarch after he moved to the country from Kenya in the 1970s.
Emerging from the vast, brightly lit hall into the cool darkness of night by the River Thames, he described himself as feeling "very, very high".
"We came as refugees to this country," he said.
"For my entire lifetime, I am indebted to her because she gave us a home. It's something we can never, ever forget. It's a big deal to me and my family."
It's set to be one of the biggest security and logistical operations the UK has ever staged. 
World leaders are also starting arriving in the British capital ahead of the Queen's state funeral on Monday.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese were among the dignitaries to pay their respects on Saturday, while New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was seen curtsying to the coffin on Friday.
US President Joe Biden was expected to view the coffin on Sunday.
The state funeral on Monday, to be attended by nearly 100 presidents and heads of government including those from the United States, France, Australia, Japan, Jamaica and Canada, is likely to be one of the biggest ceremonial events ever held in Britain.
On Saturday, King Charles met with 14 prime ministers, including Mr Albanese, at Buckingham Palace.
Earlier in the day, he and William met with emergency services workers who are helping to stage the funeral.
Later the focus will switch to the younger royals and their vigil.
Heir-to-the-throne William and his brother Harry will both stand guard at the coffin in military uniform.
Harry served two tours of duty with the British Army in Afghanistan but so far has appeared in processions in a suit rather than a uniform after he lost his honorary military titles when he stepped back from public royal duties.
The vigil will take place at the oak casket, which stands on a purple-clad catafalque, draped in the Royal Standard and with the bejewelled Imperial State Crown placed on top.
The two brothers will be joined by their cousins — Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall, the children of Princess Anne, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, the children of Prince Andrew, and Louise and James, the children of Prince Edward.
Police said one man had been arrested after a disturbance near the coffin earlier on Friday and has been held for an offence under the Public Order Act.
Hundreds of troops from the British army, air force and navy have taken part in the first full rehearsal of the procession that will bring the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II to its final resting place.
With troops lining The Long Walk, a picturesque path leading to Windsor Castle, the thumping of drums echoed as marching bands walked ahead of a hearse early on Saturday.
The royal family has released details of the Queen's funeral. From how to watch to who is going, here's everything you need to know.
On Monday, they will do the same but surrounded by a significant crowd of mourners expected to travel to Windsor for a final farewell to the Queen, who died last week at age 96.
Her funeral is to be held at Westminster Abbey on Monday before some 2,000 guests.
After the church service, the late Queen's coffin will be transported through the historic heart of London on a horse-drawn gun carriage.
It will then be taken by hearse to Windsor, where the queen will be interred alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, who died last year.
Some people who won't be in Windsor on Monday decided to wake up early to watch Saturday's rehearsal.
Local resident Katharine Horsfall said she set her alarm for 3:15 am local time.
"I think it will be an amazing tribute to the queen, a great send off, with all the pageantry that she so well deserves," she said.
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This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced.
AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)


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