Long queues for second day as thousands pay last respects to Queen Mother

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The Independent Online

Thousands of people, from pensioners to babies in pushchairs, queued for hours again today to pay their respects to the Queen Mother.

The 11th century Westminster Hall, where the Queen Mother is lying in state, closed at 6am after officials extended opening times because of the surge of public interest. It reopened again two hours later and will remain open tonight if people are still waiting to file past the coffin.

The Union flag fluttered at half mast across the water at Westminster as the queue stretched in front of Lambeth Palace and up towards Westminster Bridge.

Many were wrapped in fleeces, shawls and winter jackets to keep warm while others wore sober suits with black ties as a mark of respect.

Police patrolling the area estimated the wait to be six to seven hours.

Sylvia Stanley and Dorothy Lockyear got up at 4.30am to make the journey to the capital from Worcestershire.

Both were facing a queue of several hours before arriving at Westminster - but said they would not miss the opportunity to pay their respects to the Queen Mother.

Mrs Stanley, aged 59, of Great Malvern, said: "She was a wonderful lady. And since her 80th birthday I came to Clarence House every year to help celebrate her birthday.

"I share the same birthday and we used to wish each other happy birthday. One year I brought flowers for her and another year a bottle of gin."

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