A man has been arrested after allegedly rushing towards the Queen's coffin inside Westminster Hall, as hundreds of mourners waiting to pay their respects watched on in horror.
The man, who was in the queue, left his place in the line and approached the coffin where one witness claims he got close enough to touch it.
The man was trying to remove the Royal Standard flag adorning the coffin, Sky News reported.
Police were quick to grab the man and escort him from the building.
The witness said the man lifted up the flag before he was caught by officials.
"Someone got up to the coffin, grabbed the flag and pulled it upwards," they told The Sun.
"They picked up the bottom and wafted it, almost to see what was underneath.
"It happened so fast."
Another woman said her seven-year-old niece was shoved out of the way by the man.
"A person decided they were going to push my seven-year-old niece out the way, run up to the coffin, lift up the standard and try to do I don't know what," she told reporters.
The live broadcast of the Queen lying in state was cut for about 15 minutes while the incident unfolded.
Met Police said the man was arrested at 10pm on Friday night.
“22:00hrs on Friday 16 September officers from the Met's Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command detained a man in Westminster Hall following a disturbance. He was arrested for an offence under the Public Order Act and is currently in custody," they said in a statement.
Another man arrested for roller blading in front of King's car
The dramatic scenes come as another man was tackled by police after roller blading in front of King Charles' car as it was driving through central London to Westminster Hall.
The skater was arrested on Friday (local time), bringing the royal convoy to a halt.
The man was pinned to the ground by police officers several metres in front of the royal convoy which was being led by a police motorcyclist.
The man struggled with police and was put into handcuffs as King Charles' car passed by, before being led away.
The man claimed that he was skating fast down an open road, unaware that he was riding towards the convoy.
King Charles was heading to Westminster Hall with his siblings, Princess Anne, Princes Andrew, and Edward to stand vigil at the coffin of Queen Elizabeth which had been lying in state in the hall since Wednesday.
- with Reuters
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