Quarter of a million viewed Queen's coffin

·3-min read

Around a quarter of a million people paid their respects in person to the Queen by viewing her coffin as it lay in state in London.

British Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan gave the figure on Tuesday, the morning after the nation's longest-reigning monarch was buried at Windsor Castle.

Donelan said her department was still "crunching the numbers" as to how many people had queued for hours in London to process past the Queen's coffin at Westminster Hall, but that she believed they numbered around 250,000.

The royal family is observing another week of mourning for the Queen after a state funeral that was full of emotion and ceremony under the gaze of the world.

Donelan said that most British people would see the cost of the Queen's funeral as "money well spent", but could not put a figure on what that cost might be.

Pressed on Sky News about the cost, she said: "I'm not sure of the exact costings but as I say, I think the British public would argue that that was money well spent.

"You saw so many thousands out there and I don't think anybody can suggest that our late monarch didn't deserve that send-off, given the duty and the selfless service that she committed to over 70 years."

She said it would be "downright preposterous" to suggest otherwise.

King Charles III decreed on September 9, the day after the Queen died following her 70-year reign, that a period of mourning would be observed until seven days after the funeral.

Members of the royal family are not expected to carry out official engagements, and flags at royal residences will remain at half-mast until 8am after the final day of royal mourning.

They have been left bereft by the death of their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, and at times their grief was palpable with Charles looking emotional and close to tears at the state funeral.

The Countess of Wessex was also seen weeping during the long day as was the Duchess of Sussex, who returned with the Duke of Sussex to the royal family to share their grief.

The Queen was finally laid to rest with her husband the Duke of Edinburgh during a private evening burial service attended just by close family.

The family's website said it was conducted by the Dean of Windsor, adding that the Queen was buried together with Philip at The King George VI Memorial Chapel.

The royal Twitter account published a picture of the Queen taken at Balmoral in 1971, with the words: "May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest. In loving memory of Her Majesty The Queen."

The quote is from Shakespeare's Hamlet, and was said by Charles in his speech to MPs and peers on September 12.

The day of the funeral was filled with personal touches, with the wreath adorning the Queen's coffin featuring a handwritten note from the King, saying: "In loving and devoted memory. Charles R."

The state funeral at Westminster Abbey was attended by dignitaries including hundreds of heads of state, and with London full with mourners the event called for the largest policing operation undertaken by the Metropolitan Police.

Among the 2000-strong congregation at the abbey were foreign royalty, leading figures from UK life and world leaders including US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.