Around the world, millions of people are mourning the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.
The tributes have pour into from all corners of the globe, from New Zealand to New York.
But London – the city where the monarch spent the Blitz and lived much of her life – will undoubtedly be the center of the commemoration.
Many mourners will be heading into town, and the cabinet office urges travelers to plan ahead.
“We recognize that many people will visit Buckingham Palace and other royal residences as a sign of respect,” a spokesperson said.
“We expect large crowds, which may pose public safety risks. Those traveling are asked to follow the instructions given to them by the stewards and the police.
If you want to visit the capital to pay homage to him, here is everything you need to know.
Key timeline of events
If you are visiting London, you will want to align your visit with major commemoration events. The UK is in an official period of mourning for up to seven days after the Queen’s funeral. But the big events will take place in the next ten days.
When and where will the queen be in state?
Once the Queen’s coffin has been transported to Londonit will be carried on a gun carriage of Buckingham Palace at Westminster Hall. This will likely happen within the next five days. Specific dates are expected shortly.
The Queen will then be “in state” for five days, mounted atop a catafalque in the middle of Westminster Hall. The room will be open to the public 23 hours a day. Expect long queues – many mourners line up for hours to catch a glimpse of the Queen The mother’s coffin in 2002.
To get to Westminster Hall, take a tube to Westminster, St James’ Park or Embankment station, all within a five-minute walk.
When is the Queen’s funeral – and can you go?
The date of the funeral is not yet confirmed, but it will probably take place in 10 days. Monday, September 19 is rumored to be a possible date.
It has been confirmed that the day will be an official public holiday.
Where will the Queen’s funeral take place?
The funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey. It’s a huge church near Westminster tube station, and it’s where the Queen married Prince Philip in 1947 and was crowned in 1953. The funeral is expected to start around 11am. At noon, the UK will observe a two-minute silence.
Prior to the event, there will be a short procession between Westminster Hall and Westminster Abbey. The service itself will be closed to the public; only 2,000 dignitaries and notables will be invited. But the event will be broadcast on all major television channels. Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997 remains the most watched live TV event of all time.
Can I attend the Queen’s funeral procession?
After the hour-long funeral service at Westminster Abbey, the The queen’s coffin will travel to Wellington Arch, London’s Hyde Park Corner.
The large ceremonial procession will contain members of the royal family and hundreds of soldiers. To join the crowd, head to The Mall – the grand avenue that stretches all the way to Buckingham Palace. The nearest tube stations are Hyde Park Corner, Charing Cross, St James’ Park and Green Park.
It’s likely to get crowded very early, so to secure a good spot, such as near the railings, you’ll need to arrive very early. For previous royal processions, onlookers have camped out overnight to secure the best spots, or gathered at first light.
Have concerts and other major events in London been cancelled?
If you are traveling to London for a different event, check before you leave home – this may have been cancelled.
The Royal Albert Hall has confirmed that the final two nights of the BBC Proms on Friday September 9 and Saturday September 10 will no longer take place. Several local football games and community events have also been canceled.
Where can you go in London to pay your respects?
Buckingham Palace itself is already a sea of flowers. Floral tributes will be removed every 12 hours and placed in the nearby Green Park ‘Tribute Zone’. Members of the public can also drop flowers directly on these sites.
The nearest underground stations to Buckingham Palace are Hyde Park Corner, Charing Cross, St James’s Park and Green Park.
Mourners can also lay flowers at Windsor Castle, a short journey from London, a longtime royal residence. Tributes will be brought inside the castle each evening and placed on the grass of the castle chapter.
The Royal Family’s website has added a “book of condolences” for people to pay their respects to the Queen.
How to get to London for the Queen’s funeral
If you are traveling to London from other parts of the UK, trains are a good option. As a sign of “respect”, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) canceled a planned rail strike September 15 and 17.
There are no strikes or disruptions planned for planes or trains to the UK from other parts of Europe. However, there have been recent disruptions at UK airports, so check with your airline and airport before travelling.
Are London trains and tubes running normally?
The UK government expects delays to some services following the Queen’s death. Access to certain areas of central London will be restricted, with road closures and diversions, these will be announced shortly.
However, the metro, buses and trains will probably be your best bet.
Where to stay in London near The Mall, Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park
In 2021, the political news site Politico obtained notes warning that London could become ‘full’ after the death of the Queen.
Central London accommodation is likely to be busy, so book as soon as possible if you are planning to travel.
Options include the Royal Lancaster London, a luxury hotel near Hyde Park, with chic double rooms from around £400 (€460) a night.
The boutique hotel The Guardsman in Westminster is also nearby, with double rooms from £280 (€320).
Sloane Place has a long history of royal patronage. The Chelsea Hotel is connected to the Sloane Club, a private establishment founded in 1922 by Princess Helena, daughter of Queen Victoria. Nightly rates at Sloane Place start from £200 (€234) on a B&B basis.
The Hotel Hux offers boutique accommodation just off Kensington Gardens, immediately west of Hyde Park. Double rooms start from £360 (€415) per night.
Right next to Piccadilly Circus, the Dilly Hotel is another option for those looking for a place to stay close to the commemorations. Double prices vary greatly depending on the day, but start from £280 (€320).
For cheaper options, try Zedwell (£89/€105 per night for a double). The chain offers quiet, windowless, clean-air cocoons near Piccadilly Circus.
If you want to book a host family or apartments, try one of the ethical alternatives at Airbnb.