A man was arrested on Friday night after he approached Queen Elizabeth II’s Coffin in Westminster Hall and caused a disturbance among the mourners.
According to eyewitnesses and video footage, the unidentified man, who was in the queue of people filing past the coffin, rushed to the catafalque, pushing aside a seven-year-old girl on the way. He seemed to have touched the coffin and lifted the Royal Standard before being tackled to the ground by police officers.
The Metropolitan Police (Met) said the man was detained by the force’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command following the disturbance at around 10 p.m. on Friday night “for an offence under the Public Order Act.”
The Met confirmed at around 1 p.m on Saturday that the man remained in custody.
Tracey Holland told Sky News that her seven-year-old niece Darcy was trying to look at the crown when “some person decided they were going to push her out the way, run up to the coffin, lift up the standard, and try to do I don’t know what.
“Darcy was grabbed out of the way. And the police had him within two seconds,” she said.
It comes after a 19-year-old man allegedly exposed himself and pushed mourners from behind as they waited in the line at Victoria Tower Gardens on Wednesday.
The man, later identified by the Met as Adio Adeshine, was charged on Friday with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of breach of a sexual harm prevention order.
He was remanded in custody and is due to appear at Southwark Crown Court on Oct. 14.
By Friday, 34 arrests had been made in relation to the queen’s lying-in-state—none involved anti-monarchist protesters—according to Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy, but the Met said overall, there had been very little crime or issues where officers had needed to intervene.
Since Wednesday night, hundreds of thousands of mourners have joined the five-mile-long queue to pay respects to the queen.
According to the government’s live tracker, the estimated queuing time on Saturday morning was at least 24 hours. Around 2 p.m, the estimated waiting time was up to 16.5 hours.
Some mourners were pleasantly surprised as King Charles III and Prince William visited the queue on Saturday.
On Friday night, the king and his siblings held a vigil by the queen’s coffin.
On Saturday, Prince Harry, who is no longer a working royal, will also be allowed to don his military uniform for the first time since 2020, in another Vigil of the Princes held by the queen’s grandchildren.
Heads of State and dignitaries from around the world have also started arriving on Saturday ahead of Monday’s state funeral, which around 500 dignitaries are expected to attend.