Armed police tonight arrested a man who tried to seize the Queen’s coffin – in an incident that left mourners stunned.
Officers arrested the man on the ground during the breathtaking incident, which took place at Westminster Hall around 10 p.m. Friday.
It is believed that the man was pushed by a line of mourners, rushed to the coffin and tried to lift the royal standard. He is then thought to have laid his hands on the queen’s coffin.
Footage before and after the incident shows that the royal standard, the sovereign’s official flag, has been removed from the coffin. The Queen has been in state in Westminster Hall since Wednesday.
Hundreds of thousands of respectful mourners have since passed through the historic hall to pay their respects to Britain’s longest reigning monarch.
But mourners are said to have been left in shock during Friday night’s incident, which took place just hours after King Charles and his family held a vigil in the Queen’s honor.
Alongside siblings Anne, Andrew and Edward, the newly crowned monarch stood guard next to his mother’s coffin.
Armed police tonight arrested a man who tried to seize the Queen’s coffin – in an incident that stunned mourners
Police have tackled a man to the ground after he appeared to run towards the queen’s coffin. Officers arrested the man after the incident, which took place at Westminster Hall around 10pm (Photo: Queen’s coffin at Westminster Hall today, showing the royal standard before the incident)
It is believed that the man pushed mourners aside, ran to the coffin and tried to lift the royal standard before touching the queen’s coffin. Pictured: The royal standard appears to have been moved after the 10pm incident
The Metropolitan Police confirmed tonight that a man has been arrested on suspicion of a public order violation.
What military uniforms did the Queen’s four children wear during the wake?
Dressed in the uniform of a navy admiral
Princess Anne, the Royal Princess
Dressed in a Colonel of the Blues and Royals uniform
Prince Andrew, the Duke of York
Dressed in the uniform of a Vice Admiral of the Navy
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
Dressed in uniform as Royal Honorary Colonel of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry (RWxY).
A police spokesman said: ‘On Friday, September 16 at 10 a.m., agents from the Met’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command detained a man in Westminster Hall following a disturbance.
“He has been arrested for a crime under the Public Order Act and is currently in custody.”
The stowed queen has been streamed live on the BBC 24 hours a day since the coffin arrived on Wednesday.
But the cameras, which are delayed by about 30 seconds, quickly cut away from the coffin around 10 p.m. today.
It comes after King Charles and his siblings, Princess Anne and Princes Andrew and Edward, held their touching final vigil for the Queen on Friday before the late monarch is buried on Monday.
As tearful mourners watched, the Queen’s four children stood guard for more than 10 minutes at their mother’s coffin in Westminster Hall tonight. The siblings each guarded one side of the coffin, with Charles, dressed in a Navy Admiral uniform, at the head.
It was their second and final vigil to the beloved monarch. Known as the ‘Vigil of the Children’ – an honor dating back to the time of George V – reflects an earlier event held earlier this week at Edinburgh’s St Giles’ Cathedral.
However, unlike the previous vigil where Charles donned a kilt and Andrew a morning suit, all four siblings were dressed in military colors tonight.
The Duke of York, who was stripped of his protection by the armed forces earlier this year during a sexual abuse lawsuit in the United States, which he denied allegations, had previously been banned from wearing military colors at public events.
The mourners are said to have been left in shock during the incident, which took place hours after King Charles and his family held a vigil in the Queen’s honor. Alongside siblings Anne, Andrew and Edward, the newly crowned monarch stood guard next to his mother’s coffin (pictured)
As tearful mourners watched, the Queen’s four children stood guard for more than 10 minutes at their mother’s coffin in Westminster Hall tonight. The siblings each guarded one side of the coffin, with Charles, dressed in a Navy Admiral uniform, at the head
But the 62-year-old royal outcast was given special dispensation to wear a uniform during the wake, as a “last sign of respect” for his mother.
He wore the full military uniform of a Vice Admiral of the Navy, a title he earned through his years of service in the Navy – including in the Falklands War.
Members of the Royal Family including James, Viscount Severn, Lady Louise Windsor, the Countess of Wessex, Jack Brooksbank, the Queen Consort, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Zara Tindall, Mike Tindall, the Duke of Kent, Mia and Lena Tindall , the The Duchess of Gloucester and the Earl and Countess of St Andrews are all attending tonight’s vigil.
On Saturday, the Queen’s eight grandchildren will hold a similar wake at Westminster Hall. Prince Harry, who is also banned from wearing a military uniform as part of his ‘Megxit’ deal after stepping back from royal duties on the front lines in 2020, will also be given special dispensation to wear his army colors at the event.
Harry will attend the event on Saturday night with his brother Prince William, along with Zara Tindall, Peter Philips, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor and James Viscount Severn.
It came as organizers warned that wait times to see the Queen in state at Westminster Hall had been stretched to 24 hours.
At some point the queue got so long that there were two queues to join the actual queue. However, estimates at the back of the line, leading back to Southwark Park tonight, suggest the wait is currently close to 14 hours.