A man was knocked to the ground and arrested after trying to pull the flag from the Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall.
Horrified mourners watched as the man reached across the aisle and grabbed the Royal Standard with both hands, just hours after King Charles and his family held a vigil.
It is believed he attempted to reveal Her Majesty’s coffin beneath it while the late monarch lies in state until Monday, The Sun reports.
Westminster Hall live streams went out for about 15 minutes shortly after 10 p.m. when guards pinned the man to the ground.
The mourners appeared to be in shock, and a witness, Tracey Holland, told Sky News: [seven-year-old niece] out of the way, run to the box, lift the stand and try to do I don’t know what.
“She was snatched out of the way and the police had him within two seconds.
“Terrible, absolutely terrible, so disrespectful and unbelievable – and this poor little seven-year-old child, this is her lasting memory of the Queen.”
Another witness told The Sun: “We thought someone had passed out and then we heard someone scream.
“Someone went to the coffin, grabbed the flag and pulled it up.
“They picked up the bottom and waved it, almost to see what was underneath.”
“It’s gone so fast.”
The mourner, who declined to be named, described members of the public as “weeping hysterically” and “trembling” after the intrusion of horror.
The Metropolitan Police released a statement confirming that the man has been taken into custody.
“On Friday, September 16, around 10 p.m., agents of the Met’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command arrested 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.”
Thousands line up to honor the queen
Tens of thousands of people have lined up across the city to pay their respects to the Queen for her funeral on Monday – some waiting an entire day to get into Westminster Hall.
Officials have previously warned that some people may end up being turned away before moving in because they predict there will be too many people to accommodate.
An infrastructure of 10 miles (16 km) and airport queuing barriers has been set up, with more than 500 portable toilets along the route.