In pictures: Thousands queue to view Queen's coffin in Edinburgh

More than 26,000 have paid their final respects to the Queen at St Giles Cathedral.

Tens of thousands travelled to Edinburgh to pay their last respects to the Queen – many queueing for hours overnight to see her coffin.

The Queen lay at rest in St Giles’ Cathedral following a procession led by the King and other members of the royal family.

Stewards began turning people away from the end of the queue outside Main Library from 1pm on Tuesday, but a space next to the library has been provided for people to lay flowers.

The royal coffin was due to leave for Edinburgh Airport later on Tuesday afternoon.

Support worker Bethany Walker, 21, said she came straight from her nightshift to queue to pay her respects to the Queen.

“It’s a historic event and we want to be there. It’s part of the history books,” she said.

Ms Walker finished work at 8am on Tuesday after a 12-hour shift and made her way down to the Meadows at around 11am.

Friend Richard Carson felt like he was going on a holiday due to the excitement, adding the wait would be “worth it”.

“I’ve heard we will have less than five seconds to pay our respects,” Mr Carson said.

Lord Ian Duncan, deputy speaker in the House of Lords, said crowds along the Royal Mile were “ten-deep” while the streets surrounding the historic precinct were equally crammed with people.

“The sheer quantity of individuals moving into Edinburgh today (indicates) that there will be many tens – possibly even hundreds – of thousands of people who will wish to pay their respects to the late Queen,” Lord Duncan told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio National programme on Tuesday morning.

“That is an extraordinary outpouring of respect, grief, celebration of an extraordinary woman.

“By goodness, they were ten-deep. They had to stop people trying to get there because it would have become dangerous.

“The streets around (the Royal Mile) were crammed and now, as people wait to walk past the coffin itself, the expectation of the numbers and the sheer quantity of humanity in Edinburgh today is extraordinary.”

While many people were warned to expect a 12-hour wait to see the monarch’s coffin at St Giles’ Cathedral, those who queued overnight said their wait time was five or six hours.

Gavin Hamilton, from Edinburg,h said he was informed upon arrival it would likely be 13 hours before he would have the chance to pay respects to the Queen, but it soon became apparent the wait would only be five or six hours.

“It took about five and a quarter hours waiting in line to see her,” he said, adding he made it into the cathedral just before 3am.

“There were people in the queue with me who had travelled from Aberdeen, over 100 miles away, to do this. There were thousands of people in line at 12.30am at the start of the queue.

“The people were still (lining up) after 2.50 am when I got into the cathedral.”

Members of the public started going into the cathedral at about 6pm on Monday.

Shortly after 6am on Tuesday, the Scottish Government said the approximate waiting time was roughly two hours but added that that is expected to lengthen during the morning.

It advised people wishing to join the queue to go prepared and dressed for the weather.

With the Queen’s coffin due to be taken to Edinburgh airport on Tuesday afternoon before being flown down south, the Scottish Government said efforts were being made to ensure that those currently in the queue would still have the chance to view the coffin before 3pm, when the period of lying at rest will end.

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