The 30-Hour Line To View The Queen's Coffin Severely Limits Food

One week ago today, the death of Queen Elizabeth II not only threw a nation and a commonwealth into mourning, it kickstarted a series of events that have been planned for decades. The English people might be known for their good manners and decorum, but it made sure to start preparing for the queen's passing early. That's where Operation London Bridge came into play, according to The Guardian, by outlining exactly what would happen in the eventuality of the queen's death. The BBC is quick to point out that there are plenty of logistics to consider for the funeral alone; a service at Westminster Abbey with over 2,000 guests — many of them world leaders, dignitaries, and diplomats — for the longest-serving monarch in U.K. history is no small feat, after all (per BBC).

But with less than five days to go before the funeral, we are in a very different phase of Operation London Bridge. Queen Elizabeth II is currently "lying in state" in Westminster Hall, a public forum for anyone who wishes to pay their respects and view her casket before Monday morning, when the coffin will be transferred to Westminster Abbey for the funeral service. And members of the public who wish to visit the queen will face not only an hours-long queue, but other challenging conditions as well.

The back of the queue hands out color-coded, numbered wristbands

According to official guidance from the British government, the Palace of Westminster will be open around the clock until Monday morning to ensure that those who have spent hours queuing to view Queen Elizabeth II lying in state can do so. But, as the guidance explains, "you will need to stand for many hours, possibly overnight, with very little opportunity to sit down as the queue will be continuously moving." Not to mention all the London businesses that will be closing on Monday out of respect. All of which means, of course, very limited opportunities to get food.

The government guidance goes on to say that those who join the back of the line will be given color and number-coded wristbands, to make it possible for well-wishers to pop out of line for a quick toilet break or refreshment. That might not be as easy as it sounds, with road closures, changing restaurant hours, and a surge of public transit goers along the route of the queue. The U.K. government is advising visitors to bring food, a cell phone charger, and suitable clothing for fickle London weather conditions (per the U.K. government). But of course, this is England (land of good manners) and, according to The Telegraph, stewards along the route have been asked to keep an eye out for older citizens, "who might be pulled out of the queue 'given a cup of tea' and, if possible, reinserted closer to the front."