ROYAL superfans have pitched tents along the route of the Queen’s final journey – 48 hours before the funeral.
Hundreds of thousands of mourners are expected to line the streets as the late monarch makes her way from London to Windsor on Monday.
A makeshift camp in front of Big Ben as people queue to pay their respects to the Queen[/caption]
Two royal mourners pitch a tent in front of Westminster Hall[/caption]
A row of tents in Parliament Square ahead of the funeral on Monday[/caption]
Many are already in prime position in the capital, despite the service not taking place until 11am on September 19.
Mourners were spotted putting up tents and other makeshift shelters at dawn today in a bid to bag the best spots for the once-in-a-lifetime event.
Some chose to set up camp in front of Big Ben and Westminster Hall, where Her Majesty is currently lying in state.
Others are waiting to pay their respects behind fences further along in Parliament Square.
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Police are bracing for hundreds of thousands of people to pour into London to experience the pomp-filled procession.
Almost 15,000 cops are taking part in what has been described as Britain’s biggest ever security operation.
After days of national mourning, the Queen’s state funeral on Monday will formally mark the end of her life and 70-year reign.
Her coffin will then be drawn by Navy sailors on a gun carriage from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch, on Hyde Park Corner.
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There, it will be lifted into the royal hearse to journey to Windsor Castle.
A Buckingham Palace source yesterday told The Sun: “The route was planned with the public in mind.”
Instead of taking the M4, which would be the speediest route, it will now travel at 12mph along A-roads west from London to Berkshire.
It means thousands more will be able to catch a glimpse of the action than initially planned.
Teams of cleaners have worked through the night and over the past 36 hours to prepare the route by litter picking, cutting verges and jet washing the roads.
The hearse will first travel through Knightsbridge on the Cromwell Road — past Harrods, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Natural History Museum.
It will then continue on the A4 past Earl’s Court and the Famous Three Kings pub before making its way to the Chiswick roundabout beside the landmark Fuller’s Brewery.
Continuing on the Great West Road, it will then turn onto the A30 at Hounslow to leave central London towards Heathrow Airport.
It will then travel along the A30 towards Staines, Surrey, where it will join the A308 towards Old Windsor.
It comes as…
- The King and Prince William surprise mourners queueing to see the Queen’s coffin
- Camilla reveals the royals are ‘exhausted’ but carrying on as ‘stopping would be worse’
- It’s confirmed Prince William will lead the Queen’s grandchildren at a poignant vigil tonight
- Harry will wear his uniform after being granted special permission by the King
- The list of 500 heads of state and dignitaries attending the Queen’s funeral is revealed
- Thousands faced a 25-hour wait to see the late monarch lying in state
- A man is tackled to the ground after grabbing the flag at Westminster Hall
- A minute-by-minute guide on the Queen’s funeral details is released
The hearse will then pass the site where the Magna Carta was signed by King John in 1215.
The famous Runnymede field is a perfect spot for mourners, and many thousands are expected to be there.
While at Runnymede, Her Majesty will pass the JFK memorial and the Air Force Memorial which honours World War Two airmen.
The hearse will then travel though the village of Old Windsor, passing the Bells of Ouzeley Harvester pub and the Toby Carvery before reaching Albert Road, which leads to Windsor and flanks the Royal Estate.
At Shaw Farm Gate, on Albert Road, the hearse will pause to be joined by King Charles III and other royals before making the journey to The Long Walk, where tens of thousands of mourners will watch it enter Windsor Castle.
Details about the huge scale of the operation emerged yesterday as police geared up to the task of protecting world leaders, hundreds of VIPs and millions of mourners.
Met Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy said: “As a single event, this is larger than the 2012 Olympics, it is larger than the Platinum Jubilee.
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“The range of officers, police staff and all those supporting the operation is truly immense.”
Mr Cundy said the funeral would be the Met’s biggest ever global security operation — with US President Joe Biden among world leaders visiting.
Tents being erected in front of Big Ben[/caption]
Royal fans on camping chairs behind the barriers[/caption]