Queue for the Queen: Huge line of Queen Elizabeth II mourners visible from space (satellite photos)

queue for queen elizabeth ii on bridge seen from overhead
The queue for Queen Elizabeth II's lying-in-state is visible from space in this photo taken Sept. 16, 2022. (Image credit: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)

A massive queue of mourners for Queen Elizabeth II is visible from space.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to join a lineup, called 'The Queue' by locals, stretching 6 miles (10 km) through central London and along the Thames River from her lying-in-state location at Westminster Hall.

Maxar Technologies satellites spotted the Queue from space at 12:01 p.m. local time Friday (Sept. 16), the company tweeted (opens in new tab), roughly halfway through the five days allocated for the public to see Her Majesty through Sunday (Sept. 18).

Hundreds of portable toilets, a wristband system and 1,000 security personnel and volunteers are managing the massive crowds, waiting for a reported 24 hours or more in a constantly moving line. Live updates are available through YouTube (opens in new tab) on where the line is at this moment.

Related: NASA, other space agencies mourn passing of Queen Elizabeth II

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The Queue has become a shared experience for the United Kingdom and London in particular, generating dry wit (opens in new tab) even as the community comes together to pay their respects.

Thousands of people congregated in a large queue to see Queen Elizabeth II's lying-in-state. (Image credit: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)

man with british flag standing on bridge looking at lineup of people

A close-up view off the crowds near the Thames River in London. (Image credit: Loic Venance/AFP via Getty Images)

Well-wishers stand in the queue in Southwark Park for the Lying-in State of Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 16, 2022 in London, England. (Image credit: David Ramos/Getty Images)
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"We are honoring two great British traditions: loving the Queen and loving a queue," Stephen Cottrell, the Archbishop of York, told people in line on Wednesday (Sept. 14), according to Reuters (opens in new tab).

A massive queue of mourners waits to pay respects to Queen Elizabeth II.

A massive queue of mourners waits to pay respects to Queen Elizabeth II. (Image credit: David Ramos/Getty Images)

The Royal Family conveyed their thanks via social media.

"We have been overwhelmed by the tide of emotion that has engulfed us and the sheer number of people who have gone out of their way," the Earl of Wessex, who is the Queen's youngest child and brother of King Charles III, said via the Royal Family's official Twitter account (opens in new tab).

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022. She was contributing writer for Space.com (opens in new tab) for 10 years before that, since 2012. Elizabeth's reporting includes an exclusive with Office of the Vice-President of the United States, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and (soon) a Bachelor of History from Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science since 2015. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace