Minister reveals 250,000 managed to see the Queen in Westminster Hall

Around a quarter of a million people were able to pay their respects to the Queen lying in state – lower than the 400,000 some had estimated.

Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan gave the figure after the former monarch was laid to rest in an emotional day of pomp and ceremony yesterday.

However, it immediately sparked questions about the arrangements for the Westminster Hall tributes. 

The Parliament website says 320,000 people viewed Winston Churchill’s coffin at his lying in state in 1965, which lasted for three days rather than four and a half this time. Some 300,000 are said to have paid respects to George VI in 1952.

Sources pointed to airport-style security requirements as one factor, and also suggested the tally – which has yet to be finalised – was much more ‘robust’ than for previous events.

One source told MailOnline that historical estimates need to be treated with a ‘pinch of salt’. ‘It seems there has been a never-ending ratchet by previous Black Rods to want each number to…

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