One man caused complete chaos while waiting to see Queen Elizabeth II‘s coffin.
Before the funeral on Monday, the Queen has been lying in state inside Westminster Hall this week, giving the public an opportunity to pay their respects to the monarch. But this process has not been without some drama! While thousands of mourners have already taken this chance to say their final goodbyes to Her Majesty, others have caused a huge disturbance, including one man who allegedly touched the Queen’s coffin!
The incident occurred at around 10 p.m. on Friday, shortly after King Charles II and his siblings Princess Anne, Prince Edward, and Prince Andrew held a silent vigil for the Queen. A man reportedly broke away from the long line and pushed several mourners — including a 7-year-old girl — in order to run towards the casket in the center of the hall. He then touched the coffin, even managing to lift the Royal Standard (the official flag of the sovereign). WTF?! However, Metropolitan Police in London did not waste time jumping into action and quickly tackled him to the floor.
The BBC, which has been live streaming the 96-year-old’s lying in state 24 hours a day, quickly cut away from the coffin when the incident went down and showed moving pictures of the outside of the Palace of Westminster instead. The cameras did not return to the casket until roughly 15 minutes later, during which the Royal Standard appeared to have been moved.
Meanwhile, onlookers, many of whom waited hours to pay their respects, were stunned and horrified by the moment. One eyewitness detailed the incident to Dailymail.com, saying that someone had “screamed” when the guy approached the casket:
“We saw him in the queue from the beginning of the queue and throughout the day. He was by himself. When we entered the room we were at the top of the stairs when we saw the incident. A lady screamed as it happened. It was quite unnerving. Although he was detained and people kept calm and carried on.”
Another witness, Tracey Holland, whose 7-year-old old niece Darcy was pushed by the name, also said:
“A person decided they were going to push my seven-year-old niece out the way, run up to the coffin, lift up the standard and try to do I don’t know what. She was grabbed out the way and the police had him within two seconds. [It was] terrible, absolutely terrible, so disrespectful and unbelievable – and this poor little seven-year-old child, this is her lasting memory of the Queen.”
According to The Telegraph, a spokesperson for the police released a statement about the “disturbance,” sharing that the man was taken into custody for “an offence under the Public Order Act and is currently in custody.”
This was so disrespectful. Reactions, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments below.