Ex-home secretary Priti Patel queues to see the Queen’s coffin

Ex-home secretary Priti Patel queues to see the Queen’s coffin

Ex-home secretary Priti Patel queues to see the Queen’s coffin

Former Home Secretary Priti Patel has been seen in line for Queen Elizabeth II’s lying in state.

The ex-Secretary of State was seen by mourners on Sunday pulling her aside for a photo as the queue stretched for up to five miles with a 24-hour wait at one point during the four-day lie-in-state in Westminster.

Gavriel Solomons, deputy leader of Welwyn Hatfield Conservatives, wrote on Twitter: “All credit to Priti Patel for helping organize the queue.

“I even have a terrible photo to prove it.”

Other sightings of the Witham MP showed her posing for photos with mourners while wearing a blue hi-vis vest and black sunglasses.

In his tribute to the Queen, the former minister thanked the late monarch for her “lifetime of duty and public service to the people of this country, the Commonwealth and other parts of the world”.

“For seventy years she has been a constant in our public life and an inspiration. Speaking to the people of Witham, they all remember how the late Queen was always there for us, in good times and bad, and send their sincere and heartfelt condolences to King Charles III and the Royal Family,” she added.

Thousands of police officers were deployed to marshal the queue and ensure safe passage for mourners as part of Operation Feather – the plan to monitor the event – which saw just under a million people descend on the capital to pay their respects to the Queen. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said the force was supported by officers from “pretty much every force across the country”.

“The number of officers deployed is getting to the point where it will far exceed the total size of a force like the West Midlands or Greater Manchester. It will be heading into the high thousands, the new commissioner said.

As well as officers patrolling routes and crowd control, Sir Rowley said counter-terrorism specialists, firearms and search officers would support the event “in as discreet a way as possible”.

Priti Patel poses with mourners queuing to see the Queen lying in state

(Emma_Campaigner)

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy added: “This will be the largest single policing event the Met Police have ever undertaken.

“As a single event, this is bigger than the 2012 Olympics, it’s bigger than the platinum anniversary weekend.

“The range of officers, police staff and all those who support the operation is truly tremendous.”

Metropolitan Police Officers are seen walking in formation down The Mall

(Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

In the wake of the Queen’s death, officers were drawn in from outside forces to help with up to 20,000 officer shifts throughout the week when the Queen lay in state and 2,000 officers on a single day at the top, Mr Cundy said.

Specialist teams involved in the operation include motorcycle escorts, officers carrying out patrols on horseback, armed police, dog teams and the marine unit.

The force has used more than 22 miles (36 km) of barriers in central London alone to control crowds and keep key areas safe.

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