Her Majesty The Queen’s Lying at Rest in St Giles' Cathedral

Information and safety advice for those wishing to pay their respects to Her Majesty The Queen at St Giles' Cathedral.

Her Majesty The Queen’s Lying at Rest at St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh, opens to the public at around 5:30pm on Monday 12 September and will be open overnight until it closes at 3pm on Tuesday 13 September.

If you wish to attend the Lying at Rest, please note that there will be a queue to enter. The queue may close early in order to ensure as many people as possible can enter St Giles' Cathedral to pay their respects.

Where, when and how to queue


Please note that the queue is expected to be very long. You will need to stand for long periods of time, possibly many hours, with very little opportunity to sit down, as the queue will keep moving.

Please consider this before you decide to attend or bring children with you. In order to assist with managing the queue, wristbands will be issued. Only one wristband per person will be issued and individuals will have to be present to collect one. You will only be permitted to enter the queue if you have a valid wristband.

Step-free and accessible options are available for those who need them.

The queue will start at George Square Lane/North Meadow Walk in The Meadows. Once issued with your wristband you will walk the designated route to the security tent at St. Giles' Cathedral.

The distance from the wristband entrance to St. Giles' Cathedral is 1.5 miles in length. There is mixed and challenging terrain due to the nature of the Old Town including cobbles, steep incline and uneven surfaces.

There will be places in the queue to buy refreshments and public toilets will be provided.

Further local information is available on the Scottish Government Twitter account and via City of Edinburgh Council. Traffic and travel information is available at Traffic Scotland.

What you should and should not bring

There is a strict bag policy in operation. You are only permitted to bring one small bag per person into St Giles' Cathedral. It must be smaller than 40cm x 30cm x 20cm, with one simple opening or zip so you can move quickly through the security check.

Large items being carried in addition to bags will not be admitted. This includes sleeping bags, blankets, carrier bags, camping equipment.

Non–retractable umbrellas will not be permitted.

Remember to bring

  • clothing to protect you from cold or wet weather
  • food and drinks to consume in the queue. There are limited places to buy refreshments along the route. Any food items and liquids must be consumed or disposed of before you enter the security search point on George IV Bridge. Clear water bottles are permitted, but must be emptied of their contents before you enter the security search point
  • sunscreen, if required, which must be disposed of before you enter the security search point
  • mobile phone charger. You are likely to be in the queue for a long time so consider bringing a small portable power bank to use if you need to charge your phone
  • essential medication or equipment that you need to keep with you. Please explain this to the security staff or police at the security search point so they can check the items

Security and searches

To keep everyone safe, security measures are in place at the Lying at Rest. Please follow instructions given by the police,  stewards and other volunteers.

The police may conduct security searches along parts of the queue.

Before entering St Giles' Cathedral you will go through an airport-style security search point.

Restrictions on bags and other items will be strictly enforced. Prohibited items including food, drinks and other liquids, will be confiscated at the search point and disposed of.

If there is a security incident or you spot a suspicious item, alert the stewards or the police and follow their instructions.

You should not

  • film, photograph, use mobile phones or other handheld devices in the security search area or within St Giles'
  • bring or erect gazebos or tents
  • light barbecues and fires
  • attempt to queue on behalf of others or ask others to queue on your behalf
  • leave personal items unattended in the queue or St Giles' Cathedral. Unattended bags or other items will be removed and may be destroyed

Prohibited items

You must not bring any of the following items into the security search point or St Giles' Cathedral.

Prohibited items will be confiscated and will not be returned. Illegal items will be dealt with by the police.

  • bags larger than 40cm x 30cm x 20cm in size, bags or rucksacks with expandable compartments, bags or rucksacks with multiple pockets or complex openings, solid sided bags, or bags on wheels
  • flasks – this includes metal reusable water bottles
  • no food or liquids of any kind. Clear plastic or glass reusable water bottles will be permitted but must be emptied before entering
  • tribute items (including flowers, candles, soft toys, photographs)
  • medium to large sized cameras (including telescopic lens), video recorders and other electrical similar sized equipment
  • personal defence equipment (e.g flick knives, butterfly knives and personal defence sprays)- items which are lawful in some countries are not permitted in the UK and anyone found in possession of such items are liable to arrest
  • sharp items (e.g knives, including Swiss Army knives, scissors, cutlery and screwdrivers)
  • paint sprays, Padlocks, chains and climbing gear
  • fireworks, smoke canisters, air horns, flares, whistles, laser devices, and other items that could be used to cause a disturbance or noise
  • banners, placards, flags and similar items that could be used to cause a disturbance

Please note: Flowers can be laid in Middle Meadow Walk and Palace of Holyrood House but will not be permitted into the St Giles' Cathedral.

Exiting the Lying at Rest

As you leave St Giles' Cathedral, you should move away from the exit area straight away so that you do not prevent others from exiting. This will help everyone to keep the queue moving.

If you have left a bag or other item at the bag drop facility, you must collect your item straight after your visit.

When you leave St Giles', follow the signs and directions given by stewards to return to the bag drop facility and collect your bag or item.


Step-free access will be available for those who need it.

The security search point and St Giles' Cathedral have step-free access.

Guide dogs, hearing dogs and other official assistance dogs are permitted within St Giles' Cathedral. No other animals are permitted.

Please note that wheelchairs cannot be provided.

Accessible queuing scheme

There is an accessible queuing scheme available for blue badge holders. You may be accompanied by one carer or companion. You will need to bring your blue badge with you to gain access to the scheme.

Please note that using this scheme does not guarantee access to St Giles' Cathedral, and entry time will depend on demand. There will still be some queuing.

If you need to use the accessible queuing scheme there will be a designated drop-off point for vehicles situated at the east end of Chambers Street which can be accessed via South Bridge (to note: South Bridge is closed northbound from Chambers Street onwards). 

There will be no capacity to wait at the drop-off zone and those dropping off individuals will be directed to move on immediately.

Unfortunately it is not possible to offer a pick-up point for this event due to road closures and issues with ease of access to the surrounding area and you will need to make your own arrangements.

St Giles' Cathedral accessibility information.

Conduct and behaviour

Please respect the dignity of this event and behave appropriately. You should remain silent while inside St Giles' Cathedral. In order that as many people as possible can pay their respects we would ask everyone to continue to move through the cathedral at a steady pace.

The vigil queue will be patrolled. Antisocial or inappropriate behaviour (including queue-jumping, excessive consumption of alcohol, or drunken behaviour) will not be tolerated and you will be removed from the queue.

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