Cultural venues along London’s South Bank are to play a key role in helping to accommodate the huge number of people expected to join the queue ahead of paying their respects to Her Majesty The Queen in Westminster Hall.

The Government has prepared a 5-mile route for the expected queue running from the Palace of Westminster, across Lambeth Bridge and along the South Bank, to Southwark Park.

The Lying-in-State opens to the public at 5pm today, 14 September. It will be open 24 hours a day until it closes at 6.30am on 19 September. Any decision to close the queue before then will be communicated widely via government social media channels.

The Southbank Centre, National Theatre, BFI Southbank and Shakespeare’s Globe will be opening their doors 24-hours per day during the period to provide refreshments and comfort breaks to queuers. The BFI will have an outdoor screen showing archive footage of The Queen and her reign, while the Southbank Centre will have displays in its foyers.

The Department for Culture Media & Sport (DCMS) said more than 1,000 volunteers, stewards and Metropolitan Police officers will be on hand to assist and keep members of the public safe.

Elaine Bedell, CEO at the Southbank Centre, which includes the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and the Hayward Gallery, said, “The Southbank Centre has been privileged to receive The Queen’s support as patron for many years. We’ll be reflecting that long association with an archive display in our foyers and we’ll be playing a curated playlist from speakers in our trees along the river.”

DCMS said the main queue has step free access and there will be a separate accessible route, for those who need it. The accessible route will begin at Tate Britain where timed entry slots will be issued for a queue heading along Millbank to the Palace of Westminster.

Guide dogs, hearing dogs and other official assistance dogs will be permitted in Westminster Hall. British Sign Language interpreters will be available.