250,000 people saw Queen's coffin laid out in London

MAccording to British Culture Minister Michelle Donelan, more than 250,000 people have the Queen's coffin laid out Elizabeth II honored in London. This is not yet a final number, her ministry is still evaluating the information, Donelan said on Tuesday to Sky News.

Scores of people had queued for hours to see the closed coffin in the British Parliament's Westminster Hall. Commentators were quick to point out that the figure given would be lower than that of Elizabeth's father, King George VI, who was paid their respects by some 300,000 people after his death in 1952, and significantly lower than the government had previously anticipated.

Donelan was also initially unable to provide any information on the cost of the state funeral. "I think the British public would argue that the money was well spent," said the minister. "You have seen so many thousands out there and I don't think anyone can argue that our late monarch did not deserve this farewell given the duty and selfless service to which she has dedicated more than 70 years."

To claim otherwise is "downright absurd," Donelan said. "It was a great sense of community," she said. The Queen was the glue that held society together.

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