A man has been arrested after rushing the Queen’s coffin as it lies in state at Westminster Hall in London.
Security tackled the man to the ground as he tried to rip away the flag covering the coffin, with the incident unfolding in front of shocked mourners who had waited hours for a chance to see the queen.
Live streams from Westminster Hall, which are on a 30 second delay, were cut for about 15 minutes around 10pm local time as security guards pinned the man to the ground.
Witness, Tracey Holland, told Sky News: “Some 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.
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“She was grabbed out the way and the police had him within two seconds.
“Terrible, absolutely terrible, so disrespectful and unbelievable — and this poor little seven-year-old child, this is her lasting memory of the Queen.”
It is understood the man ran at the catafalque — the raised platform holding the coffin — and tried to lift the royal standard and put his hands on the royal casket.
The incident happened just hours after King Charles and his siblings stood vigil alongside the casket.
One witness told MailOnline that a woman screamed as the man ran at the coffin and others were seen crying and shaking.
“We saw him (the man) 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.”
The Metropolitan Police have arrested the man on suspicion of a public order offence.
“At 10pm on Friday 16 September officers from the Met’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command detained a man in Westminster Hall following a disturbance,” a spokesperson said.
“He was arrested for an offence under the Public Order Act and is currently in custody.”