Churches to broadcast Queen's funeral

The Queen's state funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey.(Photo: Unsplash/Ricardo Frantz)

With London at full capacity, some churches across the country are getting ready to welcome people in to watch the Queen's state funeral together.

Public venues including churches will be allowed to broadcast the Queen's state funeral on Monday without the usual requirement of a TV licence.

In the UK, a licence is required by law to watch live TV, the BBC iPlayer and livestreams on platforms like Amazon Prime, YouTube and Netflix.

The BBC has waived this requirement so that public venues can host screenings of the funeral for members of the public.

The broadcaster said it was granting the dispensation due to "exceptional circumstances" that were of "national importance".

"As long as you are a UK resident and stick to the rules explained on this page, you can screen the BBC live ceremonial events coverage," the broadcaster said. 

"This can be on a TV, screen, or using a projection system, in a school or church hall, for example."

It continued, "This dispensation also allows communities organising events in premises such as town halls, community centres and streets across Britain, where TV is not usually watched, to screen the ceremonial events live. This also applies to shops, for example." 

The temporary relaxation of the rules means churches up and down the country will be able to stream the Queen's funeral live for their local community.

Fettercairn Church in Aberdeenshire is one of those churches opening its doors to offer "a warm, meditative place" to watch the funeral.

Rev Brian Smith, 67, told the Aberdeen Press and Journal: "This is not the time for closed churches. We are choosing to be open rather than closed.

"We are not making any statements about the monarchy, just opening the church for a national event."

The Diocese of Gloucester said, "Many worshipping communities may want to come together and watch the funeral of Her Majesty The Queen."

The Queen's lying in state at Westminster starts at 5pm today and is expected to see queues of up to five miles long with a wait time possibly reaching 35 hours. 

Only around 400,000 will be able to see the Queen over the next four days, with many more likely to be turned away, it emerged yesterday.