Poignant service marks start of Queen's lying in state

The short service took place after the arrival of the Queen's coffin at Westminster Hall.(Photo: Sky News)

The Archbishop of Canterbury led a short but poignant service after the arrival of the Queen's coffin in Westminster Hall.

The coffin was carried on a gun carriage from Buckingham Palace to Westminster followed by King Charles III and members of the royal family. 

As the coffin was carried into Westminster Hall, the choir of Westminster Abbey and the choir of His Majesty's Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, sang Psalm 139. The choirs later sang the motet, "Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee".

The Archbishop of Canterbury said an opening prayer and read John 14:1-6 in which Jesus comforts his disciples ahead of his crucifixion and promises to prepare a place for them in his Father's house. 

Additional prayers were offered by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Rev Dr David Hoyle. 

The King and other members of the royal family remained standing during the short service. 

After the service, the first mourners filed past to pay their respects, some of them having waited in line since Monday. 

The lying in state opened to members of the public at 5pm and has remained at over 2 miles long, stretching down the south bank of the Thames to London Bridge.

It will close at 6:30am on Monday ahead of the Queen's state funeral to be held in Westminster Abbey.