The Disturbing True Story Behind An Onlooker Charging At The Queen's Coffin

Many in the U.K. and around the world have been in mourning since Queen Elizabeth II's death on September 8, with thousands upon thousands taking to the streets to pay their respects to the late monarch. The royal family's many residencies have been overrun with floral tributes to the queen, with her heartbroken family members doing public walkabouts to take in the incredible sights.

Catherine, Princess of Wales (who you may know better as Kate Middleton) and William, Prince of Wales have been two of those viewing the tributes and speaking to mourners, with the mom of three sharing just how emotional she's found the outpouring of support and sadness. During a visit to Sandringham, Fran Morgan, who had an interaction with the royal, told Birmingham Live, "She said she couldn't believe how many cards and flowers there were. But she also said: 'I can't read them all or I would cry.'"

In addition to the thousands of touching tributes left for the queen, mourners have also stood in line for hours to pass by her coffin, a process known as lying in state. The queen first lay in state in Scotland, as she died at her Scottish Balmoral estate, before her body was then transported home to London where she lay in state for a further four days, per Sky News. And it was there that a scary incident took place.

A man was arrested for running up to the queen's coffin

An unnamed man was arrested at Westminster Hall on September 16 after he rushed towards Queen Elizabeth II's coffin as she lay in state. The process sees the coffin placed on a raised platform in the middle of the floor at Westminster Hall with the official flag of the sovereign, the Royal Standard, draped over it and a crown upon it, surrounded by guards. Shocking footage shared by BNO News showed mourners filing past either side of the coffin, before a man deviated from the line and ran up to it, seemingly even moving the royal standard and getting close to the queen's casket before being pounced on and tackled to the floor by police. He was then held on the ground for a few seconds before being carried away.

"Around 22:00hrs on Friday 16 September officers from the Met's Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command detained a man in Westminster Hall following a disturbance," a statement from the Metropolitan Police said, per ITV News. "He was arrested for an offense under the Public Order Act and is currently in custody." A parliament spokesperson also spoke about the potentially dangerous incident in a statement, saying, per Sky News, "We're aware of an incident in Westminster Hall, in which a member of the public moved out of the queue and towards the catafalque (raised platform). They have now been removed from the hall and the queue restarted with minimal disruption."

An onlooker called the queen's coffin rush 'terrible'

Onlookers who were paying their respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II at the time of the incident spoke about what they saw, with one person claiming the man who attempted to rush the coffin actually pushed a 7-year-old girl out of the way to do it. "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. [The girl] was grabbed out the way and the police had him within two seconds," Tracey Holland told Sky News. "Terrible, absolutely terrible, so disrespectful and unbelievable — and this poor little 7-year-old child, this is her lasting memory of the queen."

Many have taken to social media to condemn the man's shocking actions. "Protest if you want yes, protest peacefully yes. You don't protest by grabbing a coffin or doing something disrespectful let shown here. What that person did is disgusting," one person tweeted. "I've never been a royalist but this is disgusting. Regardless of who's in the coffin, no one should interfere with bodies in any way shape or form. Vile," another wrote.

Sadly, the incident wasn't the only crime that took place during the late queen's lying in state. The Telegraph reported a man allegedly exposed himself to two women who were in the line and was charged with counts of breaching a sexual harm prevention order and sexual assault.

Many notable people have visited the queen's body while lying in state

The incident involving the man rushing Queen Elizabeth II's coffin appeared to take place mere hours after her children, King Charles III, Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, were seen visiting their mother's coffin while she lay in state. Dressed in military uniforms, the royals stood on all four sides of the coffin with their heads bowed as mourners continued to pay their respects to the queen before her funeral. "Westminster Hall stands silent as a family gathers in grief beside their mother. Impossible not to be moved by such a powerful, poignant moment as The King and his siblings hold vigil beside the coffin of The Queen," tweeted the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, alongside four photos.

A number of notable Brits have also paid their respects to Queen Elizabeth II while her body has been lying in state. David Beckham and Sharon Osbourne have been amongst those saying goodbye, even waiting for hours upon hours in the line to file through Westminster Hall with the public, per Variety.

The queen's grandchildren, including Harry, Duke of Sussex, and William, Prince of Wales, are expected to hold a vigil for her next, per ITV News, by standing beside her coffin in military attire. As second in line to the throne, William will stand at the head.