What British Mourners Are Really Doing With Their Official 'Lying In State' Wristbands

For four days, people have been lining up to pay their respects to Britain's longest-reigning monarch, by viewing the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II while she lies in state in Westminster Hall. The government's live queue tracker on YouTube constantly updates the wait time, which occasionally has exceeded 24 hours. The queue — people on social media are calling it the "most British thing ever" (per The Guardian) — is so long that Guinness World Records is keeping an eye on it.

According to CNN, David Beckham waited in the slow-moving, miles-long queue for 13 hours. "It's nice to be here to celebrate with everybody, the life of Her Majesty and the legacy that she's left," the soccer star told Channel 4 News.

To allow mourners to leave the queue briefly when necessary, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport issued to each person in line a colored wristband with a number on it. Now some individuals are trying to profit from their official "lying in state" wristbands.

Some British mourners are selling their official wristbands online

The Guardian reported that the most mercenary of the mourners have been listing their used wristbands for sale online — and seeing bids climb as high as £70,000 (approximately $80,000) before getting their listings yanked down by eBay. The newspaper quoted a spokesperson for the online auction house, who said: "These items are against our policies and we are removing them from our site."

Daily Mirror noted that new listings for the colored wristbands keep popping up on eBay and disappearing just as quickly from the online marketplace. Some of the enterprising sellers have been bundling the official "lying in state" wristbands with more commonplace memorabilia, such as coins, mugs, leaflets, and special editions of newspapers marking the heartbreaking death of Queen Elizabeth II.

According to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the queen will lie in state in Westminster Hall until 6:30 a.m. on Monday, September 19, 2022.