Thousands of people are expected to descend on London from Norfolk this week.

Lying in state starts tomorrow (Wednesday, September 14) with five-mile queues of up to 30 hours wait predicted.

It has also been estimated that more than a million people will try to visit to pay their respects, which may leave thousands disappointed if Westminster Hall is unable to deal with the predicted capacity.

If these latest speculated figures from Whitehall are right, then the number would dwarf the more than 300,000 people who came to see King George VI, the Queen’s father, lying in state in 1952 – and the 200,000 who came to see the Queen Mother’s coffin back in 2002.

Claire Hannant, 63, of Norwich, is a retired teacher and school governor and explained why it was important for her to make the journey.

She said: “It's complicated to explain why I’m going to London but I suppose it is because I was brought up to respect the Royal Family.

“As a child, my father always shared tales of him going to London for various important events such as VE Day and the Queen’s coronation. This has made me want to be part of history too.

“I suppose it also has something to do with teaching British Values at Infant School and I also regretted not going down to celebrate the jubilee.”

Andrew Florides, a photographer from Norwich, was getting ready to head to work in London when the news broke on Thursday, September 8.

He described how his son, Joel, 28, who lives in north London, had been three times to pay his respects at Buckingham Palace and took Mr Florides along for the final time.

Mr Florides said: “Since her passing, he has realised even more how incredible the Queen was, not just for our nation but for everyone.

“He has been very taken by it and insisted that I joined him to pay my respects too. It has really impacted him as the Queen was a constant for us all. I’m so glad he took me to pay my respects too.”

And finally, Ian Sherwood, a councillor for Swaffham, arrived in London a day early with his wife Julie - both of whom had met the Queen at a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.

He said: "Like so many local people I feel a connection with our Royal Family and the Queen.

"Coming from Norfolk and knowing Sandringham as a place of residence of our Queen, we feel a great fondness for the only monarch of our lifetime.

"Traveling to London to attend Her Majesty the Queen’s lying in state is our way of paying our respects and thanks for a lifetime of service to our country. It will be a sad moment as we pass Her Majesty’s coffin, a moment in the nation’s history and our moment to say thank you ma’am."

Rail firms have put on extra services and trains are expected to “run through the night”

Greater Anglia confirmed that it was “doing all it can” to ensure people could travel to pay their respects during the period of mourning.

A spokesperson for the company added: “Where possible, we will be running some extra services and customers should check journey planners for the most up-to-date information.”

National Express said it had seen an "unprecedented demand" for travel over the period of national mourning as the public headed to London to pay their respects. Its online enquiries for travel on London routes increased by 40pc following Thursday’s announcement and the majority of seats across all London services have been sold in the last four days but capacity will be increased where possible.

Meanwhile, National Highways announced it has paused planned closures of motorways serving London until after the funeral, to reduce congestion. Affected motorways include the M25, M11, M3, M4, and M23.

Coach operators were also advised by the UK Coach Operators Association to avoid the London area due to the lack of parking facilities available there.

The Queen's lying in state will be open 24 hours a day until it closes at 6.30am on Monday, September 19 - the day of her funeral. Transport plans for the funeral are still being finalised.