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PC Keith Palmer: Hero police officer's body brought to Palace of Westminster chapel

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 9/04/2017 Sean Morrison

The body of the police officer murdered in the Westminster terror attack has been brought to a chapel at the Houses of Parliament.

PC Keith Palmer’s coffin was taken through Old Palace Yard, near where he was knifed to death by terrorist Khalid Masood last month.

Draped in a police flag, it was taken to the resting place by hearse on Sunday afternoon.

It will stay overnight before his police funeral at Southwark Cathedral on Monday at 2pm.

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A group of officers wearing white gloves formed two lines to meet the vehicle as the coffin was carried inside.

Uniformed police lined the edge of the square as crowds of people gathered to pay their respects.

The Queen has given permission for the 48-year-old officer's body to rest in Westminster's Chapel of St Mary Undercroft.

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It is an honour normally reserved for heads of state that was famously bestowed on former prime minister Margaret Thatcher and Labour politician Tony Benn.

A short private service to receive the body into the chapel will be led by Reverend Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin and attended by members of the Palmer family.

Four other innocent people were killed and dozens of others injured in the 82-second atrocity on Wednesday March 22, which ended with Masood being shot dead.

Andreea Cristea, 31, Leslie Rhodes, 75, Kurt Cochran, 54, and Aysha Frade, 44, died after he ploughed into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge.

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Upwards of 5,000 police officers are expected to assemble for PC Palmer's funeral on Monday. An estimated 40-50,000 members of the public to join them.

Ahead of what is thought to be the largest ever gathering of police officers, Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation said the response was "incredible."

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