The historic original floors in London’s Westminster Hall are showing signs of damage, just over two months after a quarter-million mourners filed in to pay respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II, officials said.
“As a consequence of the high-level continuous footfall through Westminster Hall during the lying-in-state some delamination to the Yorkstone floor has occurred,” a House of Lords spokesperson confirmed Monday to The Telegraph, referring to the 250,000 members of the public who lined up to see Queen Elizabeth lie in state following her death on Sept. 8.
Delamination, or discoloring of stone, occurs when the outer surface is split into thin layers, which then start to peel.
“[The delamination] has exposed some areas of bare stone that will blend in with the surrounding areas over time,” the statement continued. “This does not present a structural risk.”
The 180-year-old Yorkstone floors are the oldest surviving feature of the original Palace of Westminster, which was rebuilt after a fire in 1834.
In use since the 11th century, Westminster Hall was first used for a royal lying-in-state in 1910. Queen Elizabeth II’s parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, were also mourned by the public there in 1952 and 2002, respectively.
News of the footfall damage in Westminster Hall comes as members of the Royal Family continue to adjust to their new normal under King Charles III. After wowing onlookers at the South African state banquet last week, Prince William and Kate Middleton, now the Prince and Princess of Wales, are set to arrive in Boston on Wednesday to present the Earthshot Prize.
“I am so excited to celebrate these fifteen finalists and see the five winners of the Earthshot Prize announced in Boston — the hometown of President John F. Kennedy, who shared The Earthshot Prize’s belief that seemingly impossible goals are within reach if we only harness the limitless power of innovation, human ingenuity, and urgent optimism,” William previously said in a statement.