Wristbands given out to people queuing to see the Queen laying in state in Westminster Hall are being offered for sale on eBay for triple figures.
The paper bands are distributed for free to people waiting in the hours-long queue across London to help them keep their place in line – but have attracted big-money bids on eBay.
Dozens of bands are listed for sale on the auction website, with a bright orange one fresh from Saturday attracting bids of over £2000 – with an extra £8.95 for postage or click and collect.
Meanwhile, two dark green bands, which the seller says were used by her and her daughter on Thursday during an eight-hour wait to file past the coffin, have a top bid of £436, plus £3.35 postage.
At least five of the colourful bands have sold on the site so far, with some attracting bids of hundreds of pounds – though dozens more listed for sale are yet to attract significant interest.
Yellow bands from the accessible queue are also available to buy on the site – while some mourners even managed to take off their bands without breaking the seal, and are selling them “intact”.
The coloured and numbered bands have been issued by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to help manage the huge numbers of people keen to catch a glimpse of the Queen lying in state.
Bands have different numbers and colour shades each day – meaning those buying a wristband online will not be able to skip the 20-hour queue before it closes on Monday for the monarch’s funeral.
The DCMS website explains the process for queuing, saying the band is “a record of when you joined the queue”.
However, it adds that “having a wristband does not guarantee your entry to the Lying-in-State”.
The site goes on: “Wristbands are specific to each person joining the queue, and are strictly non-transferable. You must keep this wristband on at all times as it will be checked along the route.”
Bands make it possible for mourners to leave the queue in order to go to the toilet or grab food and drink. With some people queuing for around 24 hours, such refreshment breaks are essential.
The Queen’s been lying in state for the third day, with her children holding a vigil on Friday, and her grandchildren due to hold a vigil on Saturday evening.
i has contacted the DCMS for comment on the sale of the bands.