Man Who Rushed Queen's Coffin Still Doesn't Believe She's Dead

The 28-year-old male arrested during the lying-in-state of Queen Elizabeth II for allegedly rushing the monarch's coffin has been charged on two counts under the Public Order Act, after the courts heard that he expressed a belief that the "queen is not dead," and wanted to "check for himself."

Muhammad Khan appeared at Westminster magistrates court on Tuesday following his arrest on September 16 at Westminster Hall where the queen's body was lying-in-state, though doctors ruled that he was not mentally fit to participate in the legal proceedings.

He spoke only to confirm his name and address.

Queen Elizabeth II Coffin Lying-in-State
Queen Elizabeth II's coffin photographed lying-in-state at Westminster Hall, September 17, 2022. A 28-year-old male is alleged to have rushed the coffin to after not believing the queen (inset) was dead. Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images/Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

According to The Guardian, prosecuting lawyer Luke Staton told the court that Khan had been apprehended while he attempted to remove the royal standard flag from the coffin, which was sitting on a platform with the Imperial State Crown atop it.

"The defendant had reached Westminster Hall. He was then seen by officers, who were present, to approach the coffin," he said. "He stepped off the carpet in the direction of the catafalque, then grabbed hold of the royal standard flag draped over the coffin with both of his hands."

After being detained by officers, Staton said that Khan allegedly expressed a belief that "the Queen is not dead and that he approached the coffin because he wanted to check for himself."

"He did say, prior to the state funeral," Staton continued, that "he was planning on going to the funeral. He planned to write to the royal family and if they did not reply, he planned to go to Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and Balmoral to try to speak to the queen."

Khan's desire to see if the queen was really in her coffin, which was displayed at Westminster Hall and later present during the state funeral and committal service on September 19, has been echoed by conspiracy theorists online after posts began to circulate claiming the monarch was not inside.

Queen Elizabeth II Funeral
Queen Elizabeth II's state funeral took place on September 19, 2022. A number of online conspiracy theorists have claimed the queen's body was not actually inside the coffin. Ben Birchall - WPA Pool/Getty Images

A number of posts discussing the theory appeared on the parenting message board Mumsnet.

"I keep hearing people suggesting the queen isn't in the coffin as apparently the same happened with the queen's grandfather," one user wrote, in relation to rumors surrounding the death of King George V, in 1936. "Sounds like a load of rubbish to me. It would be insane if she wasn't."

Another comment read: "I have to admit that I wondered if it was or not.

"I do think it's a massive security nightmare having her body being transported from one end of the U.K. to another whilst the entire journey is broadcast over international TV. I'd imagine if some terrorist organization wanted to intercept the coffin and hold it for ransom, all of this made it a hell of a lot easier for them to do so!"

Similar posts to other social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram also spread the theory, while other users also dismissed the idea in equal measure.

While in court on Tuesday, Judge Michael Snow told Khan, per The Guardian:

"At the time when you were in Westminster, you didn't accept that the queen was dead and that was the reason you were moving towards the coffin to satisfy yourself that she was."

"He is delusional still and thinks the Queen is not dead, thinks King Charles has something to do with it and may go to Windsor Castle to pay his respects but also because he still thinks she is alive," the judge told the court.

Khan was granted bail on the condition that he be held at a mental health facility in London before he is due to appear in court again on October 18.