How British Mourners Are Turning A Profit After Viewing The Queen's Coffin

Queen Elizabeth II was a dedicated and well-traveled monarch, one who seemed to make it her mission in life to reach out to — and interact with — as many people as she possibly could. Even for her, though, it was an inevitability that she'd never be able to get around to everybody, or even a fraction of everybody.

As such, the vast, vast majority of those around the world mourning the queen didn't know her and had never met her. This solemn occasion in September 2022 is about so much more than just one person, though; it's about a remarkable moment in history, and ordinary people wanting to be some small part of it.

Being such a part, during the period of the queen lying in state at Westminster Hall in London prior to her funeral on September 19, required quite a commitment. The queue to file past Queen Elizabeth II's coffin quickly grew to miles and stretched on for hours and hours. Thousands upon thousands waited in the queuing odyssey, among them notables like David Beckham, whom the Evening Standard reported stood in line for over 13 hours to pay his respects.

It wasn't just about showing deference to the queen, however. After completing the epic journey and paying their respects, it seems some enterprising mourners realized they could try to make a lot of money by selling a certain keepsake from the queue.

Queen Elizabeth II also made a huge impact on eBay

As The Mirror reported, those joining the queue to file past Queen Elizabeth II's coffin were given wristbands as they began their journey. With these color-coded wrist adornments, they could leave the queue for brief periods (to use the facilities or get themselves some refreshments) and then rejoin in the same place. After finally reaching the silent and solemn hall, they then emerged back into the bracing London air, mission accomplished and with a spangly new wristband to show for it.

What did many people try to do with those wristbands? Sell them for a tidy profit on eBay, it seems. The Mirror reports listings of the bands became incredibly common and popped up faster than they could be removed. Several sales on the morning of September 18 had topped £10,000 (around $11,400). That was just the beginning of things, however.

In the early afternoon that same day, per Metro, eBay had issued a statement on the item. "These items are against our policies and we are removing them from our site," the statement read, according to the outlet.

Per eBay's event tickets policy, sales of such items are strictly controlled. "For primary ticket sales, you must clearly state that it is an authorized first sale of the ticket and is directly listed by the artist, team, promoter, or organizer," the tech company's policy reads. These wristbands, not being transferable, violate the rules, technically being tickets for entry. Money-making opportunity lost.