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Body of slain police constable to lie in state at Palace of Westminster

LONDON, April 1 (Xinhua) — Queen Elizabeth has given her permission for the body of Houses of Parliament police officer Keith Palmer to lie in the Palace of Westminster prior to his funeral, it was announced Saturday.

Police constable Palmer, aged 48, was stabbed and killed during last week’s attack on the British parliament by terrorist Khalid Masood. Masood was shot and killed by armed officers as they ran to the aid of Palmer.

The honor has been granted by the Queen as a result of Palmer losing his life in the line of duty preserving the security of parliament, said an official spokesman for Parliament.

In recent times, only two leading politicians have been allowed to rest in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft at the parliament buildings.

In 2013 the body of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher was allowed to rest at the chapel, and a year later the same honor was given to Labour party veteran MP Tony Benn.

Palmer’s remains will rest in the chapel on April 9 and 10, prior to his funeral at Southwark Cathedral in London on April 10.

The Chapel of St Mary Undercroft is one of the oldest parts of the Houses of Parliament. It was completed by King Edward I in 1,297 becoming the chapel used for worshipping by members of the Royal Court and the Royal Household.

The Metropolitan Police in London said Saturday a 30-year-old man arrested March 26 at an address in Birmingham on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts has been released.

It means all 12 people previously arrested in connection with the investigation have all been released with no further action.

Four victims died as a result Masood’s attack on March 22 at Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament, and dozens more were injured.

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