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Death and state funeral of Elizabeth II

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Death and state funeral of Elizabeth II
A crowd assembled outside of a large building
A pile of cards, flowers, and other items left as a memorial
A photo of Elizabeth II on a series of screens
A crowd assembled outside of a large building
A large crowd
A large photo of Elizabeth II by the side of a bridge

Top to bottom, left to right:

(1) Crowds at Buckingham Palace following the death of Elizabeth II. (2) Tributes left by people at Green Park. (3) Images of the Queen flank an escalator at Tottenham Court Road station. (4) A view of Buckingham Palace from The Mall. (5) Mourners at The Mall, London. (6) JCDecaux advertising display in London commemorating the Queen; digital advertisements were suspended following the announcement.
Date
  • 8 September 2022 (2022-09-08)
  • (date of death)
  • 12 September 2022 (2022-09-12)
  • (date of thanksgiving service)
  • 19 September 2022 (2022-09-19)
  • (date of state funeral and burial)
Location
Coordinates57°2′27″N 3°13′48″W / 57.04083°N 3.23000°W / 57.04083; -3.23000
Participantslist of dignitaries at the state funeral

On 8 September 2022, Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms, the longest-living and longest-reigning British monarch, died at the age of 96 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Her death was announced at 18:30 BST, followed by reactions from leaders around the world. She was succeeded by her eldest child, Charles III.

The Queen's death set in motion Operation London Bridge, a collection of plans including arrangements for her funeral, and Operation Unicorn, which set protocols for the Queen's death occurring in Scotland. The United Kingdom is observing a national mourning period of 10 days. A state funeral service will be held at Westminster Abbey on 19 September 2022 at 11:00 BST, followed by a committal service later that day at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. The Queen will be interred in the King George VI Memorial Chapel at St George's. The occasion of her state funeral will be a national bank holiday in the UK.

Background

The Queen had been in good health for most of her life.[1] During 2021 and 2022 she faced some health issues and in October 2021, British media reported that the Queen had begun using a walking stick during public engagements.[2] The Queen stayed overnight in hospital on 20 October,[2] requiring in visits to Northern Ireland and to the COP26 summit in Glasgow to be cancelled.[3][4][5] In November, the Queen suffered from a sprained back and was unable to attend the 2021 National Service of Remembrance.[6] In February 2022, during the COVID-19 pandemic in England, the Queen was one of several people at Windsor Castle to test positive for COVID-19.[7][8] Her symptoms were described as mild and cold-like, with the Queen later commenting that the disease "does leave one very tired and exhausted".[9][10] Given the health impacts of COVID-19 and long COVID are known to be more severe among older people,[11][12] the Queen's health became a cause of concern to many commentators.[13][14] The Queen was said to be feeling well enough to resume her official duties by 1 March.[15][16] The Queen attended the service of thanksgiving for Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey on 29 March,[17] but chose not to attend the annual Commonwealth Day service that month, or the Royal Maundy Service in April.[18][19] In May, the Queen missed the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in 59 years (she did not attend in 1959 and 1963 as she was pregnant with Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, respectively).[20] In her absence, Parliament was opened by the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge as Counsellors of State.[21] The Prince of Wales, the heir apparent, gained more official responsibilities towards the end of the Queen's life[22] and stood in for her at the State Opening of Parliament.[23] In June, the Queen did not attend the National Service of Thanksgiving for her Platinum Jubilee; official sources mentioned her "discomfort" after standing during the military parade celebrating her official birthday on the first day of celebrations.[24] During the celebrations, the Queen was largely confined to balcony appearances.[25]

On 6 September, two days before her death, the Queen accepted the resignation of Boris Johnson and appointed Liz Truss to succeed him as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at Balmoral Castle (where the Queen was on holiday) in a break with tradition; this was usually done at Buckingham Palace.[26] On 7 September, she was scheduled to attend an online meeting of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom to swear in new ministers in Truss's government, but it was announced that the meeting had been cancelled after she was advised to rest by doctors.[27] The Queen's final public statement, issued that same day, was a message of condolences for the victims of the 2022 Saskatchewan stabbings.[28]

Timeline

8 September

Balmoral Castle (pictured in 2004), where the Queen died

At 06:50 BST, the Queen's helicopter left Windsor Castle for Scotland in order to transport Prince Charles from Dumfries House to Balmoral Castle.[29] At 10:30, he arrived at the castle. Princess Anne was already staying at Balmoral and met him there.[29][30] Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall also travelled to Balmoral, although it is not clear if she accompanied her husband or arrived on her own.[31] Prime Minister Liz Truss was informed sometime in the morning by Cabinet secretary Simon Case that the Queen was gravely ill.[32]

At 12:00, the Prime Minister was updated on and Deputy Leader of the Opposition Angela Rayner informed of the Queen's ill health by notes circulated during a speech in Parliament by Leader of the Opposition Keir Starmer.[32][33][34] Within the hour, at 12:30, Buckingham Palace publicly announced that the Queen was "under medical supervision" at Balmoral Castle after doctors expressed concern over her health. The statement read:[35][36] "Following further evaluation this morning, the Queen's doctors are concerned for Her Majesty's health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision. The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral." Speaker of the House of Commons Lindsay Hoyle made a brief statement of good wishes in Parliament in response.[33]

Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and his wife the Countess of Wessex, and Prince Harry announced they were travelling to Balmoral, while the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex stayed in Windsor and London respectively.[37][38] At 12:40, the BBC, the national broadcaster of the United Kingdom, cut away from regular programming on BBC One to continuously cover the Queen's condition, with all BBC news journalists and broadcasters dressed in black later in the afternoon.[39] Special reports about her condition were run on other main television channels in the UK, including ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5.[40] At 14:30, Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex's flight left RAF Northolt for Aberdeen Airport.[30]

By 16:30, the Queen had died. Simon Case informed the Prime Minister of the Queen's death at around this time.[41][42] Thirty minutes later, Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex arrived at Balmoral.[41] The Queen's death was publicly announced two hours later, at 18:30. The royal family announced her death on Twitter with the following statement:[43][44][45][46]

The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.

Huw Edwards announcing the death of the Queen on the BBC's television channels

British television announcements of the Queen's death began at 18:31, and included the aforementioned statement being read verbatim by news presenter Huw Edwards during a live broadcast on the BBC News channel and BBC One. Three minutes later, Edwards repeated the statement across all BBC Television channels (bar BBC Three and Four, which were not broadcasting at the time, and had programmes suspended following the announcement of the death;[47] and children's channels CBBC, which announced the news through their programme Newsround,[48] and CBeebies, which saw no interruptions to its regular schedule),[49] after which the national anthem was played.[50] It is estimated that at least 16 million people in the United Kingdom may have watched the announcement of the death at the time.[51]

In accordance with the protocol implemented after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Union flag at Buckingham Palace was lowered to half-mast.[52] It also flew at half-mast at 10 Downing Street and Balmoral Castle.[53][54] Since the new monarch was already at Balmoral Castle when he became King, the Royal Standard of the United Kingdom was lowered and raised again at the castle. The Royal Banner of Scotland was lowered to half-mast at the Palace of Holyroodhouse,[53] and the Welsh flag at Cardiff Castle was also lowered.[55] Huge crowds gathered outside royal residences to mourn the Queen and rainbows were seen above Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.[56]

At 20:00, Prince Harry, who had travelled alone and departed later than the other family members, arrived at Balmoral.[29]

9 September

King Charles III and Queen Camilla travelled from Balmoral to Buckingham Palace, where they greeted the crowd of mourners outside the gates.[57] The King then held an in-person audience with the Prime Minister before paying tribute to his mother in a publicly broadcast message.[58][59] At the Palace of Westminster, MPs gathered to read out their messages of condolences and tributes.[60]

In Charles's first address as King, he declared a period of mourning that is expected to last and be observed by the royal family and members of the royal household until seven days after the Queen's state funeral on 19 September.[61] All flags at royal residences were ordered to be lowered to half-mast except for the Royal Standard which, in accordance with both long-standing protocol and as confirmed by the late Queen, will continue to fly at full mast wherever the current monarch is in residence.[61] All royal residences will be closed to the public until after the state funeral has occurred.[61] 96-gun salutes were fired in Hyde Park by the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, at the Tower of London by the Honourable Artillery Company, at Edinburgh Castle by the Royal Artillery, at Cardiff Castle and Stonehenge by 104 Regiment, Royal Artillery, at Caernarfon Castle, at York Museum Gardens, and on board Royal Navy ships.[61][62][63][64][65][66][58] An online book of condolences was also set up by the royal website.[61] Church bells tolled at Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral, and other churches across the UK.[64][67][68][69] At Windsor Castle, the Sebastopol Bell, which is only rung to mark the deaths of senior royals, tolled 96 times, once a minute from 12:00 until 13:35, marking the 96 years of the Queen's life.[70] The UK government published guidance on details surrounding the national mourning period, stating that businesses, public service, sports fixtures and public venues were not obliged to shut.[58]

At St Paul's Cathedral, a ticketed service of prayer and mourning was held at 18:00 with senior politicians and 2,000 members of the public in attendance.[58] The ceremony marked the first official rendition of "God Save the King" under Charles's reign.[71] The Prime Minister gave a reading and the Bishop of London gave an address, while the Archbishop of Canterbury said the blessings.[71] Solemn Prelude "In Memoriam" from For the Fallen by Edward Elgar was played as the service was about to start and the hymns "All My Hope on God is Founded" and "O Thou Who Camest from Above" were chosen for the event.[71]

10 September

At 11:00, 21-gun salutes at the Tower of London, Cardiff Castle, Edinburgh Castle, Castle Cornet, Gibraltar, and naval bases and stations at sea marked the proclamation of accession of Charles III.[72][73][74] After the proclamation ceremony, the King greeted crowds outside Buckingham Palace.[75] Major roads in Edinburgh were closed in preparation for the Queen's coffin travelling from Balmoral to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, after which the coffin was moved to St Giles' Cathedral for the public to view and pay their respects.[76] The City of Edinburgh Council has been responsible for organising the event, in collaboration with the Scottish Government and Police Scotland.[76] The Queen's three younger children, Princess Anne and her husband Sir Timothy Laurence, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward and his wife the Countess of Wessex, along with five of her grandchildren Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie and Lady Louise Windsor, attended a service at Crathie Kirk and viewed floral tributes outside Balmoral.[77][78] The King's sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, along with their wives, the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Sussex, viewed floral tributes outside Windsor Castle.[79][80]

Senior MPs, including Prime Minister Liz Truss, swore an Oath of Allegiance to Charles III in a special session of Parliament.[81] Buckingham Palace announced that Elizabeth's state funeral would be held on 19 September.[82] The UK Government subsequently announced the day would be a national bank holiday.[83] The King and the Queen Consort held an audience with the Archbishop of Canterbury at Buckingham Palace.[84] The King then met with the Prime Minister for a second time and held audiences with members of her cabinet.[84] He also met with leaders of the opposition parties.[84]

In an address, Gaston Browne, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, confirmed Charles III's role as the nation's king and head of state, but added that a referendum on whether to become a republic could take place within three years.[85]

11 September

On 11 September at 10:06,[86] the Queen's coffin, draped with the Scottish version of the Royal Standard of the United Kingdom and with a wreath on top consisting of dahlias, sweet peas, phlox, white heather and pine fir from the Balmoral Castle gardens, left Balmoral Castle with a cortège to the Throne Room in the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, where it stayed until the afternoon of 12 September.[87][88] The cortège, of which Princess Anne and her husband Sir Timothy Laurence were a part, lasted just over six hours as the coffin made its way on a 175-mile journey through Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen, Angus, Dundee, Perth and Fife before reaching the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh at 16:23, where Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex were waiting for its arrival.[89][90] It went past buildings and places that had a personal connection to the Queen, including Crathie Kirk, the King George VI Bridge, and the Queensferry Crossing.[91][92] People lined the roads and streets to pay their respects.[93] At one point, farmers in Aberdeenshire parked their tractors along the road to mimick a guard of honour.[94]

The King met the Commonwealth Secretary General at Buckingham Palace, and then together with the Queen Consort hosted Realm High Commissioners and their spouses in the Bow Room at Buckingham Palace.[95] MPs continued to pay tribute to the Queen in Parliament, and tributes in Senedd were led by the Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford.[96][97]

BBC One began a return to normal programming, having dedicated its schedules to constant rolling news coverage since the death of the Queen.[98] ITV, Channel 4 and Sky resumed running advertisements, which had not been shown since the Queen's death was announced.[99][100]

12 September

The King and the Queen Consort travelled to Westminster Hall to receive condolences from the House of Commons and the House of Lords.[101] The King delivered a speech to both houses with 900 Parliamentarians in attendance.[102] In his speech, the King stated: "Parliament is the living and breathing instrument of our democracy. That your traditions are ancient we see in the construction of this great hall and the reminders of medieval predecessors of the office to which I have been called."[103] He and the Queen Consort then travelled to Edinburgh by air.[101] At the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the King and the Queen Consort greeted members of the public and viewed floral tributes.[101] The King then inspected the Guard of Honour from the Royal Regiment of Scotland and the Ceremony of the Keys followed.[101][104]

The Queen's coffin leaving Holyrood Palace on 12 September

A procession carried the Queen's coffin to St Giles' Cathedral.[105][87] It was draped with the Royal Standard for use in Scotland with a wreath on top consisting of white spray roses, white freesias, white button chrysanthemums, dried white heather (from Balmoral), spray eryngium (thistle), foliage, rosemary, hebe, and pittosporum.[106] The King, Princess Anne and Sir Timothy Laurence, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, the Bearer Party from the Royal Regiment of Scotland, and the Royal Company of Archers took part in the procession on foot along the Royal Mile.[101][103][107] The Queen Consort and the Countess of Wessex followed closely in their car.[106] Prince Andrew, who was the only member of the royal family in procession without a military uniform,[103] was heckled by a man who called him "a sick old man". The protestor was detained by the police for a breach of the peace and later charged.[108][109] Guns were fired every minute from Edinburgh Castle during the procession and stopped as the hearse came to a full stop outside the cathedral.[101]

The King and the Queen Consort, Princess Anne and Sir Timothy Laurence, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex, friends, politicians, and representatives from the Queen's Scottish charities and organisations attended a service of thanksgiving at St Giles' Cathedral, led by the Rev Calum MacLeod, to celebrate the Queen's life and highlight her association with Scotland.[95][101][103] Prior to the beginning of the service, the Duke of Hamilton placed the Crown of Scotland upon the coffin.[101] The opening hymn of the service was "All People that on Earth do Dwell", the metrical version of Psalm 100. Scottish singer Karen Matheson sang Psalm 118 in Gaelic, while the first Lesson was taken from Ecclesiastes 3. The choir then sang Psalm 116 before the second reading from Romans 8. The second hymn was "The Lord's My Shepherd", the metrical version of Psalm 23 which was followed by the gospel reading from John 14. The Moderator of the Church of Scotland, the Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, gave the homily and thereafter the choir sang William Byrd's anthem "Justorum Animae". After several prayers were said, the closing hymn, "Glory to God! Our living songs we raise", was sung followed by the national anthem and the benediction.[110][111]

At Holyroodhouse, the King had an audience with the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, and the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Alison Johnstone.[95][103] The King and the Queen Consort visited the Scottish Parliament to receive a motion of condolence.[104][103] Together with the MSPs, they observed a two-minute silence.[112] The Queen's coffin lay at rest at the cathedral for 24 hours, guarded constantly by the Royal Company of Archers, allowing the people of Scotland to pay their respects.[95] Around 33,000 people filed past the coffin.[113] In the evening, the King, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward held a vigil at the cathedral, a custom known as the Vigil of the Princes; Princess Anne was the first woman to participate.[95][114]

Members of the Legislative Assembly of Northern Ireland paid tribute to the Queen.[115][116]

13 September

The King and the Queen Consort travelled to Belfast, landed at the George Best Belfast City Airport and visited Royal Hillsborough, where they met with members of the public in the main street.[117] They then travelled to Hillsborough Castle.[118] They viewed an exhibition that highlights the Queen's association with Northern Ireland. They also met with members of the public and view floral tributes outside Hillsborough Castle.[118] The King then met the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Chris Heaton-Harris, and party leaders.[119] The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Alex Maskey, delivered a message of condolence.[95][120] After a short reception at Hillsborough and inspecting troops at the castle, the King and the Queen Consort met with major faith leaders in Northern Ireland and travelled to St Anne's Cathedral before leaving Belfast for London.[119][121] At the service of reflection at St Anne's Cathedral, the Archbishop of Armagh John McDowell, the head of the Church of Ireland, paid tribute to the Queen for her efforts in bringing peace to Ireland.[119] A Sinn Féin delegation was present at the cathedral, though the republican party announced that they would not be attending any events marking Charles III's accession.[122] Also attending the service were the Prime Minister, Liz Truss, the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and the Taoiseach, Micheál Martin.[123] At the end of the service, the King and the Queen Consort met members of the public at Writers' Square.[118]

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone and Scottish Secretary Alistair Jack attended a final prayer service at St Giles' Cathedral,[124] before the Queen's coffin was taken by hearse from the cathedral to Edinburgh Airport as thousands lined the streets.[124] It was taken aboard a Royal Air Force C-17 Globemaster to RAF Northolt, accompanied by Princess Anne and her husband, Sir Timothy Laurence.[125] The Royal Air Force Bearer Party carried the coffin onto the aircraft and a Guard of Honour was formed by the Royal Regiment of Scotland.[126] After leaving Edinburgh but prior to arriving in London, the Scottish version of the Royal Standard that was draping the coffin was replaced with the traditional Royal Standard that is used in the remainder of the United Kingdom. Once in London, the Queen's Colour Squadron (63 Squadron RAF Regiment) assumed the role of the Bearer Party and form the Guard of Honour.[126] The coffin was placed in the State Hearse, which had been designed in consultation with the Queen,[127] which then travelled to Buckingham Palace via the A40, Westbourne Terrace, Lancaster Gate, Bayswater Road, Marble Arch, Park Lane, Hyde Park Corner, and Constitution Hill.[126] People lined the streets as the cortège, of which Princess Anne was a part of, made its way to the palace.[127] The coffin was then placed in the Bow Room at Buckingham Palace in the presence of her children and grandchildren along with their spouses, including the King and the Queen Consort, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.[127]

14 September

On 14 September, the Queen's coffin, adorned with the Imperial State Crown and borne on a gun carriage of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, is due to be taken from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall in a 38-minute military procession in which the King, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Prince William, Prince Harry, Sir Timothy Laurence, Peter Phillips, the Earl of Snowdon, and Prince Richard are expected to take part.[105][95][128] The Queen Consort, the Princess of Wales, the Countess of Wessex, and the Duchess of Sussex are to follow the procession in cars.[128] The procession is expected to take the coffin through the Queen's Gardens, The Mall, Horse Guards Parade and Horse Guards Arch, Whitehall, Parliament Street, Parliament Square and New Palace Yard.[82] Members of the three armed forces will form a guard of honour to receive the coffin at Parliament Square. After the coffin arrives, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Dean of Westminster are to conduct a 20-minute service in the presence of the King and members of the royal family.[95] The Queen will then lie in state for four days on a catafalque in Westminster Hall until the morning of the funeral.[95] Throughout this time, the public will be able to file past to pay their respects. In addition to the Imperial State Crown, the Sovereign's Orb and the Sovereign's Sceptre with Cross will be placed on the coffin.[105]

16–18 September

On 16 September, the King and the Queen Consort will visit Wales, concluding their tour of the UK's four nations.[95] They will attend a service of prayer and reflection for the Queen at Llandaff Cathedral, and later visit the Senedd and Cardiff Castle.[129]

On 18 September at 20:00 BST, a minute's silence will be observed across the UK.[130]

State funeral

Planning

The state funeral is set to be held at Westminster Abbey at 11:00 BST on 19 September 2022.[105] This will mark the first time that a monarch's funeral service is held at Westminster Abbey since George II in 1760,[131][132] and the first state funeral in Britain since that of Winston Churchill in 1965.[133] In terms of the complexity of logistical planning, diplomatic protocol, and security, Elizabeth's funeral will be the largest such event in the UK since the Churchill state funeral, with up to 500 foreign dignitaries, including heads of state, expected to attend.[134] Invitations were issued to every country with which Britain maintains diplomatic relations, with the exception of Russia, Belarus, and Myanmar.[134]

Plans for the Queen's death have existed in some form since the 1960s.[135] Around 10,000 police officers are expected to be on duty every day in London during the mourning period.[136] Mounted police officers will provide part of the security in Windsor with the help of drones that record activities on the ground.[137] The Thames Valley Police announced that they would introduce new water patrols for observing busy waterways in the lead-up to the funeral.[138] Extra train services will be made available across the country to allow people to travel to London and pay their respects.[139]

Due to limited number of seats, the heads of state will be accompanied only by their spouses and they have been asked to keep their delegations as small as possible.[140] Ahead of the state funeral, the UK government issued guidelines for the dignitaries that have been invited to the event, urging them to use commercial flights as Heathrow Airport could not accommodate the huge number of private flights. Those seeking to fly privately were instructed to land at other airports. Additionally, the guidance urged heads of states and guests not to use private cars for travel on the day of the funeral, instead indicating that guests would be transported to a separate site in London where the government will "provide coach transport from a central assembly point" to Westminister Abbey.[140] When the guidance was reported on, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Liz Truss said that "arrangements for different leaders will vary" and that the documents were only for guidance.[141] US President Biden, for example, will not take a shared bus; he will instead go to Westminister Abbey for the funeral in the presidential state car.[141][142] After the funeral, all international guests will attend a reception hosted by Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.[140]

Service

On the day of the funeral, the coffin will be moved from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey on the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy as the King and other members of the royal family walk behind.[131] The royal family, heads of state, and politicians will gather at Westminster Abbey for the funeral.[131] The timing of the funeral was set to allow guests sufficient time to attend the seventy-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, then fly over the Atlantic to London.[134] The Dean of Westminster David Hoyle is expected to conduct the service, and the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will deliver the sermon.[131] The coffin will then be taken from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch and then by hearse to Windsor.[131]

Another procession is expected to occur at the Quadrangle in Windsor Castle, at the end of which the coffin will be taken to St George's Chapel for a committal service.[131] The coffin will then be lowered to the Royal Vault.[131] The Queen is expected to be buried at the King George VI Memorial Chapel.[131]

Holidays and observances

The day of the funeral (19 September) will be a bank holiday in the UK,[131][143] with all schools in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland closing for the day.[144][145] The London Stock Exchange will also be closed on the day of the funeral.[146] Many businesses across the country will be closed to the public.[147] The National Health Service stated that local trusts would decide whether to cancel hospital appointments, with several trusts choosing to cancel or reschedule all non-urgent appointments.[148][149] Controversially, several food banks announced that they would close on the day of the funeral, with some changing their plans to remain open after facing public backlash.[150][151]

In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the date of Elizabeth's funeral will be marked by a federal holiday.[152][153] However, the federal holiday only applied to federal government employees, and does not apply to employees of federally regulated industries, such as banks and airlines.[153] The federal holiday decision also did not affect whether most Canadian workers would get a day off work, since about 85–90% of Canadian workers are employed in sectors regulated by the provinces and territories.[152] The provinces split on the decision: British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island all declared the day of Queen Elizabeth II's funeral a one-off provincial holiday or temporary statutory holiday, while most other provinces did not declare a holiday, and instead declared a day of mourning or commemoration.[153]

In Australia, a "one-off public holiday" will be observed as a national day of mourning on 22 September, although the Australian Industry Group and Australian Medical Association criticised the short notice for the extra holiday and its effect on business and appointments.[154]

A one-off public holiday in New Zealand will be observed on Monday, 26 September (designated "Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Day"), the date the New Zealand State Memorial Service will be held in the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul.[155]

Coverage

BBC One will be covering the funeral from 08:00 to 17:00.[156][157] ITV announced that they will be covering the funeral from 06:00 to 00:00 on all of their digital channels (ITV2, 3, 4, ITVBe and CITV), marking the first joint simulcast across all of its channels.[158][159] Sky is set to follow suit with their digital channels.[160]

Shops, licensed establishments, parish and public halls will remain open in Jersey to allow people watch the Queen's funeral.[161] Big screens will be set up at cathedrals and public areas to broadcast the service.[162][163][164]

Attendees

500 heads of state and foreign dignitaries are expected to be present at the funeral ceremony at Westminster Abbey, which can accommodate up to 2,200 people.[165] No invitations were sent out to representatives from Russia, Belarus, or Myanmar.[165]

Succession

Upon the Queen's death, her eldest son Charles, Prince of Wales, immediately acceded to the throne as King of the United Kingdom with the regnal name "Charles III".[44][166]

There was some speculation regarding the regnal name that would be adopted by the former Prince of Wales upon succeeding his mother. During her formal televised address outside 10 Downing Street, Prime Minister Liz Truss made the first mention of the King's regnal name during a tribute to the Queen.[167] Clarence House officially confirmed the new King would be known as Charles III shortly after the Prime Minister's address. Buckingham Palace released the King's first official statement as monarch at 19:04:[168]

The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family.

We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.

During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.

Most of Charles III's pre-accession Scottish titles, as well as the title Duke of Cornwall, were passed to his eldest son and the new heir apparent to the throne, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. On 9 September, William was named Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester, succeeding his now-reigning father.[169]

The Accession Council assembled on 10 September at St James's Palace to formally proclaim the accession of Charles III.[170] Although about seven hundred people were eligible to attend the ceremony, because the event was planned on such short notice, the number in attendance was two hundred.[171] In addition to other formalities, the Council de jure confirmed "Charles III" as the King's regnal name.[172]

No dates have been announced yet for the coronation of Charles III and Camilla, or for the investiture of Prince William as the new Prince of Wales.[45]

Reactions

Royal family

Notice of the Queen's death posted at Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh

King Charles III paid tribute to his mother in a speech the following morning:[173]

To my darling Mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late Papa, I want simply to say this: thank you. Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years. May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest.

The King, along with Princess Anne and Prince Edward, paid tribute to their mother in the BBC One special programme A Tribute to Her Majesty The Queen.[174] On 10 September, Prince William issued a statement, paying tribute to his grandmother whom he described as an "extraordinary Queen".[175][176] On 12 September, Prince Harry issued a statement, describing his grandmother as a "guiding compass" in duty and service.[177] On 13 September, Princess Anne issued a statement, thanking the public for their messages and describing the opportunity to accompany her mother's coffin from Balmoral to London as "an honour and a privilege".[178]

Other responses

Hundreds of people had gathered outside the gates of Buckingham Palace in the rain in London.

Various political leaders and heads of state and government, as well as members of royalty, sent messages of condolence.[179] Hundreds of people had gathered outside the gates of Buckingham Palace in London at the time of the announcement.[180] Many others used social media to post condolences and tributes both to the Queen and to the British royal family.[181] Floral tributes were later left outside Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Sandringham House, Balmoral Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Hillsborough Castle, and Highgrove House.[61][182][183][184] Several black cab drivers lined The Mall with their lights on to pay tribute to the Queen.[185] Numerous books of condolences were set up at libraries and council offices across the UK.[186] In addition to flowers, mourners left Paddington Bear replicas, Corgi soft toys, balloons and marmalade sandwiches at various sites, prompting the Royal Parks to issue a statement, asking mourners to leave only unwrapped flowers, "organic or compostable material", in the interests of sustainability.[187]

The London Eye dimmed its lights on the evening of her death.[188] Flags at Parliament Hill in Ottawa and the Capitol Building and the White House in Washington, D.C. were flown at half-mast in her honour.[189][190] The Empire State Building in New York City illuminated in purple and silver, the Eiffel Tower in Paris went dark at midnight, and the Sydney Opera House had an image of the Queen projected onto it.[191] Billboards at Piccadilly Circus, the BT Tower and Times Square showed tributes to the Queen, as well as advertising screens on the side of bus stops across London.[192][193] Many other landmarks across the world paid tributes to the death of Elizabeth II.

Google muted its homepage with a grey version of the normally colourful company logo.[194] The National Memorial Arboretum set up books of condolence and announced tributes would be paid to the Queen at a special reading at Millennium Chapel.[195] Blackpool Illuminations were unlit as a sign of respect, and they will become unlit again on the night of the funeral.[196] Blackpool Tower is displaying the colours red, white and blue throughout the period of mourning.[196] St Laurence's Church in Ludlow, Shrewsbury Abbey, and Leeds Minster held memorial services.[197][198] A Requiem Mass was held at St Edmundsbury Cathedral on 10 September.[199] Worcester Cathedral extended its opening times so the public could pay their tributes.[200] Members of the Sikh and Hindu communities also held prayers.[201][202] Rotherham Minster will be holding a memorial service for the Queen on 17 September, and Sheffield Cathedral will be holding a similar service on the eve of her funeral.[162]

The ceremony that was due to be held to mark the transitioning of Colchester from town to city status was cancelled.[203] Tynwald postponed its meeting on cost of living crisis until 22 September.[204] The Last Night of the Proms and the Mercury Prize were among the events that were called off, while the Royal Opera House announced that they would not go on with the opening night of one of their new productions and will not be operating on the day of the state funeral.[205] Several unions responsible for organising the strikes by postal workers and rail staff announced that they would postpone their actions "out of respect for her service to the country and her family".[206] The Trades Union Congress also cancelled their annual conference as a sign of respect.[207] Jersey Heritage opened Gorey Castle to the public for the weekend, and Jersey Pride and Channel Islands Pride were scaled back following the Queen's death.[208][209]

Numerous sporting events were postponed or suspended from 8 September until at least 11 September, including all football fixtures across the Home Nations, and the second day of England's third test match against South Africa. Some events have continued, but with a moment of silence observed before play, and all players wearing black armbands.[210][211][212][213] Several rugby fixtures were postponed, with the exception of mini, junior and under-18 rugby matches, which were preceded by a period of two minutes' silence.[214] The St Leger Stakes, the Champagne Stakes and the Park Stakes, the Doncaster Cup and the Flying Childers Stakes were all postponed.[215] The St Leger Stakes started with a two-minute silence.[216] Horse racing events on the day of the funeral have also been cancelled.[217]

On 11 September, the Northumberland County Council announced plans for a permanent memorial as a tribute to the Queen.[218] A 70m long mural at the Hardingstone Recreation Ground, which was created to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, will be updated to include the final year of her life and the events expected to follow after her death.[219]

The BBC Radio 4 series The Archers included a conversation about the Queen's death, between Lynda Snell and Lilian Bellamy, as the first section of the episode broadcast on 11 September.[220] The BBC soap opera EastEnders paid tribute to the Queen with a special scene that aired at the start of the episode broadcast on 12 September.[221]

The Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage published a commemorative poem "Floral Tribute" on 13 September 2022; it takes the form of a double acrostic in which the initial letters of the lines of each of its two verses spell out "Elizabeth".[222][223][224]

See also

References

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External links