The nation is in mourning following Queen Elizabeth II’s death on Sept. 8. Having travelled to Balmoral to be by his mother’s side at the end, King Charles III returned to London on Friday, Sept. 9 to set plans in motion for what happens next. Operation London Bridge has been in effect since Her Majesty’s passing. The meticulous course of action oversees everything that happens from the monarch’s time of death to her funeral at Westminster Abbey, including when the service will be held, and what that day will mean for the general public. Read on for everything we know so far about the state funeral plans and the accompanying bank holiday.
The Queen’s Funeral
Under normal circumstances, the day of the Queen’s death would be considered D-Day, ticking upwards each day until the royal funeral around the 10-day mark. But because the official announcement of her death arrived in the evening — at 6:30 p.m. local time — plans for D-Day were shifted to Friday, Sept. 9. In total, the UK is scheduled to have 10 days of national mourning.
On Sept. 12, by the adjusted schedule, the Queen’s coffin was carried up the Royal Mile in a procession to St. Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh. Following a service, Her Majesty was lying in state for around 24 hours from 5 p.m. local time on Sept. 12, as per Sky News. The following afternoon, a Royal Air Force aircraft, accompanied by Princess Anne, transported the coffin from Scotland to London. It was then conveyed to Buckingham Palace, where the Queen spent one final night at her longtime home.
Following the procession on Sept. 14, the Queen is now lying in state in Westminster Hall for four days total, allowing heads of state, dignitaries, and the public to pay their respects. Mourners will be able to view the coffin from 5 p.m. local time on Wednesday, Sept. 14 until 6.30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 19, the day of the funeral. The government has published guidelines as to how the public can attend Her Majesty The Queen’s Lying-in-State.
The Queen’s state funeral will be held on D+10, Monday, Sept. 19, at 11 a.m. local time at Westminster Abbey. As announced by Buckingham Palace, there will be a procession from the Abbey to Wellington Arch after the state funeral. The entire service will be televised, and there will be a national two minutes of silence observed.
On the same day, the Queen’s coffin will be interred in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where the Queen Mother and King George VI are also buried. The coffin of the Queen’s late husband, Prince Philip, will be moved from the Royal Vault to join the Queen’s.
How To Watch The Queen’s Funeral
The Queen’s funeral will be broadcast live on TV and radio in the UK. There will also be a livestream on The Royal Family’s YouTube channel for supporters around the world.
Who Will Be In Attendance?
The Queen’s immediate family, wider relatives, close friends, and former staff will be attending the ceremony. It has not yet been confirmed if Prince William and Kate Middleton will be joined by their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. The Telegraph reports that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are considering asking Meghan’s mum, Doria Ragland, to travel to the UK with their children, Archie and Lilibet, so they can bring them to the funeral.
As for royalty outside the British monarchy, the large majority of Europe’s prominent royal families are expected to be present. Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masakoo are also said to be attending.
Several heads of state, former presidents, and other key figures are expected to attend. According to the Daily Mail, those confirmed include U.S. President and First Lady Joe and Jill Biden, who will be joined by French President Emmanuel Macron, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Italian President Sergio Mattarella, and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol. The presidents of the European Council, Ireland, Austria, Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Finland, Hungary, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Japan, and Sri Lanka will also attend.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be in attendance, alongside New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin. They will be joined by prime ministers of Palestine and Turkey.
There are several more leaders set to attend, with confirmations expected to continue over the coming days. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin will reportedly be among the world leaders absent from the monumental occasion.
What Happens During The Mourning Period?
The government made the following announcement in regards to the 10-day period: “Mourning is very personal and we anticipate individuals, families, communities, and organisations may want to mark Her Majesty’s demise in their own way. There is no expectation on the public or organisations to observe specific behaviours during the mourning period.”
However, there may be significant differences to daily life as the nation goes through this transition. For starters, premiership football matches and certain TV programmes have been postponed. Meanwhile, the rail strikes which were planned for Sept. 15 and 17 have been called off, as a sign of respect to the late Queen.
Will There Be A Bank Holiday?
The Queen’s funeral day will indeed be a public holiday, to mark the final day of national mourning. This falls on Monday, Sept. 19.
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