October 4, 2022
Queen’s Death: What Happens Next?

The death of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch has raised many questions over the grieving process. Historic set-piece events will proceed at Westminster Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, as well as moments of high competition, bringing officials of the royal household into the limelight.

Below is a short guide.

What will King Charles do first?

Charles has been King since Queen Elizabeth’s death, but his accession was formally acknowledged on Saturday when the Council of Accession met at the State Apartments of St James’s Palace in London.

After being officially declared the new sovereign, King Charles convened his first Privy Council, a formal advisory body consisting mostly of senior politicians, with the new queen consort, Camilla, and her eldest son, Prince William, taking an oath and Personal announcement was made.

Charles’ first public proclamation as King read from the balcony of St James’s Palace at 11am Garter King of ArmsA senior member of the royal family.

The Second Proclamation was read in the afternoon at the Royal Exchange in the City of London. Further announcements in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will take place on Sunday.

On Sunday morning, King will meet with the Secretary General of the Commonwealth – of which he now heads – at Buckingham Palace. He will later meet with high commissioners – or ambassadors – to the areas of London where he is the head of state.

King will fly to Edinburgh after formal ceremonies on Monday morning to receive condolences in both houses of parliament. There he would attend a ceremonial ceremony that would mark his accession to the Scottish throne, meet Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister, and receive the condolence of the Scottish Parliament.

He will also attend ceremonies around his mother’s lay-in-state at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh.

On Tuesday morning, he will fly from Edinburgh to Belfast for similar events, marking his becoming King of Northern Ireland.

On Wednesday the king will accompany his mother’s coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall to lie in state at Westminster Palace.

He will go to Wales on Friday.

How long will the mourning period last?

The 10-day period of national mourning began on Friday and will continue until the Queen’s funeral.

In addition, King Charles has announced that the Royal Family and its staff will observe a 17-day long period of mourning.

Meanwhile, the royal residences – which include Balmoral, Sandringham, Hillsborough Castle and the Queen’s Gallery and the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace – will remain closed until after the funeral.

When is the Queen’s funeral?

The Queen’s coffin will be taken from Balmoral to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on Sunday and carried in a procession along the Royal Mile to St Giles’ Cathedral on Monday. It will remain there in the state for 24 hours, allowing members of the public to pay their respects.

On Tuesday 13 September, the coffin will be taken from Scotland to London and taken to Buckingham Palace before being taken to the Palace of Westminster in a ceremonial procession on Wednesday. After a short service by the Archbishop of Canterbury, it would remain in state at Westminster Hall for four full days. In the tradition of princes called Vigil, senior royals are expected to guard around the coffin here.

The Queen’s state funeral will take place on Monday, 19 September at Westminster Abbey, attended by about 2,000 dignitaries. Her coffin would then be taken for a committed service at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, a few yards from her final resting place at the King George VI Memorial Chapel, where her mother and father were buried.

What will happen during the mourning period?

The British government will put on hold most announcements, press releases and visits until the official mourning period ends, with some officials saying they expect normal work to begin on 22 September; Parliament is not expected to sit next week.

The Bank of England has postponed its rate-setting monetary policy committee meeting by a week to 22 September.

The Education Department has said that schools and colleges should remain open during the period of mourning. “While normal attendance is expected, principals continue to have the power to authorize leave of absence for pupils in exceptional circumstances,” it said.

Sporting events have been cancelled, including the second day of the third cricket Test match between England and South Africa and several football matches later this week.

The BBC has canceled Last Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall while the Mercury Music Prize has also been delayed.

The Trades Union Congress has postponed its annual convention, and the RMT union withdrew the train strikes scheduled for September 15 and 17. The PCS union has postponed the industrial action in the courts, which was planned for mid-September.

Will there be a bank holiday?

The public has already enjoyed an extra bank holiday this year for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in May. The king has announced that there will also be a bank holiday across the United Kingdom on the day of his funeral.

When does the coronation take place?

The process of officially coronating the new emperor may take longer than many expected, in part to give his predecessor time to grieve.

No date has been set for the coronation of Charles, but precedents suggest that the delay could be up to a year.

The death of George VI on 6 February 1952 and the coronation of his daughter Elizabeth II on 3 June 1953 was followed by a 16-month delay.

Charles has stated that he wants a smaller, less expensive ceremony than his mother’s coronation.

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