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The Demise of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II: National Mourning Guidance


Buckingham Palace has announced the demise of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be preceded by a period of Lying-in-State.

Dates and further details of these events will be announced by the Royal Household in due course.

A period of National Mourning for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has now started.

The period of National Mourning will continue until the end of the day of the State Funeral.

The Royal Family will undertake a separate period of Royal Mourning, subject to the wishes of The King.

National Mourning is a period of time for reflection in response to the demise of the Sovereign, or other member of the Royal Family or a very prominent person in national life.

This guide is intended to provide the public, businesses and institutions with an explanation of National Mourning, and outline some practical advice on how you or your organisation may wish to observe public mourning during this period.

It covers, among other matters:

half-masting of flags
how observing mourning can affect the continuation of business, events and sporting fixtures
floral tributes
books of condolence
Nevertheless, 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.

Public services will continue as usual, although there may be some changes to service availability on the day of the State Funeral.

As well as the UK government, the devolved administrations, Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories will be observing National Mourning and will issue separate guidance.

Flags flying from Royal residences, government buildings and military establishments have been half-masted following the demise of Her Majesty.

Businesses or other organisations wishing to pay their respects by half-masting flags or holding silences can follow the guidance that has been issued on GOV.UK.

Business and public services
There is no obligation on organisations to suspend business during the National Mourning period. Depending on the nature and location of their business and the tone of planned events, some businesses may wish to consider closing or postponing events, especially on the day of the State Funeral, however this is at the discretion of individual businesses. Public services will continue as usual, although there may be some changes to service availability. Further guidance on any potential considerations relating to the day of the State Funeral will be issued if needed.

Travel information
Throughout the period of National Mourning, particularly on days with ceremonial events and in the build up to the State Funeral, public transport in key locations will be very busy and journeys may take longer than usual. Further information will be announced by network operators, and you should check your journey before you travel to ensure all services are running as expected.

Commemorative events
Many community organisations, including places of worship, Local Authorities and charities, will arrange events commemorating the life and service of Her Majesty. This may include holding services of reflection (or similar), as well as opportunities for those with no religious beliefs to pay their respects. Local Authorities will support the coordination of local events so please check with them or your local place of worship for further details.

Major events, entertainment and sports
There is no obligation to cancel or postpone events and sporting fixtures, or close entertainment venues during the National Mourning period. This is at the discretion of individual organisations. As a mark of respect, organisations might wish to consider cancelling or postponing events or closing venues on the day of the State Funeral. They are under no obligation to do so and this is entirely at the discretion of individual organisations.

If sporting fixtures or events are planned for the day of the State Funeral, organisations may want to adjust the event timings so they do not clash with the timings of the funeral service and associated processions. As a mark of respect, and in keeping with the tone of National Mourning, organisers may wish to hold a period of silence and/or play the National Anthem at the start of events or sporting fixtures, and players may wish to wear black armbands.

Floral tributes
It is customary for mourners to leave floral tributes. This section outlines the details of key locations where you can lay flowers and other tributes.

During this time of National Mourning, the government and the Royal Household respectfully request that no official flowers, wreaths, or tributes be sent from organisations to the location of the State Funeral, Royal Residences or government offices.

Within your local community there may be a place, such as a town hall or place of worship, where members of the public can lay flowers or tributes in memory of Her Majesty. Please check the website of your local authority, or local media for further information.

In all locations you should follow the advice and direction of stewards.

A memorial flower garden will be created in Green Park tomorrow and will be the main place for laying flowers near Buckingham Palace.


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