What you can and can’t do as Britain enters national mourning for the Queen

The UK has entered a period of mourningfollowing thedeath of the Queen on September 8at the age of 96.

The death of the country’s longest reigning monarch marks a pivotal moment in history not only within the country but also the world.

As Her Majesty died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland,Operation Unicornwas implemented and these have a slight difference to theOperation London Bridgeplans should she have died while in England.

As such, many of the plans regarding the mourning period are changing at pace. We take a look at what’s been put into place between now and the Queen’s funeral.

Period of mourning

The Government will confirm the length ofnational mourning, which is likely to be from now up to the day after the Queen’s funeral, which is yet to be confirmed.

A period of royal mourning for members of the royal family and royal households will be observed until seven days after the Queen’s funeral, the date of which is to be confirmed by Buckingham Palace.

The palace said on Friday morning: “Following the death of Her Majesty the Queen, it is His Majesty the King’s wish that a period of royal mourning be observed from now until seven days after the Queen’s funeral.

“The date of the funeral will be confirmed in due course.”

Where can you pay your respects

Guidance has been issued to members of the public who wish to leave floral tributes at royal residences.

Mourners at Buckingham Palace will be guided to lay floral tributes at dedicated sites in Green Park or Hyde Park, with flowers left outside the gates of the palace being moved to the Green Park floral tribute garden.

At Windsor Castle, floral tributes can be left at Cambridge Gate on the Long Walk, and these flowers will be brought inside the castle every evening and placed on the Castle Chapter grass on the south side of St George’s Chapel and Cambridge Drive.

At the Sandringham Estate, members of the public are encouraged to leave floral tributes at the Norwich Gates, while at Balmoral Castle floral tributes can be left at the main gate.

People at the Palace of Holyroodhouse are encouraged to give floral tributes to the wardens at the entrance to The Queen’s Gallery, and those flowers will be laid on the forecourt grass in front of the North Turret of the Palace.

School closures

The Department for Education has said schools and colleges in England should remain open as normal during the mourning period.

In a message to headteachers, officials said there will be further information after details of the funeral are confirmed by Buckingham Palace.

The DfE said: "Schools and further education settings should remain open. While normal attendance is expected, headteachers continue to have the power to authorise leaves of absence for pupils in exceptional circumstances.”

They added that schools may want to mark the occasion by "conducting special activities, holding assemblies or adapting planned lessons."

Cancelled events

A number ofsporting and live events have been cancelledalready. This includes Friday’s play in the men’s third Test between England and South Africa at The Oval and BBC Proms.

The English Football League postponed two matches scheduled today – Burnley v Norwich in the Championship and Tranmere v Stockport in League Two.

The European Tour also confirmed there would be no play on Friday.

Store Closures

The day of the funeral will be a Day of National Mourning – and there will be a national bank holiday on that day, unless it falls on the weekend.

But employers will not be compelled to give staff a day off to attend the church and memorial services across the UK.

The service will take place at Westminster Abbey, and a two minute silence will be held across the UK at noon – where millions will pause to mark their respects.

Selfridges and Liberty closed their doors today to mark Her Majesty. The London Stock Exchange will be closed for the day of the Queen's funeral.

Stores are also unlikely to promote major sales so prominently, and the music played in-store is likely to follow the plans for radio stations to broadcast more sombre tunes.


  • What happens now? Queen's earliest funeral date and whether day will be a bank holiday

  • Closures and cancellations after Queen's death – from Proms and shops to TV

  • King Charles's reign to see money, passports and national anthem change

  • Royals worldwide remember the Queen's 'unforgettable contribution' in moving tributes

  • For the latest updates on the Royal Family, sign up to OK!'s weekly royals newsletter

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