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What time is the Queen's state funeral? Will shops and schools close? And other questions

By Amanda Caroline  •  September 13, 2022  •  15
Flowers and tributes to Queen Elizabeth II are pictured outside of Windsor Castle on 9 September 2022IMAGE SOURCE,REUTERS

A period of national mourning for Queen Elizabeth II is under way in the UK. It will continue until the end of the day of her state funeral.

Before then, her coffin will be on display in Edinburgh and then London for the public to pay their respects.

When is the Queen's funeral?

The funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey - the historic church where Britain's kings and queens are crowned.

What is a state funeral?

A state funeral is typically for a king or queen and observes strict rules of protocol. There is usually a military procession carrying the coffin to Westminster Hall, a period of lying in state, and a service at Westminster Abbey or St Paul's Cathedral.

In rare cases, a state funeral can also be held for "other exceptionally distinguished persons". People other than monarchs who have been given a state funeral include Sir Isaac Newton, Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington and Lord Palmerston.

The last state funeral was that of Sir Winston Churchill on 30 January 1965. The state funeral of George VI, the Queen's father, took place on 15 February 1952.

Ceremonial funerals share many of the elements of state funerals. These were held for Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997 and the Queen Mother in 2002. Baroness Thatcher had a ceremonial funeral with full military honours at St Paul's Cathedral in 2013.

Who will attend the funeral?

No guest list has been published yet. However, leaders and royals from around the world are expected to join members of the UK Royal Family.

So far, the White House has said US President Joe Biden will attend and New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has also said she will do so.

What does lying-in-state mean?

Lying-in-state describes the formal occasion in which a coffin is placed on view before the funeral ceremony. It is given to the king or queen, Queen Consort and sometimes former prime ministers.

Before her coffin is transported to London for lying-in-state, the Queen will lie at rest until 15:00 BST on Tuesday in St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh. Members of the public will be able to pay their respects.

The Queen Mother lying in state in Westminster HallIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
Image caption,
The Queen Mother was the most recent person to lie in state, in 2002

The lying-in-state begins at 17:00 on Wednesday at Westminster Hall in London. It will last until 06:30 on Monday.

It is expected that hundreds of thousands of mourners will be able to file past. Those wishing to attend should expect to queue for many hours - with little opportunity to sit down, as the queue will be continuously moving.

What is a vigil?

Watching over a coffin is sometimes called a vigil.

While the Queen lies at rest in Edinburgh, a vigil will be mounted by the Royal Company of Archers - "the sovereign's body guard in Scotland".

On Monday evening, King Charles is expected to hold a vigil with other members of the Royal Family.

During the Queen's lying-in-state in Westminster Hall, each corner of the platform on which her coffin rests will be guarded around the clock by a vigil of soldiers. They will be from units from the Sovereign's Bodyguard, the Household Division, or Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London.

Where will the Queen be buried?

The final journey of the Queen's coffin will be to St George's Chapel, at Windsor Castle.

It will be lowered into the Royal Vault, and interred in the King George VI memorial chapel.

Prince Philip, who died last year, was also laid to rest at St George's Chapel, as were the Queen's parents and her sister Princess Margaret.

Graphic showing the interior of St George's Chapel, Windsor

Will there be a bank holiday?

Yes. One of King Charles III's first acts as monarch was to approve a national bank holiday, on the day of the Queen's state funeral.

Will schools, shops and businesses be closed?

Schools are not expected to be open on the day of the funeral.

Most businesses and many shops will close as well, as is the case with other bank holidays.

However, the right to a bank holiday day off is not automatic. The government says it encourages "employers to respond sensitively to requests from workers who wish to take time off".

A woman places flower tributes at the gate of Buckingham PalaceIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES

Will events be cancelled?

There is no obligation to cancel or postpone events during the period of national mourning.

However, government guidance says if sporting fixture or events are planned for the day of the funeral, organisations may want to adjust the timings.

The Premier League is yet to make an announcement about football matches the weekend before the funeral. Some could be affected by a lack of resources such as policing,

When is the coronation?

No date has been set so far for the coronation, which is when King Charles is formally crowned.

The ceremony is unlikely to take place immediately, because of the planning required. Queen Elizabeth succeeded to the throne in February 1952, but was not crowned until June 1953.

A decision about whether the day of the coronation will be a bank holiday will be made nearer the time.

Will money change?

The Royal Mint won't say how or when it will start issuing coins with King Charles III's head on them.

Bank notes with the Queen on will also be gradually phased out, but all notes and coins will remain legal tender.