The Queen’s funeral: what we can expect in the next 10 days | The Queen

Day D

The official announcement from Buckingham Palace will be preceded by a “cascade of calls”, with the Prime Minister being briefed personally by the Queen’s private secretary, and the news being passed on to the Cabinet Secretary and the Privy Council Office, which coordinates the governmental work on behalf of the monarch. Only then will the “official notification” be made to the public.

Flags at all royal residences, Whitehall and other government buildings will then be flown at half-mast, with the royal family’s website switched to a black page with a short statement announcing the Queen’s death. Government websites also change to display a black banner.

The prime minister is the first member of the government to make a statement.

At Buckingham Palace, the tradition is to affix the framed official death announcement to the railings. Meanwhile, Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral will ring their bells at midday.

Ceremonial gun salutes and a minute’s silence are expected in Hyde Park and Tower Hill.

King Charles will hold his first audience with the Prime Minister. He will also meet the Earl Marshal to officially sign off on full funeral plans, with the state funeral expected to take place in 10 days. Charles will broadcast to the country and the Commonwealth on Thursday afternoon.

The death gun salute will be fired at Tower Hill.
The death gun salute will be fired at Tower Hill. Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images


The Accession Council, which includes senior government officials and secret advisers, will meet at St James’s Palace at 10am. for the new king’s main proclamation, which is read publicly from a balcony at St. James’s Palace. A further proclamation will be read at the Royal Exchange in the City of London. In the afternoon, the new king will hold an audience with the prime minister and cabinet, the leader of the opposition, the archbishop of Canterbury and the chancellor of Westminster.

Tributes will be paid to Parliament. The flags will be at full-mast for the Accession Council and will remain at half-mast for 24 hours, before returning to half-mast until the day after the funeral.


The coffin will leave Balmoral to be taken by road to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

There will be proclamations to the devolved nations in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast simultaneously at midday. Tributes to parliament are likely to continue.

The Welsh flag flies at half mast from Cardiff Castle.
The Welsh flag flies at half mast from Cardiff Castle. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

D-day+ 3

There will be a ceremonial procession from Holyrood along the Royal Mile to St Giles Cathedral for a service attended by members of the royal family. After this service, St Giles’ Cathedral will open to the public for 24 hours for a period of repose, not recumbent, because it will be in London.

According to the London Bridge plans, King Charles is expected to travel to the Palace of Westminster to receive a condolence offer. He is then due to fly to Edinburgh. In his first act as sovereign, he will attend the Palace of Holyroodhouse for the ceremony of the keys, followed by a service at St Giles’ Cathedral. He will have his first audience with Scotland’s First Minister and will also receive a condolence offer in the Scottish Parliament.


Late in the evening the coffin is expected to be taken to Edinburgh Waverley station from where it will travel by royal train overnight, arriving at St Pancras station in London the following morning.

King Charles will fly to Northern Ireland, where he is to receive a message of condolence at Hillsborough Castle and attend St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast for a service of prayer and reflection on the life of Queen Elizabeth II.

There will be a rehearsal for the procession of the late Queen’s coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall.

Guards march down the Mall during a dress rehearsal for the Queen Mother's funeral in 2002. Arrangements for the Queen's funeral will follow a similar pattern.
Guards march down the Mall during a dress rehearsal for the Queen Mother’s funeral in 2002. Photo: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

D-day + 5

The coffin is expected to arrive at Buckingham Palace a few hours before the big ceremony planned in London that day.

In the first major ceremonial event leading up to the funeral, the Queen’s coffin will be moved from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall for the start of five days in state. It is expected that the coffin will be carried in a carriage. Upon arrival, there will be a short service.

Lying to the state is an opportunity for the public to pay their respects. The coffin will be placed in a sanctuary in the middle of Westminster Hall, which will be open to the public 23 hours a day.


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King Charles will travel to Wales to attend a service at Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff, then visit the Welsh Senedd and receive an offer of condolence. He will have an audience with the Welsh First Minister.

Commonwealth detachments will begin to arrive in London.


King Charles is expected to receive governors-general and prime ministers from the kingdoms.


On the eve of the funeral, Charles will welcome foreign royal families who will attend the funeral. Overseas VIPs are expected to attend the stateside layover.


The state funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey. The coffin will be carried from Westminster Hall in a procession to the abbey. Two minutes of silence will be observed across the country. After the one-hour service, a large ceremonial procession will accompany the coffin to Hyde Park, where it will be transferred from the carriage to the state hearse and travel to Windsor. After a procession through Windsor, a ceremony will be held at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, during which the coffin will be lowered into the royal vault.

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