Will there be a bank holiday?
It is understood no decision had been made by Thursday night on whether the day of the Queen’s funeral will be a public holiday, although many will treat it as an unofficial bank holiday, with some businesses closing and workers being sent home.
The mourning period begins on Friday and lasts for 10 days. While the funeral will take place on Sunday, September 18, the palace has yet to confirm a date.
Public and private sector people involved in planning their agency’s response to the Queen’s death are expected to be flexible and give employees time off if they are particularly upset.
Will schools close?
The Department for Education said schools and colleges in England should remain open as normal during the mourning period.
In a message to headteachers and heads, the DfE said it would issue further guidance once details of the funeral were confirmed by the royal household.
The DfE said: “Schools and further education places must remain open. While normal attendance is expected, principals still have the authority to grant leaves of absence to students in exceptional circumstances.”
It said schools may want to “consider holding special activities, holding assemblies or adapting planned lessons” to honor the Queen’s life during the mourning period.
Will there be trains?
Rail strikes planned for September 15-17 were called off.
Preparations are underway for a possibly unprecedented strain on London’s transport network as large numbers of people converge on the capital in the days leading up to the funeral.
Government memos obtained by Politico in 2021 warned of a worst-case scenario in which London became “overcrowded” as mourners flocked there, with accommodation, roads, public transport, food, policing, healthcare and basic services severely stretched.
As well as possible additional services provided, visitors to London will see tributes to the Queen at stations, commemorative photos and also, potentially, travel ambassadors to help people as they make their journeys.
Will the events be cancelled?
Yes, although it depends on the organizers. Sporting events across Britain have already been canceled and the second day of the third Test between England and South Africa has been called off. The Premier League and EFL are considering canceling their scheduled weekend matches.
The BBC has canceled Last Night of the Proms.
Will the stores close?
Most shops are expected to remain open, although some will close on the day of the funeral, particularly those near the procession route.
Inside branches of major retailers, shoppers may find that promotions aren’t pushed as loudly, and in-store music will mirror the somber tone of the airwaves.
“Make sure the music in stores is appropriate and make sure things are consistent with the national mood,” the guidance states, adding that measures should be taken to ensure flags are flown at half-mast.
What about state-owned enterprises?
During the period of official mourning, most announcements, visits and press releases will be suspended. Important information will still be shared, but probably only on gov.uk. All public servants who have a public face or ceremonial roles will be asked to dress appropriately in mourning clothes.
Broadcasters are switching programming to somber music and pre-planned packages, while official social media accounts for corporate brands, organizations and charities are going “dark” pages, sometimes with just messages of condolence to the royal family.