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Death of the Queen Mother: National Mourning

Death of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother: Government guidance on national mourning

[31 March 2002]

Buckingham Palace have announced today the arrangements for the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. This will take place at 11.30 am on Tuesday, 9 April, at Westminster Abbey. Parliament will be recalled for 11.30 am on Wednesday, 3 April, to enable both Houses to pay tributes to The Queen Mother. Her coffin will be taken, by ceremonial procession, from St James's Palace to Westminster Hall on Friday, 5 April, and she will then Lie-in-State from the afternoon of Friday, 5 April, until Monday, 8 April.

Following discussion with the Royal Family the Government has issued the guidance below for the public on the observance of mourning during this period.

1. Members of the public who wish to pay their respects to The Queen Mother can do so as she Lies-in-State at Westminster Hall, from 2 pm to 6 pm on Friday, 5 April, and then from 8 am to 6 pm each day from Saturday, 6 April, to Monday, 8 April. (Nearest Tube: Westminster).

2. In addition books of condolence are available to the public at St James's Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and will be available at Windsor Castle from Monday, 1 April. Condolence e-mails may be sent to The Queen Mother's memorial web site at www.royal.gov.uk

3. Flags on all public buildings are being flown at half-mast until midnight on 9 April.

4. Neither the Royal Family nor the Government expect sporting fixtures scheduled between now and the day of the funeral to be cancelled or postponed, although ultimately this is a decision for the organisers. It is suggested, however, that for major fixtures, players wear black armbands and that fixtures are preceded by a period of silence in memory of Her Majesty.

5. Similarly, theatres, cinemas and other places of public entertainment may wish to mark The Queen Mother's death in some way, for example through the playing of the National Anthem or observing a period of silence.

6. Given the timing of the funeral it is not expected that large-scale sporting or similar public events will be scheduled to take place at the time of the funeral procession and service. However in the event of a clash, the organisers may wish to consider whether the event can be cancelled or postponed, at least for the duration of the funeral procession and service.

7. Schools are expected to remain open but the Royal Family and the Government suggest that on the day of the funeral head-teachers may wish to consider whether the school timetable might be adjusted to enable children to mark the event in some appropriate way, for example by viewing the funeral on television.

31 March 2002

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