Ninety-six-year-old Queen Elizabeth II has died at Balmoral Castle, two days after appointing the 15th prime minister of her 70-year reign.
Buckingham Palace officially announced the monarch’s death at 6.30pm on September 8, with the Queen reported to have died peacefully in Scotland with her family around her.
A “call cascade” to break the news began with new prime minister Liz Truss being informed of the Queen’s death by her HM’s private secretary. The news then passed to the cabinet secretary and privy council office – which manages government work on the monarch’s behalf – before the “official notification” that informed the public: the Queen is dead.
In 10 days time the Queen’s coffin will be lowered into the royal vault at Windsor Castle but before then tradition and ceremony will be performed.
Ceremonial gun salutes at London’s Hyde Park and Tower Hill will mark the first day of mourning where a minute’s silence is due to be held.
King Charles III will have his first audience with prime minister Truss and meet with the Earl Marshall to sign plans for his mother’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey.
In parliament, MPs and peers will pay their tributes. Flags will fly at full mast for the Accession Council until day two of mourning, when they will be lowered to fly at half-mast until the day after the funeral.
The principle proclamation of the new king will take place at St James Palace where the Accession Council – made up of senior government figures and privy counsellors – will meet before proclaiming King Charles III from a balcony at the palace. Another proclamation will be made at the City of London’s Royal Exchange. Proclamations will be also heard in Cardiff, Belfast and Edinburgh.
The new king is expected to have audiences with prime minister Truss and her cabinet, the leader of the opposition Sir Keir Starmer, the archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and dean of Westminster David Hoyle. Charles will not address the country and Commonwealth until later in the week.
After receiving a motion of condolence from Westminster, Charles III is expected to fly to Edinburgh for his first act as monarch – the ceremony of the keys at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. After the service at St Giles’ cathedral the king is expected to meet Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon and receive a motion of condolence at the devolved Scottish parliament.
The king will also be visiting Belfast for a message of condolence from Hillsborough Castle and a service of prayer at St Anne’s Cathedral. And in Cardiff Charles will attend a service at Llandaff Cathedral before receiving a motion of condolence from the Welsh Senedd.
Foreign royal families arriving for the state funeral will be met by the king on the eve of the Queen’s state funeral.
Queen’s final journey
The nation will pause for two minutes silence during the funeral service to be held in Westminster Abbey following a ceremonial procession to take the coffin from its catafalque in Westminster Hall.
The Queen will have been lying-in-state for five days at Westminster Hall which is being kept open for 23-hours every day to allow members of the public to pay their respects.
The first move of the coffin will be from Balmoral, by road to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. From there a ceremonial procession will carry it along the Royal Mile to a royal family service at St Giles’ Cathedral. Here a period of lying in rest will keep the cathedral open for 24 hours for the Queen’s subjects to pay respect.
The Queen’s final journey from Scotland will deliver her coffin to Buckingham Palace. A gun carriage will carry the coffin through London, from the palace to Westminster Hall for the five days of lying in state.
Following the service at Westminster Abbey a grand ceremonial procession will take the coffin by gun-carriage to Hyde Park.A state hearse will take the Queen’s coffin to Windsor Castle and a committal service at St George’s Chapel will complete her journey wihen the coffin is lowered into the royal vault.