The Demise of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II: National Mourning Guidance

Buckingham Palace has announced the demise of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be preceded by a period of Lying-in-State. Dates and further details of these events will be announced by the Royal Household in due course.

A period of National Mourning for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has now started. The period of National Mourning will continue until the end of the day of the State Funeral. The Royal Family will undertake a separate period of Royal Mourning, subject to the wishes of The King.


National Mourning is a period of time for reflection in response to the demise of the Sovereign, or other member of the Royal Family or a very prominent person in national life.

This guide is intended to provide the public, businesses and institutions with an explanation of National Mourning, and outline some practical advice on how you or your organisation may wish to observe public mourning during this period.

It covers, among other matters:

  • Half-masting of flags;
  • How observing mourning can affect the continuation of business, events and sporting fixtures;
  • Floral tributes; and
  • Books of condolence.

Nevertheless, mourning is very personal and we anticipate individuals, families, communities and organisations may want to mark Her Majesty’s demise in their own way. There is no expectation on the public or organisations to observe specific behaviours during the mourning period.

Public services will continue as usual, although there may be some changes to service availability on the day of the State Funeral.

As well as the UK government, the devolved administrations, Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories will be observing National Mourning and will issue separate guidance.

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