UK national mourning for the Queen: how long is period, what does it mean, timeline, what events are cancelled

We are currently on the tenth and final day of national mourning, with the Queen’s state funeral taking place at Westminster Abbey today

Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral will be held today, as the nation prepares to say goodbye to the late monarch.

There have been travel warnings from TfL, with one million people expected to travel to London and Windsor.

The UK’s longest reigning monarch celebrated her Platinum Jubilee in June, but in recent months her condition had been deteriorating.

The Queen’s last public duty was swearing in the new Prime Minister Liz Truss at Balmoral Castle, on Tuesday 6 September.

Concerns had mounted about the Queen’s health after she was pictured with Ms Truss, with bruising visible on her hand.

Her passing has plunged the UK and the Commonwealth into mourning - here’s what you can expect in the coming days.

People gather ahead of the state funeral and burial of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey (Pic: Getty Images)

How long is the mourning period for the Queen?

There will be a 10-day mourning period for the Queen in the UK.

Flags are being flown at half-mast and books of condolence have been opened for people to pay their respects.

The Queen died in Balmoral Castle, with her coffin being flown to London on Tuesday 13 September.

She travelled by procession from Buckingham Palace to Westiminster Palace, lying-in-state until her state funeral today at Westminster Abbey. (Monday 19 September)

The Queen’s coffin lying-in-state in Westminster Hall (Pic: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

What is the guidance on the period of mourning?

The government issues guidance on the period of national mourning, describing it as “a period of time for reflection in response to the demise of the Sovereign”.

The guidance covers flying flags at half mast, where to leave floral tributes, books of condolence, the impact on travel and other public services, and whether sporting and cultural events will be cancelled.

“There is no expectation on the public or organisations to observe specific behaviours during the mourning period,” the guidance states, although people are likely to see some changes to public services and events on the day of the state funeral at least.

What happens on the 10 days of mourning? (Pic: NationalWorld/Mark Hall)

What is the timeline of the Queen’s mourning period?

According to Politico, each of the days following the Queen’s death are known as ‘D-Days’ with events taking place to commemorate the late monarch and enact plans for Prince Charles’s accession as King.

We are currently on day ten, the final day of mourning, with The Queen’s state funeral taking place at Westminster Abbey, before her hearse travels to Windsor for a private ceremony with members of the Royal Family.

Here is timeline for the Queen’s morning period:

Day 1 - Saturday 10 September

On the first day after the Queen has died, the Accession Council will meet at St James’ Palace to announce King Charles as the new monarch.

Parliament will give a message of condolence and all other business will be cancelled for the next 10 days.

The Prime Minister Liz Truss and her cabinet ministers will meet with the new King.

Day 2 - Sunday 11 September

The Queen’s body will lie in rest at Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh.

Tributes will continue in Parliament and the devolved nations.

Day 3 - Monday 12 September

King Charles will receive the motion of condolence at Westminster Hall and will begin a tour of the UK, starting with Scotland.

The Queen’s coffin will follow a procession from Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh along the Royal Mile to a service at St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh.

Day 4 - Tuesday 13 September

King Charles will arrive in Northern Ireland, where he’ll receive another motion of condolence at Hillsborough Castle and attend a service at St. Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast.

The Queen will fly from Edinburgh to England, arriving in before 7pm GMT.

Her coffin will be taken to Buckingham Palace.

Day 5 - Wednesday 14 September

The procession from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster will take place along a ceremonial route through London.

There will be a service in Westminster Hall following the coffin’s arrival.

The Hall will be open for members of the public to pay their respects from 5pm GMT.

Day 6 - day 9 - Thursday 15 September- Sunday 18 September

Between days six and nine the Queen will lie in state at Westminster Palace.

Members of the public will be able to pay their last respects.

A funeral rehearsal will take place on day six.

King Charles will travel to Wales on day seven to the Welsh parliament and attend a memorial service at Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff.

Day 10 - Monday 19 September

The Queen’s state funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey, with processions taking place in London and Windsor.

There will be a two minutes’ silence across the UK at midday.

A service will be held at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, with the Queen laid to rest in the King George VI Memorial Chapel.

The London Stock Exchange will close out respect and the day will be a bank holiday.

What events are cancelled?

As a mark of respect some events and activities will be cancelled today, however there is no obligation to do so.

A national day of mourning, it is also a bank holiday, although staff are not guaranteed the day off work.

The BBC, ITV, Sky will suspending standard programming and offer coverage of the event.

The London Stock Exchange will close and sporting events will be cancelled or postponed so as they do not clash with the funeral.

Shops and museums will close or will operate under reduced opening hours, with some places, including Kew Gardens deciding to close, whilst all comedy events will be cancelled during the national mourning period.

The train and postal strikes have also be postponed until after the Queen’s funeral.

Events including the BBC Proms and Mercury Awards have also been cancelled.

Whilst at theatres and cinemas on the day of the Queen’s funeral, the national anthem will play and audiences will observe a minute’s silence.

Mourners gather to watch the procession for the Lying-in State of Queen Elizabeth II at Hyde Park (Pic: Getty Images)

Where can I leave a floral tribute?

Locations to leave floral tributes for the Queen have been established across the UK.

As well as these designated areas, there may be more locations within your local community, information for this will be available on your local authority website.

Locations for floral tributes:


A memorial flower garden will be created in Green Park.


Flowers can be laid on the Long Walk at Cambridge Gate.


Flowers can be laid on the estate and visitors will be directed to the correct location on arrival.


Flowers can be laid at the Main Gate to the Castle.


Flowers can be laid at Hillsborough Castle.


Flowers can be laid at the areas either side of the City Hall entrance.


Flowers can be laid at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.