What time is the Queen’s vigil tonight? Who will be by Queen Elizabeth II’s side in Westminster - is it on TV

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Princess Anne became the first female member of the royal family to take part in the ritual

The national mourning period has produced a number of poignant moments as the nation comes to terms with life without the longest serving monarch in British history.

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One of the most memorable sights came during the Vigil of the Princes at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh on Monday 12 September.

A similar vigil is set to take place in London during the final few days of the mourning period. But what time is the vigil set to take place and will it be on TV?

Tens of thousands of people have filed past to pay their respects to the late monarch (Getty Images)Tens of thousands of people have filed past to pay their respects to the late monarch (Getty Images)
Tens of thousands of people have filed past to pay their respects to the late monarch (Getty Images) | Getty Images

What time is the Queen’s vigil tonight?

The vigil of Queen Elizabeth II will take place today (Friday 16 September) at Westminster Hall. The ritual will begin at 7.30pm and it is expected to last for around 15 minutes.

Is the Queen’s vigil on TV?

BBC One will provide live coverage of the Queen’s vigil as it takes place at Westminster Hall. Coverage will begin at 7.30pm until 8.15pm. The vigil will also be available to stream on the BBC iPlayer after the ritual has taken place.

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Which members of the royal family will be at the vigil?

All of the Queen’s children will take part in the vigil at Westminster Hall. The new monarch King Charles will be joined by his siblings Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward for the solemn moment of reflection.

What happens at the Queen’s vigil?

A vigil is a period of devotional watching and observance which takes place following a key event. It is associated with the mourning of a key figure and is seen as a powerful way of uniting people to honour someone’s life. Vigils are typically held in the evening after sunset.

The Vigil of the Princes is a tradition which dates back to the death of King George V in 1936. Prior to the Queen’s death there have been two royal vigils: the first was for King George V in 1936 and the second came for the Queen Mother in 2002.

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During the vigil in Edinburgh the senior members of the royal family gathered around Queen Elizabeth’s coffin and faced outwards towards the crowds of mourners. The tradition typically lasts between 10 and 15 minutes.

Members of the public continued to file past the late monarch to pay their respects whilst the four siblings stood in silence with their heads bowed as a mark of respect.

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