P.E.I. officials extending 'sobriety and respect' protocols until Queen's funeral

·2 min read
Pallbearers carry the coffin of Queen Elezabeth II at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on Sept. 11. The funeral is set for Sept. 19 in London. (Alkis Konstantinidis/AFP/Getty Images - image credit)
Pallbearers carry the coffin of Queen Elezabeth II at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on Sept. 11. The funeral is set for Sept. 19 in London. (Alkis Konstantinidis/AFP/Getty Images - image credit)

Don't expect much news from the P.E.I. government this week, unless it has to do with the aftermath of the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The British monarch died on Thursday at the age of 96, after 70 years on the throne.

Under P.E.I.'s protocols, there was a three-day period after her death in which the province could make no announcements dealing with anything unrelated to her passing.

Although that period has now passed, the province is still limiting formal announcements and interviews with media until after the Queen's funeral on the morning of Sept. 19.

"I think all of us want to maintain an air of sobriety and respect for Her Majesty," said Debbie Atkinson, the province's chief of protocol.

"It's a big deal. It's a big deal certainly in my world, and in the thoughts and minds of a lot of Canadians. So we want to be respectful of everything we do in this time."

Steve Bruce/CBC
Steve Bruce/CBC

For example, the province had been planning to give an update Monday about how it would deal with the homeless encampment near Holland College in Charlottetown.

Instead, it sent this statement: "The Province is following the lead of the Government of Canada with respect to the Demise of the Sovereign. Out of respect, the Government of Prince Edward Island is limiting events, announcements and social media activity during the period of mourning."

Flags lowered, 21-gun salute

Protocol also called for the P.E.I. government to lower all its flags to half-mast on Thursday after the Queen's death was confirmed.

On Monday, there was a 21-gun salute at Charlottetown's Victoria Park after P.E.I.'s lieutenant-governor formally proclaimed the accession of Elizabeth II's son Charles III as King of Canada.

Atkinson said the protocols for this moment in history have been in the works for years.

"I've been in this role for two years and that has been a big piece of what I've been doing. We've planned, after we found out about the death of the Queen, exactly what happens from the moment she passes until the mourning period is over."

Leading up to the Queen's Sept. 19 funeral, Islanders will be able to sign books of condolence at one of six locations: Government House, the Legislative Assembly, and provincial libraries in Souris, Montague, Summerside and Tignish. For those not able to sign in person, an online book of condolence is also available.

Some other Commonwealth countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, have already announced they will enact federal holidays on Sept. 19.

There has been no word on whether Canada will follow suit with a federally declared holiday, or P.E.I. with a provincial one.