Queen's death: How long is the mourning period?

·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
·4 min read
A couple outside Buckingham Palace, London, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday. Picture date: Friday September 9, 2022.
A couple outside Buckingham Palace, London, following the death of the Queen. (PA)

The country has entered a period of mourning after the Queen's death at the age of 96.

Her Majesty passed peacefully at Balmoral on Thursday, meaning her crown has passed onto her eldest son, who will be known as King Charles III.

In a statement, Buckingham Palace said the King wishes for the mourning to be observed from now until seven days after the Queen’s funeral.

The date of the funeral is yet to be confirmed.

A palace spokesperson said royal mourning will be observed by members of the royal family, royal household staff and representatives of the Royal Household on official duties, together with troops committed to ceremonial duties.

File photo dated 06/09/2022 of Queen Elizabeth II waiting in the Drawing Room before receiving Liz Truss for an audience at Balmoral, Scotland, where she invited the newly elected leader of the Conservative party to become Prime Minister and form a new government. The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon, Buckingham Palace has announced. Issue date: Thursday September 8, 2022.
The Queen pictured on her final public engagement two days before her death. (PA)

The palace said on Friday morning: “Following the death of Her Majesty the Queen, it is His Majesty the King’s wish that a period of royal mourning be observed from now until seven days after the Queen’s funeral.

“The date of the funeral will be confirmed in due course.”

King Charles and the Queen Consort left Balmoral earlier this morning to make the trip to Buckingham Palace for the first time since the Queen's death.

The pair received heartfelt condolences from the public outside the Palace, and Camilla appeared close to tears at the end of the 15-minute walkabout after the couple shook every outstretched hand and acknowledged words of sympathy from the crowds.

Read more: Queen’s coffin to lie in state in keeping with historic tradition

King Charles III and the Queen Consort arriving at Buckingham Palace, London after travelling from Balmoral following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday. Picture date: Friday September 9, 2022. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/Empics
King Charles III and the Queen Consort arriving at Buckingham Palace. (PA)
Members of The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery during the Gun Salute at London's Hyde Park to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday. Picture date: Friday September 9, 2022. See PA story DEATH Queen. Photo credit should read: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire
Members of The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery during the Gun Salute at London's Hyde Park to mark the death of the Queen.(PA)

Royal salutes were fired in Hyde Park by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and at the Tower of London by the Honourable Artillery Company, with one round being fired for each year of the Queen’s life.

Royal residences – including The Queen’s Gallery and the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, and The Queen’s Gallery in Edinburgh – will close until after the Queen’s funeral.

Balmoral Castle and Sandringham House, the Queen’s private estates, will also close for this period.

Hillsborough Castle, the monarch’s official residence in Northern Ireland, will also be closed.

Guidance has been issued to members of the public who wish to leave floral tributes at royal residences.

King Charles III and the Queen view tributes left outside Buckingham Palace, London, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday. Picture date: Friday September 9, 2022.
The King and Queen Consort view tributes left outside Buckingham Palace, London, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. (PA)

Mourners at Buckingham Palace will be guided to lay floral tributes at dedicated sites in Green Park or Hyde Park, with flowers left outside the gates of the palace being moved to the Green Park floral tribute garden.

At Windsor Castle, floral tributes can be left at Cambridge Gate on the Long Walk, and these flowers will be brought inside the castle every evening and placed on the Castle Chapter grass on the south side of St George’s Chapel and Cambridge Drive.

Flowers and messages of condolence are laid at Windsor Castle, Berkshire, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday. Picture date: Friday September 9, 2022.
Flowers and messages of condolence are laid at Windsor Castle, Berkshire. (PA)

At the Sandringham Estate, members of the public are encouraged to leave floral tributes at the Norwich Gates, while at Balmoral Castle floral tributes can be left at the main gate.

People at the Palace of Holyroodhouse are encouraged to give floral tributes to the wardens at the entrance to The Queen’s Gallery, and those flowers will be laid on the forecourt grass in front of the North Turret of the Palace.

At Hillsborough Castle, floral tributes can be laid on the Castle Forecourt in front of the main gates.

Lady Mary Elizabeth Peters lays flowers at the gates of Hillsborough Castle in County Down, as she pays her respects following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday.Picture date: Friday September 9, 2022. See PA story DEATH Queen UlsterHillsborough. Photo credit should read: Mark Marlow/PA Wire
Lady Mary Elizabeth Peters lays flowers in memory of the Queen at the gates of Hillsborough Castle in County Down, Northern Ireland. (PA)

Flags at royal residences were at half mast on Thursday and will remain half-masted until 8am on the morning after the final day of royal mourning.

The palace said the half-masting of flags at royal residences does not apply to the Royal Standard and the Royal Standard in Scotland when the King is in residence, as they are always flown at full mast.

Floral tributes are laid at the gates of Balmoral in Scotland following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday. Picture date: Friday September 9, 2022.
Floral tributes are laid at the gates of Balmoral in Scotland following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. (PA)

Guidance on flags at other public buildings has been issued by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

There are no physical books of condolence at the royal residences.

An online book of condolence is available on the royal website.