Will there be a day off and how do you pay your respects to the Queen?

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As the country adjusts to the death of the Queen and the reign of a new monarch, the public will be given the chance to pay their respects to the nation’s longest serving head of state.

– Is there already a new monarch?

Yes. The Prince of Wales is King. He became the sovereign immediately on the death of his mother.

– Will Charles abdicate in favour of his son William?

No. Duty will come first for Charles.

Charles and Camilla
Charles, the new King, and Camilla (Lynne Cameron/PA)

Yes, as the wife of the King. The Queen publicly backed her to use the title, and Camilla is now styled “Her Majesty The Queen”.

She is a Queen Consort, like the Queen Mother was, rather than a Queen Regnant like Elizabeth II.

– Will Charles make a televised address?

Yes. He is expected to speak to the nation, paying tribute to the Queen and pledging his duty to his service as the new sovereign.

– Will the Queen lie in state?

There is expected to be a lying in state for several days.

Members of the public will be able to file slowly past the closed coffin to pay their respects.

The Queen Mother's lying in state in 2002
People walk past the coffin of the Queen Mother in Westminster Hall in 2002 (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

There will be a state funeral at Westminster Abbey for invited guests, followed by a committal service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Both will be televised.

– Will everyone get a day off?

The Government decides on the Period of National Mourning, which is expected to run until the day after the Queen’s funeral.

Queen visits Scotland for Holyrood Week
The country will enter a period of public mourning (Jane Barlow/PA)

But it may be up to individual businesses to decide whether they close.

A two-minute silence will be held across the country.

– How do I pay my respects on the day of the funeral?

Plans include a military procession through London as the Queen’s coffin is taken to and from Westminster Abbey, while, in Windsor, the coffin is expected to be driven through the town to St George’s Chapel.

Crowds will be expected to gather along the route, but the finalised arrangements will take into account the current levels of coronavirus.

Diana's funeral
The funeral cortege of Diana, Princess of Wales, in The Mall on its way to Westminster Abbey in 1997 (John Giles/PA)

– How else can I pay my respects?

Books of condolence may be opened at royal residences, town halls across the country and at British embassies around the world.

But after Philip’s death in April 2021, an online book of condolence was set up instead to avoid the spread of Covid-19.

Buckingham Palace will release details in due course, with local councils also announcing their plans.

Book of condolence for the Queen Mother
Mourners queue outside St James’s Palace in London to sign the book of condolence for the Queen Mother in 2002 (Peter Jordan/PA)

Millions of bouquets, cards and messages were left in tribute at Kensington Palace after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997, with flowers also left for Philip in 2021.

Buckingham Palace may issue guidance on floral tributes and cards, but the public is expected to begin to leave them at the Queen’s London home and at Windsor.

Flowers at Kensington Palace
Thousands of mourners gravitated to Kensington Palace after Diana’s death to leave flowers and tributes (David Giles/PA)

– What will happen to the flowers and messages?

After Philip’s death, new floral tributes at Buckingham Palace were moved to Marlborough House – the home of the Commonwealth Secretariat – in central London each evening.

Members of the public were asked not to leave flowers in order to prevent any possible breach of Covid guidelines, and to consider a donation to a charity instead, but many still decided to do so.

Duke of Edinburgh death
Charles and Camilla view floral tributes to the Duke of Edinburgh in April 2021 (Jeremy Selwyn/Evening Standard/PA)

Tributes including teddy bears and even bottles of champagne went to residential homes and hospitals, while other toys were sent to toy libraries.

Diana flowers collected KP2
A WRVS volunteer collects floral tributes for Diana in an operation to sort the thousands of cards and distribute the toys to toy libraries (Michael Stephens/PA)

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