Skip to main contentSkip to footer

What happens when the Queen passes away? Inside royal protocol

There are royal protocols to be followed when the monarch dies

queen dies
Melanie Macleod
Melanie MacleodWellness Editor
Share this:

Her Majesty the Queen has passed away aged 96, with state funeral arrangements currently underway to pay a fitting farewell to the deeply beloved monarch.

READ: Why Princess Eugenie heard the news of the Queen 2,000 miles away

Upon the death of the Queen, there are strict royal protocols to be followed, with plans held by Buckingham Palace, the government and the BBC.

WATCH: The Queen's jubilee through the years

In her final hours, it is believed that the Queen’s senior doctor, Huw Thomas, will be in charge. He will look after Her Majesty, control access to her room and consider what information should be made public.

Upon his say-so, bulletins will be released from the palace to the public regarding what is going on. For example, before his passing, the Queen's grandfather, George V's doctor said: "The King's life is moving peacefully towards its close."

READ: Prince William and Prince Charles travel to Balmoral after concerns for Queen's health

MORE: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry head to Balmoral following Queen health concerns

Following family, the first person to be informed of the Queen's passing will be the prime minister, in this case, Liz Truss, who spent time with Her Majesty earlier this week.

The news will then be released to the 15 governments outside the UK where the Queen is also the head of state, and the 36 other nations of the Commonwealth.

queen

The prime minister will be first to know of the Queen's passing

An announcement will then be released to the press, at the same time, a footman in mourning clothes pin a black-edged notice to the gates of Buckingham Palace, announcing news of Her Majesty's passing.

SEE: The Queen's four children and Prince William head to Balmoral after concerns for her health was confirmed

While he does this, the palace website will be transformed into a single page, showing the same note on a dark background.

death announcement

A note will be placed on the gates of Buckingham Palace

When Her Majesty dies, radios will play only calm, soothing instrumental music, plus news broadcasters will be dressed in black. The news of her passing will likely be repeated every 15 minutes,

What will happen to the Queen's body after she dies?

A Scottish ritual is said to be in place for the Queen passing away at Balmoral.

According to The Guardian, the Queen’s body will lie at rest in her smallest palace, Holyroodhouse, in Edinburgh.

queen black

The Queen's body will travel by train from Scotland to London

Then the coffin will be carried up the Royal Mile to St Giles’s cathedral, for a service of reception, before being put on board the Royal Train at Waverley station where it will travel to London, with crowds expected at level crossings and train platforms the length of the country.

Upon arrival in London, the Queen's body returns to the throne room in Buckingham Palace.

From there, funeral plans will be made, as will a plan for Charles' ascension to the thrown, preparations for which will have been underway for many years.

Make sure you never miss a ROYAL story! Sign up to our newsletter to get all of our celebrity and royal news delivered directly to your inbox.