Skip to main contentSkip to footer

The Queen's death: Day-by-day guide to what happens next

Everything you need to know about the 10-day mourning period

the queen day by day death explanation
Kate Thomas
Lifestyle Managing Editor
Updated: 13 September 2022
Share this:

The Queen's sad death aged 96 at Balmoral Castle has triggered a 10-day mourning period. Her son, Prince Charles, is now officially King Charles III, and the next few days will be filled with major changes for the royal family.

RELATED: King Charles pictured for the first time following the Queen's death

The arrangements for the event of the Queen's passing, codenamed London Bridge, have long been planned in consultation with the Government. They will incorporate Operation Unicorn, which are the contingency plans for the death of the Queen taking place in Scotland. Here is the day-by-day account of what has happened so far, what we can expect, culminating in the Queen's funeral, taking place on Monday 19 September.

WATCH: What happens after Queen dies explained

Day of Death - Thursday September 8

The plans for the aftermath of the Queen's passing traditionally see her day of death dubbed D-Day or D+0.

READ: King Charles III: his statement, his new title, and what comes next 

MORE: The Queen's life in fashion: unwavering loyalty, stoic simplicity and of course, unrivalled majesty

However, due to the announcement coming late in the day on Thursday September 8, plans have shifted by one day in order for the arrangements to take place, so D+0 is now considered Friday.

Prince Charles and Princess Anne dashed to their mother the Queen's bedside at Balmoral Castle first, having already been present in Scotland for royal engagements. The Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex, and the Duke of Cambridge, now heir to the throne, travelled to Aberdeenshire via plane, while the Duke of Sussex arrived separately later on.

Also joining them Balmoral were Camilla, Queen Consort, and the Countess of Wessex.

prince charles new king© Photo: Getty Images

The Prince of Wales is now known as King Charles III

D+0 – Friday September 9

King Charles III and Camilla returned to London following an overnight stay at Balmoral on Thursday.

Audience with the PM: New sovereign Charles had his first audience as monarch with Prime Minister Liz Truss.

Funeral plans: Charles met the Earl Marshal (the Duke of Norfolk) who is in charge of the accession and the Queen's funeral, in order to approve the carefully choreographed schedule for the next few days.

windsor castle half mast flag© Photo: Getty Images

Union flags are flying at half-mast on royal buildings

Flags: Union flags on royal buildings flew at half-mast

Bells and gun salutes: Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral and Windsor Castle all saw bells being tolled. Gun salutes – one for every year of the Queen’s life – were fired in Hyde Park and at other stations.

Charles' televised address: The King made an address to the nation at 6pm, paying tribute to the Queen and pledging his duty to his service as the new sovereign.

He said of his "beloved mother", the late Elizabeth II: "We owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example."

He added, acknowledging the sad loss of the Queen's husband the Duke of Edinburgh just 17 months ago: "To my darling Mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late Papa, I want simply to say this: thank you.

king charles address© Photo: Getty Images

King Charles made his first televised address to the nation

"Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years. May 'flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest'."

The King pledged his whole life in service as the new sovereign just as the Queen did, saying: "That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today."

DISCOVER: How King Charles III will be addressed by fellow royals

Service at St Paul’s Cathedral: The Prime Minister and senior ministers attended a public service of remembrance at St Paul's in central London.

D+1 – Saturday September 10

Accession Council: Charles was formally proclaimed as the new sovereign at St James's Palace in London during a meeting of The Accession Council. First, the Privy Council gathered without the King to proclaim the new monarch and arrange business relating to the proclamation.

Privy Council: Charles then held his very first Privy Council, accompanied by fellow Privy Counsellors, Camilla and William, making his personal declaration and oath.

The Garter King of Arms then made the first public proclamation of the new sovereign from the Friary Court balcony at St James's Palace, with proclamations following across the country. A second proclamation was read at the Royal Exchange in London.

Flags: Union flags returned to full-mast at 1pm and remained there for 24 hours to coincide with the proclamations. They then went back down to half-mast.

Audience with the Prime Minister: Charles also held an audience with the new Prime Minister and the Cabinet.

william touching moment© Photo: Getty Images

Meghan, Harry, William and Kate view floral tributes to the Queen in Windsor

Windsor Walkabout: The newly anointed Prince and Princess of Wales were joined by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to view floral tributes to the Queen outside Windsor Castle on Saturday. The two couples spent 40 minutes speaking with members of the crowd.

Gun salutes: Gun salutes took place at Hyde Park and the Tower of London.

Court mourning: A period of royal mourning for members of the royal family and royal households will be observed until seven days after the Queen's funeral on 19 September, ending on 26 September.

National mourning: The Government has confirmed that national mourning will continue until the end of the day of the state funeral on 19 September. A Bank Holiday has also been approved for the day of the funeral.

queen balmoral last photo

The Queen's poignant last photograph

D+2 – Sunday September 11

Coffin procession: The Queen's coffin was taken by road to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, her official Scottish residence. The cortege was accompanied by the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence. The coffin remained in the Throne Room at Holyroodhouse overnight, enabling staff to pay their final respects.

Proclamations were read in the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland devolved parliaments in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

D+3 – Monday September 12

Motion of Condolence: Meanwhile in London, King Charles III and the Queen Consort visited Westminster Hall in London where both Houses of Parliament expressED condolences to the new monarch.

charles camilla parliament

King Charles III addressed Parliament on Monday

King Charles III travels back to Scotland: King Charles and Camilla flew back to Edinburgh where they attended a Ceremony of the Keys. The King also inspected the guard of honour.

SEE: King Charles III takes the throne with the Queen Consort next to him in Parliament

Procession continues: Charles led the royal family in procession as the Queen's coffin was taken from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to nearby St Giles' Cathedral for a service of thanksgiving. Members of the public were able to view the coffin and pay their respects for 24 hours from 5pm.

Audiences: The King held audiences with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Alison Johnstone.

Vigil of the Princes: In the evening, senior members of the royal family mounted a vigil at the cathedral in honour of their mother.

D+4 – Tuesday September 13

Coffin is flown to London: The Queen's coffin will be flown to London by RAF aircraft, accompanied by the Princess Royal. It will then be taken to rest at Buckingham Palace's Bow Room.

King Charles visits Northern Ireland: Charles and Camilla travelled to Northern Ireland on Tuesday to visit Hillsborough Castle in order to view a special exhibition about the late monarch's association with the province. The King met with Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris.

They will subsequently travel to St Anne's Cathedral for a service of prayer and reflection, before returning to London.

Rehearsal: A rehearsal for the procession of the coffin from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster is expected to take place.

prince charles queen service

A service of thanksgiving took place at St Giles' Cathedral

D+5 – Wednesday September 14

Procession: The King will lead the procession behind the gun carriage carrying her coffin, joined by, members of the royal family and senior staff of the late Queen and King's households. The coffin, adorned with the Imperial State Crown, will be transported on a gun carriage of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from Buckingham Palace.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will conduct a short service after the coffin arrives.

Operation Marquee: The Queen's lying in state will begin in Westminster Hall following a ceremonial procession through London. This phase is known as Operation Marquee, and is expected to last four days.

DISCOVER: What will happen to the Queen's precious jewels?

SHOP: 6 books about Queen Elizabeth II’s reign

Operation Feather: People will be able to file past the coffin to pay their respects, echoing the Queen Mother's lying in state in 2002. The process of managing the queues is known as Operation Feather.

Those wishing to pay their respects will be able to file solemnly past the Queen’s coffin 24 hours a day from 5pm on Wednesday September 14 until 6.30am on the day of the funeral, Monday September 19.

Vigil of the Princes: Senior royals are also expected to pay their own tributes, standing guard around the coffin. This tradition is known as the Vigil of the Princes.

queen tributes buckingham palace

Tributes have amassed outside Buckingham Palace

D+6 – Thursday September 15

Lying in state continues

Rehearsal: A rehearsal is likely to take place for the state funeral procession.

D+7-9 – Friday September 16 – Sunday September 18

Lying in state continues 

Funeral plans: Heads of state begin to arrive for the funeral.

Lying in state continues

D+10 – Monday September 19

State funeral: The Queen's state funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey in central London. The Queen's coffin will process on a gun carriage to the Abbey, pulled by naval ratings (sailors) using ropes.

funeral procession prince charles

The Queen's funeral will take place on Monday 19 September 

The televised service, which will include a national two minutes' silence, will see King Charles and senior members of the royal family following behind the coffin.

Heads of state, prime ministers and presidents, European royals and key figures from public life will also gather in the Abbey, which can hold a congregation of 2,000.

Private service: A private interment service with senior members of the royal family will be held later that evening.

RELATED: Prince William leaves Balmoral for emotional reunion with Kate and the kids after Queen's death

Final resting place: Following the funeral, the Queen's coffin will be taken to St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for a televised committal service.

The King George VI memorial chapel, an annex to the main chapel, will be the Queen’s final resting place. This is where her mother and father were buried, and is where her sister Princess Margaret's ashes are located.

Finally, the Queen's late husband Prince Philip's coffin will be transported from the Royal Vault to the memorial chapel.

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.

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.