What happens next following Queen Elizabeth II's death - from mourning periods to funeral plans

As the world mourns the loss of the UK's longest-serving monarch, we explain everything we know so far about the Queen's funeral plans and what happens next

Queen Elizabeth II death what happens next?
(Image credit: Getty)

Following the announcement of Queen Elizabeth II's death, many people across the UK and around the world are taking time to mourn the loss of the only monarch they've ever known.

Queen montage as the queen passes away aged 96

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As the United Kingdom and people around the world come to terms with the loss of Queen Elizabeth II, plans are already in motion for Her Majesty's funeral, and King Charles was formally proclaimed king during a historic ceremony at St. James's Palace that was televised for the first time ever on Saturday September 10th. 

While there are many changes to come to terms with following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the Royal Family and the UK will first observe a 10 day mourning period until the date of Her Majesty's funeral, which has now been confirmed as Monday 19th September and will take place at Westminster Abbey. 

How many days of mourning is there following the Queen's death?


(Image credit: Getty)

There are officially 10 days of national mourning that will begin on Friday, September 9, 2022. 

What will follow will be a series of arrangements, both public and private, that will commemorate the Queen's life and reign.

The flags at royal residences will fly at half mast, and across the nation, tributes will be made and services will be held - as will military honors. This included, on Friday afternoon, a gun salute in London's Hyde Park - with one round fired for every year of Her Majesty's life and a remembrance service at St Paul's Cathedral on Friday, which was attended by the prime minister and other senior ministers.

What is Operation Unicorn?

Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, where the Queen takes up summer residence

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As the Queen died in her beloved Balmoral Castle in Scotland, 'Operation Unicorn' came into force. According to the Guardian, this is a contingency plan that was set in stone in case the Queen died in Scotland.

The Queen's coffin is currently in the Ballroom at Balmoral Castle, but on Sunday 11th September it will be taken to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh before a procession will see Her Majesty's coffin taken to lie in St Giles’ cathedral on Monday, September 12th, allowing close family members to pay their respects. It's believed that the King and Queen Consort will return to Scotland for this somber occasion.

The following day the Queen's coffin will be flown to London.

When and where will the Queen's funeral happen?

Queen Elizabeth II takes a salute from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The Queen's state funeral will take place 10 days after her passing, and the date of Her Majesty's funeral has been confirmed as Monday, September 19, 2022. 

There will be a public holiday on the day of the funeral in the United Kingdom so that all those who wish to can pay their respects to the late Queen.

Her Majesty will lie in state at Westminster Hall before the funeral which will be at 11am on September 19th at Westminster Abbey, allowing members of the public to pay their respects to the Queen should they wish to, ahead of the funeral.

Where will the Queen be buried?

Queen Elizabeth II at the Balmoral Estate Cricket Pavilion

(Image credit: Photo by Andrew Milligan-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Following the funeral at Westminster Abbey, Her Majesty will be taken to Windsor Castle and to her final resting place, which will be in St George’s Chapel. Queen Elizabeth II will be buried alongside her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, her beloved parents and her sister, Princess Margaret.

Who made the speech announcing the Queen's death?

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales during the State Opening of Parliament

(Image credit: Photo by Paul Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The sad news of The Queen's passing was first announced on BBC News, following confirmation from Buckingham Palace. After this, the UK's prime minister Liz Truss made an official speech outside of 10 Downing Street and King Charles III made a statement on behalf of the Royal Family.

Aoife Hanna
Junior News Editor

Aoife is an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly woman&home's junior news editor and a contributing writer at Bustle, her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica and EVOKE.

Her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.