On Thursday 8th of September HRH Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully at her Scottish estate in Balmoral. Her majesty was the UK’s longest-serving monarch, spending 70 years on the throne. The Queen remained a constant figure for the people of Britain, the commonwealth and the world during the period of immense social change through which she reigned.
Her son, Charles, assumed the role of King Charles III upon his mother’s death. His wife, Camilla, now holds the title of Queen Consort and their former titles ‘Prince and Princess of Wales’ have been awarded to Prince William and Kate.
The national mourning period following Her Majesty’s death lasts 10 days and there are a number of different ceremonial procedures taking place to mark her death and King Charles’s accession to the throne. This included the Reading of the Accession by The Mayor of Basildon in the town centre on Sunday September 11th.
As The Queen passed away in Scotland, a hearse transported the coffin to Edinburgh airport and on Tuesday September 13th, it will be flown to England and driven via the A40 and London to Buckingham Palace. On Wednesday, it will be taken in procession by gun carriage to the palace of Westminster. Here, the coffin will be ‘lying in state’ for four days. People are invited to visit the palace to pay their respects.
The building will be open for 24 hours a day, and queues are expected to be extremely long. If you are thinking of visiting to pay your respects, be warned that there will not be many opportunities to sit and public transport is expected to be very busy. You may have to queue into the night. You can find more information here.
The Queen’s state funeral is being held on Monday 19th September. It will be a bank holiday and a two minutes silence will be conducted across the country.
This is, of course, a time of great sadness within the country and many people may be experiencing feelings of grief, loss or confusion. If you would like to pay your respects locally, a book of condolences is available to sign at the Basildon Centre. You can also place floral tributes at various places across the borough:
- Bronze relief of HM The Queen, St. Martin’s Square, Basildon
- The green area outside the cafe, Lake Meadows, Billericay
- The Beacon at Paddocks Community Hall, Laindon
- Avenue of Jubilee trees, Howard Diamond Jubilee Park, Pitsea
- The Beacon at Wickford Memorial Park, Wickford