A Day-by-Day Guide to the Accession

A Day-by-Day Guide to the Accession

Following the death of the Queen, certain events take place in an order that has been established by custom and tradition.

DAY 1 - When the Queen dies

  1. Her Private Secretary will immediately pass a message to the PM of the day
  2. The PM will set Operation London Bridge into action; the Cabinet Secretary and Privy Council Office will be informed and disseminate the news down strict lines of communication
  3. All Governments where the Queen is Head of State will be informed by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office via their Global Response Centre
  4. All Commonwealth nations will be informed by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office via their Global Response Centre
  5. All Royal and government websites/social media will go black and the publication of non-urgent content will be stopped
  6. A notice will be placed at the gates of Buckingham Palace, which will be repeated on the Royal Family website and all media will be informed
  7. All BBC channels will stop and run a dedicated feed to the news; all newsreaders will be dressed in black and BBC branding will be changed from red to black
  8. All flags will fly at half-mast and books of condolence will be set out; ceremonial maces, chains etc will be covered in black
  9. Official 12 days of mourning begins
  10. There will be a 96-gun salute in Hyde Park

    It is to be expected that the stock exchange, businesses etc will close for the day as a mark of respect.

DAY 2/3

  1. The Accession Council will meet at St James’s Palace
  2. Parliament is recalled and the government will swear allegiance to the new monarch and express condolences on the demise of the Queen
  3. The King will meet with the inaugural Privy Council meeting, comprising of the UK members of the Privy Council, the most senior Cabinet members, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord President of the Council (a senior Cabinet minister, usually acting as Leader of the House of Commons) in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace.
  4. The Inaugural Privy Council Meeting will see the King make his inaugural Declaration, in which he will confirm his regnal name, the style to be used for his wife, now expected to be Queen, and make his first official speech as monarch. He will also swear an oath to support the Church of Scotland, approve the arrangements of the lying in state and funeral of the Queen, and decree that the Great Seal of Elizabeth can remain in use until replaced by his own (this ensures the continuation of public business).
  5. Orders are given for the Proclamation of the Accession Council to be cried in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

DAY 4-11

  1. The Queen’s coffin will be taken from Balmoral to Edinburgh.
  2. After laying over night at Holyrood House, there will be a procession to St Giles' Cathedral where a service of remembrance will be held. The Queen will lay at rest over night in St Giles' allowing members of the public to pay their respects.
  3. On Tuesday 13th September, the Queen's coffin will be flown to London and then by road to Buckingham Palace, where she will lay at rest over night.
  4. On Tuesday 13th September, the King and Queen Consort will visit Belfast.
  5. On Wednesday 14th, at 14.22, the Queen's coffin will leave Buckingham Palace on a gun carriage, accompanied by the King, other members of the Royal Family, and a military guard. The Procession will proceed down The Mall, through Horseguards, along Whitehall and on to Westminster Hall. The Procession will arrive at Westminster at 15.00.
  6. At 17.00 Westminster Hall will be opened to the public.
  7. On 16th September, the Vigil of the Princes will be held. 
  8. On 17th September, the Queen's grandchildren will hold vigil: The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Sussex, Zara Tindall, Peter Phillips, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Viscount Severn and Lady Louise Mountbatten Windsor
  9. The Queen will lie in state until the early hours of the morning of the funeral, to allow as many members of the public to pay their respects. It is expected that the queue will be very long and there could be a wait of up to 12 hours.


  1. The day of the funeral will be Monday 19th September, which will be an official holiday for the whole UK
  2. The Stock Exchange will close again for the day as will many/all businesses
  3. Big Ben will chime at 11am when the Queen’s coffin will be taken to Westminster Abbey; the funeral will be attended by 2000 specially invited guests
  4. At midday there will be a national two minutes’ silence
  5. After the funeral the Queen’s coffin will be taken to Windsor where the Queen will be laid to rest next to the Duke of Edinburgh in St George’s Chapel.
  6. The King has decreed that there will be further seven days of Royal Mourning.

ongoing changes

  1. New currency, stamps, passports, police and military uniforms will be issued and swapped out for the old
  2. The Great Seal of Elizabeth II will be replaced by that of Charles III.
  3. The national anthem changes to God Save the King.
  4. QCs become KCs.

about a year later

  1. Coronation will take place of Charles III ; this will again be a national holiday; this usually takes place in Westminster Abbey and is usually conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury
  2. It is possible that there will also be an Investiture proclaiming William as Prince of Wales.


MPA House
66 Baker Street
Weybridge KT13 8AL
United Kingdom
Get In Touch
Subscription Enquiries
+44 (0)330 3339699
General Enquiries
+44 (0)20 3950 5240
Join our weekly newsletter
Subscription Form
MPA House
66 Baker Street
Weybridge KT13 8AL
United Kingdom
Designed by Anna Ocipinska. Developed by BuiltByGo. © 2022 Debrett’s. All Rights Reserved
My cart
Your cart is empty.

Looks like you haven't made a choice yet.