Guidance for the Period of National Mourning

Published: 13 April 2021

1. Introduction

Buckingham Palace has released details of the funeral of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. Details of these announcements are available on the Royal Website.

A period of national mourning has commenced and will conclude on 17 April inclusive.

The Government understands that this is a difficult and sad time for many, and that members of the public will wish to pay their respects. In order to protect each other and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission we are asking the public not to visit Royal Residences or gather in public at this time, and to continue to follow all COVID-19 regulations in the place you reside. In particular, we respectfully ask that the public does not attempt to attend any events associated with the funeral of His Royal Highness.

2. Ceremonial Arrangements

His Royal Highness will lie-at-rest in Windsor Castle ahead of the funeral service, but this will not be open to the public.

The Royal Ceremonial Funeral of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh will be held on 17 April at 15.00 in St. George’s Chapel. Further details can be found at the Royal Website.

3. Flags and Silences

Union flags flying from Royal Residences and Government Buildings were half-masted on 9 April and will remain half-masted until 08.00 on 18 April, the day after the funeral.

Businesses or other organisations wishing to pay their respects by half-masting flags or holding silences should follow the guidance that has been issued by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

A national one minute silence will take place at 15.00 on the day of the funeral.

4. Flowers

In order to comply with COVID-19 restrictions in place, and to prevent the spread of infection, we respectfully ask members of the public not to lay flowers or other memorial items such as candles, messages and mementoes, at Royal Residences or other public spaces.

5. Tributes

We understand that many people would like to express their grief on the death of His Royal Highness. Making a donation to one of His Royal Highness’ many patronages is a fitting way of paying tribute to his remarkable legacy. A list of His Royal Highness’ patronages, and how you can donate can be found on the Royal Website.

6. Books of Condolence

A Book of Condolence is available online at the Royal Website. Unfortunately, in order to comply with COVID-19 restrictions in place, and to reduce the risk of transmission, Books of Condolence will not be available in public buildings for people to sign in person.

7. Websites and Social Media

Online communication channels may also choose to reflect the death of The Duke of Edinburgh and participate in the period of national mourning. Organisations, such as those of which His Royal Highness was patron, could modify the homepage of their site to feature a visual indication of mourning, for example the use of black edging or black banners.

8. Sporting Events

The decision as to whether sporting fixtures continue to go ahead is at the discretion of organisers. Organisers may wish to consider using black armbands and observing a silence before matches are played.

9. Business

Businesses may wish to make arrangements for observing the national one minute silence at 15.00 on the day of the funeral. There is no expectation for businesses to close during the mourning period unless they wish to. This is a decision for individual organisations.

10. Public Services

All public services and any services involved in the Government response to COVID-19 will continue as usual throughout the mourning period. Members of the public will be able to access information and services online as necessary.

11. Further Information

For further information, please refer to the Royal Website or GOV.UK.