What to expect when The Queen dies – the announcement

Updated September 2022:

The Queen died on 8th September 2022, and Prince Charles became King Charles III, in the job he has trained for since he was born. But what will the aftermath of this terribly shocking event be like? How will the death be announced and then marked with a funeral? In short, what will happen when The Queen dies?

Thor https://www.flickr.com/photos/geishaboy500/4190273146/

What can we expect after The Queen dies? (Thor)

The Announcement:

For many years, a detailed plan has been in place in the event of The Queen’s death; within palace walls, it is referred to as ‘London Bridge’. This plan includes funeral proceedings, and The Queen’s will, to divide up those belongings that are hers separate from the Crown e.g. Sandringham, Balmoral, and personal belongings.

If Her Majesty has been ill for a while, then the announcement may not come as a surprise to the world. The first people to be informed will be The Queen’s immediate family – specifically Prince Philip (if he has not predeceased her) and Prince Charles, as her husband and next King respectively, followed by her other children and grandchildren.

Even in a world of 24 hour media, if the death occurs late evening, the news may be held off being released until the following morning (around 8 a.m.), until all those who need to be informed, are, and a doctor can come to confirm the death. The likelihood is, it will take a few hours after the event for the information to be made public – it is, after all, a personal family matter, as well as a public one.

Buckingham Palace will release a short statement about Her Majesty’s passing, detailing how and when it happened (if known), as well as where. Nowadays, it may even be posted to the palace’s social media pages, which are increasingly active.

Major news outlets like the BBC, Sky and ITV will be the first to broadcast the announcement, in a breaking news bulletin, interrupting normal programming. You can expect to hear the National Anthem played for the announcement, and reels upon reels of footage of The Queen’s life accompanying the news. These outlets also have plans in place for such an occasion, including black attire waiting and a script prepared, ready to fill in with details.

Last year, a BBC journalist falsely tweeted about The Queen’s death after she saw a practise-run of such an announcement.

Staff will be sent home – those that aren’t essential, e.g. footmen and maids – while more senior figures will be kept around to help organise the mayhem that will ensue. The Queen is perhaps the most famous woman in the world, after all.

Union flags on public buildings will be lowered to half mast, including embassies and consulates abroad, but the Royal Standard will not – the Sovereign never dies as they are immediately succeeded by the heir. These will remain at half-mast until the morning following the funeral. Church bells may toll on the day, or the day after her passing as a mark of respect and condolence books will also be out in various locations across the UK, as well as embassies for visitors to sign.

Floral tributes will begin to collect outside of Royal Palaces, particularly Buckingham Palace, as people come to terms with the shock of the news.

The last Monarch to die was, of course, George VI in 1952, a time vastly different to now. Then, the BBC suspended all comedy programmes during the 12 days of official mourning out of respect, and the same could happen.

The Accession of Prince Charles as King:

Upon the occasion of Her Majesty’s passing, the Accession Council will convene at St James’s Palace (the location of the official Royal Court) to formally declare The Prince of Wales as King. Here, he would be asked to swear loyalty to Parliament and the Church of England in front of the council, and in turn, the Houses of Parliament will swear loyalty to him.

An accession council will convene at St James’s Palace to formally announce Prince Charles as King after The Queen’s death. Bigstock.

The council will also make a ‘Proclamation of Accession’ to be read out on Proclamation Day soon after Her majesty passes away; this will take place in London, Edinburgh, Windsor, York, and various other towns and villages throughout the country.


Queen Elizabeth II’s proclamation read:

Whereas it has pleased Almighty God to call to His Mercy our late Sovereign Lord King George the Sixth of Blessed and Glorious memory, by whose Decease the Crown is solely and rightfully come to the High and Mighty Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary:

We, therefore, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of this Realm, being here assisted with these His late Majesty’s Privy Council, with representatives of other Members of the Commonwealth, with other Principal Gentlemen of Quality, with the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens of London, do now hereby with one voice and Consent of Tongue and Heart publish and proclaim that the High and Mighty Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary is now, by the death of our late Sovereign of happy memory, become Queen Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of this Realm and of all Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, to whom Her lieges do acknowledge all Faith and constant Obedience with hearty and humble Affection, beseeching God by whom Kings and Queens do reign, to bless the Royal Princess Elizabeth the Second with long and happy Years to reign over us.

– so we can expect something of a similar vein for the next King.

The palace has confirmed Charles will be known as King Charles III. His new title was used by Prime Minister Liz Truss as she addressed the nation following the death of the Queen. Camilla will be known as Queen Consort, following The Queen’s public wish in February 2022.

The words to the National Anthem will be changed (God Save The King!), and new postage stamps along with banknotes and coins will be created. Expect to see Charles to face left, as The Queen faced right.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will increase their workload when Charles becomes King and Prince William will eventually be invested as Prince of Wales. Picture by Pete Maclaine / i-Images

Prince William was quickly invested as The Prince of Wales by his father, and we expect to see him up his work load to reflect his position as Heir Apparent. Catherine, his wife, will do the same, and then be titled Princess of Wales.

It seems likely the pair will start attending events such as the State Opening of Parliament to learn the ropes, and will feature more prominently at State Banquets.

What do you think to these traditions? Outdated or appropriate? Comment below!

Share this


sudarenko Thu 05 January, 2017 - 1:05 pm

Sorry for the off-topic, but I could never understand why they don’t use ‘the’ before ‘King’ in English.

Glenys Freeman Thu 05 January, 2017 - 7:11 pm

I am impressed with the plans and procedures and do not think they are outdated.

Karen Thu 05 January, 2017 - 7:51 pm

Yes we should stick to tradition

Abbott Wright Thu 05 January, 2017 - 8:21 pm

I’m not really sure, but I believe that the practice of lowering the flag to half STAFF, not mast. (on ships where the flag is flown on a mast it will be lowered to half mast) note: The flag is normally lowered to the lowest point and then raised half way up. I was in the USAF stationed at Mildenhall at the time King George VI death and was able to go into London and view the funeral procession along with thousands of others. I’ll never forget that day.

Donna Stafford-Skare Thu 05 January, 2017 - 9:09 pm

I think they are appropriate.

Naturallymedium@btinternet.com Thu 05 January, 2017 - 9:09 pm

Why will Camilla hold the title queen consort one is not amused

Ruby galagher Thu 05 January, 2017 - 11:09 pm

I truly believe that although charles has the right to the crown that camille should not be named the queen consort as the marriage between each other were both second marriages.

Gail Ward Thu 05 January, 2017 - 11:22 pm

These arrangements are most well thought out.
I think that no comedy programmes for the 12 days of mourning are quite proper and respectful.
Hopefully this will not happen for some time, but be ready when the time arises.
God Save the Queen.

D Burton Fri 06 January, 2017 - 6:04 am

It will truly be a sad day when Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II passes. She is an icon and a standard of grace under pressure and strength of character to which other world leaders should aspire – including the leaders of my country, America.

Johan Beyers Fri 06 January, 2017 - 10:36 am

There must be traditions. It’s traditions that keep a nation together as a nation.

sri Fri 06 January, 2017 - 3:12 pm

It was very uneasy to read this article .

Victoria Howard Fri 06 January, 2017 - 11:48 pm

Hi Angie.
Tradition dictates that each Monarch face the opposite way to their predecessor on coins. No particular reason, it just distinguishes the portrait more (useful, as you can imagine, with very similar looking family members on the throne).

Vibhhuti Chaudhry Sat 07 January, 2017 - 11:37 am

All these r narrow traditional ways. They should try some modern concepts.

Jean Courtney Mon 06 February, 2017 - 9:19 pm

Definitely do not want to see camilla as queen consort i thought charles married her with the understanding she would not take that title it would be a disgrace and complete insult to princess diana very bad taste

Victoria Howard Tue 07 February, 2017 - 11:56 am

Dear Jean

It was announced that Camilla would be Princess Consort at the time of the engagement, but as we say, morganatic marriage doesn’t exist so this move would be unprecedented and potentially blocked if it was thought to be unsuitable. Charles and Diana were divorced before her death, and the marriage after, therefore she is not relevant to this argument. It would be much like Prince Andrew marrying again (not Sarah…) and his wife being The Duchess of York… it wouldn’t be offensive to her for the new wife to take the title.


maxwell Bailie Sun 26 March, 2017 - 5:49 pm

as a security practitioner it important that our queen will be in heaven once she pass away she hopefully have a long life will be with jesuis she at all head of church and this topic matter make me reflect on myself and my family it apart of nature,god bless the queen.

Patricia Holm. Mon 24 July, 2017 - 4:39 pm

Because the wife of a King is lawfully a Queen Consort but usually addressed as Queen Name. EG. Queen Alexander, Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth, [ The Queen Mother ].
There is no lawful reason why the Duchess of Cornwall cannot be Queen Consort the same as she is legally entitled to be called Princess of Wales until Charles becomes King but at the moment chooses not to use the title.

maxwell Bailie Sun 26 March, 2017 - 5:52 pm

may god bless the royal family.

Liz Parker Sun 06 August, 2017 - 10:34 am

Camilla queen consort?? OMG princess consort was hard enough to stomach. She should not be entitled to any royal title in my and many others view.

Ms Roma ray Tue 26 December, 2017 - 4:15 am

Nice article. Thank you

William Sowles Tue 26 December, 2017 - 6:15 pm

God Save the queen.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.