What it means to be in a period of national mourning

The royal family will be helped in this “particularly sad time” by public support following the death of the “beloved” Duke of Edinburgh, said the Prince of Wales.

Charles spoke movingly of his “dear papa”, who had dedicated himself to the Queen, his family and the country for about 70 years.

Britain is officially in a period of national mourning for next week, up to and including Philip’s funeral on Saturday afternoon.

What does it mean to be in a time of national grief?

The Queen has endorsed a recommendation by Prime Minister Boris Johnson for a time of national mourning.

This means that for the next week, Union flags will be hoisted at half mast in royal residences, government buildings, armed forces facilities and British posts overseas.

Union flags in royal residences and government buildings were lowered to half mast on Friday and will stay that way until 8 a.m. the day after the funeral.

Public services and all services related to the government’s response to the pandemic will continue as normal and people will be able to access information and services online as needed, as issued by the Cabinet Office.

Do companies have to close?

No. The guidelines state that “companies are not expected to close during the mourning period unless they wish to”.

It is said that it is a decision for individual organizations.

Many shops in England, such as non-essential shops and outdoor hospitality, are slated to reopen on Monday as they have been closed as part of the third national lockdown in months.

The guidelines state that companies may want to take precautions to maintain the national one-minute silence at 3 p.m. on the day of Philip’s funeral.

What about sporting events, will they be held during this time?

According to the guidelines, this is also at the discretion of the organizers.

They suggest that sporting event organizers should consider using black armbands and maintaining a silence before games are played.

Some sports associations are currently discussing plans for Saturday’s games to avoid conflict with the funeral.

The Football League has announced that it will rearrange the matches, which are due to start at 3pm, as well as the Premiership rugby games.

The Football Federation, Premier League and Cricket Board of England and Wales are all in dialogue with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport on agreements while the Women’s Six Nations await guidance, the PA news agency understands.

The UK Horse Racing Authority will also have talks on their own plans.

Can I put flowers in honor of Philip?

While floral tributes are usually an expression of grief and appreciation for the death of a great figure like the Duke, people are asked not to place flowers, candles, or messages in public spaces or in royal residences.

The guidelines ask that people not do this in order to comply with current coronavirus restrictions to limit gatherings and prevent the spread of infection.

What can I do instead?

It is suggested that people might consider donating to a nonprofit that Philip has been linked with.

The guidelines state that this would be “an appropriate way to pay tribute to his remarkable legacy”.

A list of such organizations can be found on the royal family’s official website, which also has an online book of condolences.

Physical condolence books are not available in public buildings due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Will the royal family still hold public engagements?

The royals will watch what is known as royal mourning for two weeks, starting on Friday when Philip died.

The commitments will remain proportionate to the circumstances, a senior royal official said.


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