Queen Elizabeth II passed away on 8 September 2022 at her home in Balmoral, Scotland. Britain has since been in a period of national mourning which is due to conclude in ten days time after the day of her funeral.
Since this mourning period began, the British public have been curious as to whether the day of the Queen’s funeral—held at Westminster Abbey—will be marked as a bank holiday, or indeed if there will be a future bank holiday put in place in order to commemorate Her Majesty.
News sources have since reported that this will not be the case. According to POLITICO, “Operation London Bridge”—the funeral plan for Queen Elizabeth II—clearly states that the Prime Minister and the late Queen agreed that the day of her funeral would be acknowledged as a “Day of National Mourning” as opposed to a bank holiday.
The political journalism outlet stated that they had obtained “a series of documents” released in 2021 that detailed the proceedings that would follow the Monarch’s death. Details within the documents included instructions for how the acting Prime Minister should respond, preparations for the funeral and the number of scenarios that could take place in London as civilians gather to mourn the Queen.
The papers also provide details into how the newly appointed King Charles III should address the public and government officials. “Operation Spring Tide” is dedicated to the plan for Charles’ accession to the throne.
The Department for Transport had raised concerns within the official documents, primarily in regards to the vast number of people who may plan to travel to London to witness the Queen’s funeral at Westminster Abbey—they even go as far as to worry the capital will become “full.”
This fear may not have been unfounded, considering the extensive rail strikes that had been planned for 15 and 17 September 2022. However, according to The Guardian, The Department for Transport—alongside much of Britain—will be pleased to hear that the strikes have been officially called off in a sign of “respect” to Queen Elizabeth II.
Some employers may choose to host an “unofficial bank holiday,” sending their workers home—although this will not be mandated by the government and will be left up to businesses to decide. Similarly, some shops may remain open on the day of the Queen’s funeral, while others may close—depending on if they are “particularly upset.”
Whatever your thoughts on the Royal family may be, crowds will undoubtedly still flood to London to pay their respects to Britain’s longest reigning monarch.
After news broke that Prince Charles and Prince William are travelling to Balmoral—the Scotland estate owned by Her Majesty—amid concerns about the health of the Queen, many netizens began speculating on exactly who will replace her if she were to pass in the near future.
The monarch, 96, is currently under medical supervision after doctors became concerned for her health. It comes after she postponed a planned Privy Council meeting on the evening of Wednesday 7 September after being advised to rest.
In a statement, Buckingham Palace said: “Following further evaluation this morning, The Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision. The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.” Glad to hear she’s comfy.
Since then, it’s been confirmed that her eldest son, Prince Charles, was travelling up to be with her—along with his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. Kensington Palace also confirmed that Prince William was making his way up to Balmoral.
Which begs the million-dollar question: will Prince Charles take the crown or will he hand it straight to Prince William? I can already hear some of you—Prince Charles is first in line to the British throne, so that’s it, he’ll become King when his mother passes on the title. But as it turns out, it might not be so simple.
In a report by The Sun—so yes, please take this with a grain of salt—Princess Diana’s former voice coach, Stewart Pearce, opened up about why he believes that William could be the next British monarch and not his father.
“[Charles] may not take the throne, he may hand it to his young son. He doesn’t want to do it, such a difficult task,” Pearce told the tabloid in 2021. He further stated that William is “part of the conversation” and has been since his early teens.
That being said, Prince Charles can’t just decide to pass on the crown and be done and dusted with it. If he was to do so, according to experts at University College London’s Constitution Unit, it would require the involvement of Parliament.
On the UCL website, the unit wrote, “Under common law, Prince Charles will automatically become King the moment the Queen dies. Prince William could only become King if Prince Charles chose to abdicate. That would require legislation, as happened with the Declaration of Abdication Act 1936. The line of succession is regulated by parliament (as in the Act of Succession 1700, and the Succession to the Crown Act 2013); it can be changed only by Parliament and cannot be unilaterally altered by the monarch of the day.”
It could also be that Charles, who’s been waiting for the throne his whole life, decides to keep the title for himself for a little while. “Having waited over 60 years as heir apparent, it would be natural for Prince Charles to want to assume the throne and perform the royal duties for which he has spent so long preparing. But it would be equally natural if, after reigning for a few years as an increasingly elderly monarch, he chose to invite parliament to hand on the throne to Prince William,” added the Constitution Unit.
Only time will tell.