Update on arrangements leading up to the state funeral

Following the announcement of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Council and its partners have plans in place in the lead up to the state funeral on Monday, 19 September 2022.

What is happening in Cheshire West and Chester?

· Vigil at Chester Cathedral Sunday 18 September , 6pm. The public are welcome to attend this. Visit the Cathedral’s website for further information

· National Moment of Reflection

At 8pm on Sunday, 18 September, the night before the State Funeral, there will be a one-minute silence where the public are invited to come together and observe a national moment of reflection to mourn and reflect on the life and legacy of Queen Elizabeth II.

In Cheshire West and Chester, this will be marked by an event on the Town Hall steps. More information will follow.

· A Service of Thanksgiving for the life of the Queen, Sunday, 18 September, 3pm

A Service of Thanksgiving for the life of the Queen, in the presence of the Lord Lieutenant, the High Sheriff, Lord Mayor of Chester and Mayors in Cheshire will be held in Chester Cathedral on Sunday, 18 September 2022. Visit the Cathedral’s website to reserve your seat. The service can be watched on the Cathedral’s official YouTube channel

· The State Funeral

The State Funeral will take place at 11am on Monday, 19 September, at Westminster Abbey. The day of the State Funeral will be a public holiday. Schools will be closed. A national, two-minute silence will be held during the State Funeral.

Storyhouse, Chester will be open from 9am to 7pm on the day of the State Funeral to be a place of comfort for those who may not want to be alone. The State Funeral will be shown on a screen

· Travel to London

Anyone wishing to travel to and from London during the Period of Mourning is advised to check Transport For London’s website

· Mourning Period

The official period of state mourning ends the morning after the State Funeral, at which point, it as been stressed, we must return to business as usual. The Royal Family will observe an extended period of mourning, which does not apply to the public.

· Books of condolence

Books of condolence are open at Chester Town Hall, Chester HQ Building, Chester Cathedral, Northwich Memorial Court, Wyvern House, in Winsford, and Civic Way, in Ellesmere Port.

These books will close on Friday the State Funeral, with the exception of the book of condolence be at the Town Hall, Chester, which will be available on the public holiday, the day of the State Funeral and closes after that. Please the Council’s website for the latest information on these books. Anyone can send an online message of condolence here.

The books will be bound and kept in the borough’s archive as a record of the sentiments expressed by local people on the death of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

· Flowers and tributes

Flower carpets are also available at the above locations for people who wish to express their sympathies. Members are reminded that anyone wishing to leave flowers is asked to remove any plastic wrapping before laying their floral tribute.

The day after the Queen’s state funeral the flower carpets will close, and all flowers will be removed and transferred to Grosvenor Park, Chester where they will be laid near the wicker sculpture of Her Late Majesty the Queen. They will remain there until Friday, 23 September 2022. After this time, the flowers will be mulched and spread around trees, in areas across the borough which form the Queen’s Green Canopy.

As an alternative to floral tributes, people may wish to consider supporting one of the many charities, associations or organisations that Her Late Majesty was linked with or a patron of. You can search for these at: Royal Charities and patronages | The Royal Family

All of the above arrangements may be subject to change. Please check the Council’s website for further updates

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