Queen’s funeral cortege to leave Balmoral; proclamations of King Charles ring out across Commonwealth – live | Queen Elizabeth II

Key events

There will be proclamation ceremonies happening all over the country today. Conservative MP Michael Fabricant has said that he will be attending the one in his Lichfield constituency at 2.30pm outside the great west door of Lichfield Cathedral.

Stockport Council, meanwhile, is warning about a road closure to the A6 that will be in place to allow the proclamation to take place.

Please be aware that the A6 will be closed between 2pm and 4pm for the proclamation of His Majesty The King Charles III.

Diversions will be in place.

The proclamation will begin at 3pm.

For more info on the Royal Proclamation visit: https://t.co/OdqQ9ZavxK pic.twitter.com/Bq4mU0PFfR

— Stockport Council (@StockportMBC) September 11, 2022

Libby Brooks

Libby Brooks

The crowds in Ballater, the closest village to Balmoral, have been gathering since before 7am. Some of the first to arrive were the Alexander family, three generations who have driven from Huntly, an hour’s drive through the forest from the north.

Eight-year-old Hamish says his iPad told him the Queen was dead. Florence, 11, says they saw the Queen in her car, while 5-year-old Gracie guards closely their sharing tub of sweeties. Nobody likes these ones, she says, holding up an unloved pink and white confection.

It’s a family tradition to visit Balmoral, explains their grandmother Elizabeth Anne Alexander, who was named after the Queen and born on Coronation Day. She travelled here this morning with her two daughters and three grandchildren.

“The Queen has always been part of our lives, during the summer when she’s stay in Scotland. We’d often see her about locally, and the community always respected her privacy. She was so relaxed here, even in how she dressed. It felt that having her as the head of that family was a constant.”

“I think this will establish how strong the feeling is for being part of the UK. That’s part of the reason I’m here.”

Hamish, Florence and Gracie Alexander have travelled from Huntly this morning to watch the Queen’s cortège pass by in Ballater.
Hamish, Florence and Gracie Alexander have travelled from Huntly this morning to watch the Queen’s cortège pass by in Ballater. Photograph: Libby Brooks/The Guardian

Much of the British press on Sunday focused their front pages on the walkabout by the newly titled Prince and Princess of Wales with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex last night at Windsor Castle, where they inspected tributes left to their grandmother, the Queen.

There were various interpretations of what the joint appearance between William and Harry meant. For the Sunday Telegraph, they were “reunited in sorrow”. Stating that the four had “rarely been seen together” since Harry and Meghan announced their intention to step back from royal duties, the paper said they put aside their differences.

The People said they were united in “peace for gran”.

The Sunday Mirror took a similar line, saying the brothers were “Reunited for granny”, describing the joint appearance as an “olive branch” from the future King William to his brother.

The Sun on Sunday described them as “feuding royals” and went for a Three Musketeers motif with the headline “All 4 one”, and said they had “dramatically” reunited in what a royal source had told the paper was “an important show of unity for the Queen”.

The Mail on Sunday declared the brothers “reunited”, though inside it had a body language expert poring over the footage and describing Harry’s posture throughout the 10-minute walkabout as “defensive” and “guarded”.

The Sunday Times opted for a simple front page as a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, with a blue-tinted photograph from early in the Queen’s life.

The Observer chose a picture of the newly proclaimed King Charles III and his assumption of the “heavy duties of sovereignty”, while leading with the latest developments in Russia’s war on Ukraine.

A crowd of a couple of dozen people has gathered in the village of Ballater, which is about eight miles to the east of Balmoral, and will be one of the first places that the late Queen’s cortege passes through when it starts its journey at 10am.

People on the street waiting for the funeral cortege in Ballater, Scotland.
People on the street waiting for the funeral cortege in Ballater, Scotland. Photograph: Hannah McKay/Reuters

Interviewed on Sky News, the Rev David Barr, a local vicar, said the Queen had held a special relationship with Balmoral and the village, as it was somewhere she could “hang her crown up at the door” and behave normally, remembering that she had spent enjoyable times there as a child. He said members of the royal family often frequent the village and shop there, and the villagers help guard their privacy.

Overnight, someone has added a knitted tribute to the Queen to a postbox in the village.

A knitted figure depicting the Queen near Balmoral
A knitted figure depicting the Queen near Balmoral. Photograph: Hannah McKay/Reuters

Summary of the day so far …

At 10am today the Queen’s coffin will begin its journey from Balmoral Castle, where she died on Thursday, and make its way to Edinburgh. At noon, proclamations will be held in the devolved nations.

The King is due to meet the Commonwealth secretary general at Buckingham Palace before hosting realm high commissioners and their spouses in the Bow Room.

Here’s a brief summary of what’s happened since yesterday:

  • The timing of the state funeral for the Queen has been confirmed: it will take place at Westminster Abbey on Monday 19 September. Before then, the Queen will lie in state in Westminster Hall for four days, to allow the public to pay their respects, the royal family has said.

  • New Zealand, Australia and Canada all held proclamation ceremonies to recognise King Charles III as their new head of state. The proclamation ceremonies are a constitutional and ceremonial event that formally transition to a new monarch for the countries.

  • Those countries’ leaders have made tributes to the Queen as they recognised her successor. New Zealand’s PM, Jacinda Ardern, said the country was “filled with sadness for her passing, but also gratitude for the life she led”. The Australian PM, Anthony Albanese, said the Queen was “admired for her devotion to duty, for her commitment to the people of the United Kingdom, to the people of the Commonwealth including Australia and indeed to the world”.

  • The prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda has said he will call for a referendum on the country becoming a republic within three years. The country will retain a British monarch for now, but the prime minister, Gaston Browne, said a referendum would be “the final step to complete that circle of independence, to ensure that we are truly a sovereign nation”.

  • King Charles III held his first audiences at Buckingham Palace on Saturday afternoon, with the UK prime minister, Liz Truss, members of her cabinet and opposition leaders, as well as the archbishop of Canterbury.

  • Liz Truss is to accompany King Charles III on a tour of Britain. The prime minister will accompany the King on a royal tour of Britain’s four nations to lead days of national mourning for the Queen.

Camilla, the Queen Consort, once said that King Charles’s destiny didn’t “weigh heavily on his shoulders at all”, but he accedes to the throne with a country in crisis and a monarchy seeking to reshape its role for the modern age, writes Jon Ungoed-Thomas.

Over what has been described as a “50-year apprenticeship”, King Charles has championed his causes and concerns, from better training and opportunities for young people to pollution and the climate crisis. He has lobbied UK ministers with letters described as “black spider memos” because of the scrawled handwriting, rallied business leaders and urged action on the international stage.

Royal observers say that, for the court of King Charles to succeed in the face of formidable challenges, one of his most crucial attributes will need to be self-restraint.

Michael Savage

Michael Savage

Labour will go ahead with its autumn conference later this month, as officials, advisers and politicians from all parties attempt to balance paying their respects to the Queen with avoiding a period of political paralysis.

The Queen’s death and period of mourning has come at a moment of acute political tension, with concerns over the behaviour of Liz Truss’s new administration in Whitehall and significant gaps in the details of her energy price cap, set to cost well over £100bn.

Meanwhile, Truss is yet to complete all her ministerial appointments, with some serving ministers said to be only temporarily reprieved in their jobs.

Opposition parties and campaigners said they were targeting the immediate resumption of political debate after the Queen’s funeral on Monday 19 September.

Labour’s conference is due to start just six days later, but officials have decided that the gathering should go ahead as planned and include tributes to the Queen. The conference is a key moment for Keir Starmer to take on Truss after she became prime minister last week.

Senior Labour figures have taken the view that they will not be thanked if they fail to hold the new government to account once the period of mourning is over, with basic questions remaining over how Truss’s energy bailout will be delivered and paid for. Concerns are also emerging in the business world over the short-term nature of the package designed to help companies deal with energy costs.

“I don’t think Truss has even finished making her ministerial appointments yet,” said one Labour frontbencher. “There’s complete paralysis. Nothing is really going to happen before the funeral, but then I think we’ll get back to the normalities of government and parliament.”

The Liberal Democrats last night cancelled their conference which was due to start on 17 September. “Given the date of the funeral and period of national mourning, we have decided to cancel our conference,” a spokesperson said.

It is understood that talks are taking place for the early return of parliament after the conference season. While the government will need to lay out emergency legislation for its energy price cap plan, opposition parties are concerned about the need to scrutinise plans that remain vague in detail.

The front page of today’s Observer newspaper:

You can read the Observer’s editorial on the huge task facing King Charles III here.

Here are some further details of the proclamation due to take place in Scotland today:

At 11.25am the King’s Body Guard for Scotland (Royal Company of Archers) and the Guard of Honour will march from the Castle Esplanade to the Mercat Cross.

At noon the Lord Lyon King of Arms will then read the proclamation. This will be followed by a 21-gun salute from Edinburgh Castle.

The procession will then make its way to Edinburgh Castle where the Lord Lyon will read a second proclamation at 12.30pm.

The Scottish government has said it is expecting very large crowds to gather along the Royal Mile in Edinburgh to witness the proclamations and has advised anyone wishing to attend to allow plenty of time.

Writing in today’s Observer, Toby Helm, Michael Savage and Waseem Mohamed look back at the moment the news of the Queen’s death reached parliament – and how politics was brought to an abrupt halt.

At around 12.25pm, in a few disorienting moments that nobody who was there will ever forget, the House of Commons was transformed. Adversarial politics absented itself from its natural home. Arguments over price caps subsided. To adapt the words of Tony Blair, the kaleidoscope was shaken.

In the Commons chamber, rather like schoolchildren who see something that distracts them outside the classroom window, members’ heads turned.

Lizz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng looked up at the press gallery above, something ministers and MPs try never to do. The political reporters had left their places.

Nadhim Zahawi, the minister who had become responsible for constitutional matters two days before, rushed in to the chamber and passed a message to the prime minister. Truss looked ahead, blankly, for several few seconds.

A Commons clerk kept thrusting a phone into the Speaker’s eyeline to alert him to breaking news. A minute or two passed before the Speaker was presented by another official with a printed statement. He glanced at it, taking in its gravity. The SNP leader in parliament, Ian Blackford, was on his feet, losing his audience. Hoyle raised his hands, gesturing at Blackford to give way, initially to no avail. He repeated the gesture a second time, raising his palms a little higher this time and waving them with more urgency. Blackford saw, and gave way.

The Queen will pay a slow farewell to Scotland on Sunday, as the cortege carrying her coffin leaves Balmoral and passes through Royal Deeside before travelling to Edinburgh and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, write Severin Carrell and Libby Brooks.

Her final journey has been carefully mapped, and progress through this heavily forested corner of the Cairngorm mountains will be slow. For most of the locals on Deeside, this will be their chance to say goodbye to someone they regarded as a cherished neighbour.

After passing Crathie Kirk, the small granite church the Queen attended on Sundays during her summer holidays in the Highlands, the hearse will reach the village of Ballater. Here the cortege will slow to walking pace so residents can pay their respects. Cars have been cleared from the main road and metal control barriers were clanging into place on Saturday afternoon, with bright yellow traffic cones guarding the route.

“Her Majesty was our neighbour, and when she comes through here it is going to be hard,” said Rev David Barr, minister of Glenmuick Church in Ballater, who hurried back from holiday when he heard the news, to toll the church bells 70 times. “People have seen it on TV, but when she passes it will be final.”

Proclamations will take place in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast today. Here are some further details of the schedule in Cardiff:

At 11.25am, 26 men of the 3rd Battalion the Royal Welsh will march from City Hall to Cardiff Castle. They’ll be accompanied by the Band of the Royal Welsh and a Welsh billy goat called Shenkin, who is the regimental mascot.

At the castle, the Wales Herald of Arms Extraordinary, Tom Lloyd, will make the proclamation in English and the Lord Lieutenant of South Glamorgan, Morfudd Meredith, will proclaim King Charles in Welsh.

After the readings, members of 104th Regiment of the Royal Artillery will fire a 21-gun salute before the singing of God Save The King and Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, Wales’ national anthem.

Up to 2,000 people will be allowed to attend the event.

New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said she expects her country’s relationship with the royal family will “deepen”, while Australia declared a one-off public holiday as a national day of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II, reports Christine Kearney.

New Zealand held its formal Proclamation ceremony on parliament’s grounds, with the proceedings led by governer general Cindy Kiro and Ardern, beginning with the national anthem and a prayer in te reo Māori – the Indigenous language.

Ardern said she believed New Zealand’s close connection to the royal family would continue and strengthen under the new monarch.

“King Charles has long had an affection for Aotearoa New Zealand and has consistently demonstrated his deep care for our nation. This relationship is deeply valued by our people. I have no doubt it will deepen,” she said.

She paid tribute to the Queen’s “unwavering duty” at the country’s ceremony to recognise King Charles III as head of state.

“Upon her death we enter a time of change – one filled with sadness for her passing, but also gratitude for the life she led, and the example she set. We are forever grateful for her close bond to our country, but it’s a bond and affection that spans across her entire family,” she said.

Australia also officially recognised King Charles as the country’s new sovereign, with the governor general and executive council making their public proclamation at Parliament House, followed by a 21-gun salute.

Prime minister Anthony Albanese said there had been “an outpouring of grief” after the death of Queen Elizabeth II. “In Queen Elizabeth’s own words, that grief is the price we pay for love, is I think a fitting statement on how so many Australians are feeling at this time,” he said.

Proclamation ceremonies were held in Australia and New Zealand on Sunday to recognise King Charles III as their new head of state.

The army band plays at the Proclamation of King Charles III, on the forecourt of Parliament House in Canberra.
The army band plays at the Proclamation of King Charles III, on the forecourt of Parliament House, in Canberra, Sunday, September 11, 2022. Photograph: Tracey Nearmy/AAP
People gather to see a 21 gun salute by the Australian Defence Force during a Proclamation of Accession ceremony for Britain's King Charles III at Parliament House in Canberra on September 11, 2022.
People gather to see a 21 gun salute by the Australian Defence Force during a Proclamation of Accession ceremony for Britain’s King Charles III at Parliament House in Canberra. Photograph: Gary Ramage/AFP/Getty Images
An indigenous dancer performs as Governor-General David Hurley (R) and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (C) look on during the Proclamation of King Charles III, on the forecourt of Parliament House, in Canberra, Australia, 11 September 2022.
An indigenous dancer performs as Governor-General David Hurley (R) and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (C) look on during the Proclamation of King Charles III, on the forecourt of Parliament House in Canberra. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/EPA
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attends a Proclamation of Accession ceremony for Britain’s King Charles III at the Parliament in Wellington on September 11, 2022.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attends a Proclamation of Accession ceremony for Britain’s King Charles III at the Parliament in Wellington on September 11, 2022. Photograph: Andrew Turner/AFP/Getty Images

The Queen’s funeral procession will begin on Sunday morning in Scotland. Here is a more detailed schedule:

10am The cortege is expected to leave Balmoral Castle, where the Queen died on Thursday. Crowds can gather along the route from Balmoral to Edinburgh.

10.12am The cortege will first head to the nearby town on Ballater in Aberdeenshire, passing along the A93. Tributes will be led by the Lord-Lieutenants of Aberdeenshire, as well as senior officers and councillors. The cortege will then travel along the A93, through Aboyne, Banchory and Drumoak.

11.20am It is then expected to arrive in Aberdeen, where the Lord Provost of Aberdeen, in his role as Lord-Lieutenant, will lead a tribute at Duthie Park.

2pm The cortege will arrive in Dundee. Members of the public are being invited to pay their respects in safe standing areas along the A90 Forfar Road and Kingsway.

4pm The cortege will then head to Edinburgh, where First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and other party leaders in Scotland are expected to observe the coffin as it goes past the Scottish parliament.

The coffin will then be taken into the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where it will remain for the night.

It’s now 5.30am on Sunday in the UK, D-Day +2. (The announcement of the Queen’s death took place late on Thursday, and so plans were shifted a day to allow for arrangements to be put in place.)

Today, proclamations will be held in the devolved nations simultaneously at noon, and the Queen’s coffin will be driven from Balmoral Castle to Edinburgh.

The King will also meet the Commonwealth secretary-general at Buckingham Palace before hosting realm high commissioners and their spouses in the Bow Room.

Here’s a brief summary of what’s happened since Saturday afternoon in the UK:

  • Timing of the State Funeral for the Queen has been confirmed, and will take place at Westminster Abbey on Monday 19th September. Before then, the Queen will lie in-state in Westminster Hall for four days, to allow the public to pay their respects, the royal family has said.

  • New Zealand, Australia and Canada all held proclamation ceremonies to recognise King Charles III as their new head of state. The proclamation ceremonies are a constitutional and ceremonial event that formally transition to a new monarch for the countries.

  • Those country leaders have made tributes to the Queen as they recognised her successor. New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern said the country was “filled with sadness for her passing, but also gratitude for the life she led”. Australian PM Anthony Albanese said the Queen was “admired for her devotion to duty, for her commitment to the people of the United Kingdom, to the people of the Commonwealth including Australia and indeed to the world”.

  • The prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda has said following the Queen’s death he will call for a referendum on the country becoming a republic within three years. The country will retain a British monarch for now, but prime minister Gaston Browne said a referendum would be “the final step to complete that circle of independence, to ensure that we are truly a sovereign nation”.

  • King Charles III held his first audiences at Buckingham Palace on Saturday afternoon, with Prime Minister Liz Truss, members of her Cabinet and opposition leaders, as well as the Archbishop of Canterbury

  • Liz Truss to accompany King Charles III on tour of Britain. The UK’s new prime minister will accompany King Charles on a royal tour of Britain’s four nations to lead days of national mourning for his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

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