Queen's funeral – everything we know so far from Bank Holiday rules to SAS snipers for biggest operation in Brit history | The Sun

AS the nation mourns its longest reigning monarch, royal teams are readying themselves for one of the biggest operations in Brit history.

Queen Elizabeth II will be laid to rest at 11am on Monday, September 19.

Heads of state, prime ministers and presidents, European royals and key figures from public life will be invited to gather in Westminster Abbey to mark her glorious 70-year reign.

And up to 2,000 dignitaries are expected to attend, with tens of millions of viewers watching the service all over the world on television.

It's likely to be the biggest security operation the UK has ever seen — with thousands set to line the ceremonial route for days to pay their respects ahead of the funeral.

Here's everything you need to know…

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The Procession

The plans are for the Queen's coffin to process on a gun carriage to the abbey, pulled by naval ratings – sailors – using ropes rather than horses.

Senior members of the family are expected to follow behind – just like they did for the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh.

The military will line the streets and also join the procession.

And after the service, there will be a committal at Windsor Castle’s St George’s Chapel.

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A national two-minute silence is also planned, while a period of royal mourning will then be observed for at least seven days after the funeral.

Snipers and Security

Police and security teams are expecting huge crowds of mourners to flock to London during the nation's period of mourning.

Former Met Police chief superintendent Parm Sandhu warned crowds in the capital could be a "target for terrorists" while mourners could wait for up to 15 hours just to file past the Queen's coffin.

Gun cops and rooftop snipers will be in place while the cortege is moving amid fears of potential terror attacks targeting large crowds.

And former counter-terror chief Nick Aldworth said: “It’s probably the biggest operation that we're likely to mount in the UK.”

Royal Dress Code

The King, the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal and the Earl of Wessex, will all parade in military uniform at events over the coming days.

Prince Andrew, however, has been banned from wearing a military uniform – and will only wear the attire as a "special mark of respect" for the Queen at the final vigil in Westminster Hall.

The duke will most likely wear a morning suit and medals – as he did during the Queen's procession today – for all other events.

Will I have to go to work?

King Charles III today approved for the date to be a Bank Holiday as the UK remains in a state of national mourning.

It means the public will get the chance to line the streets on London and pay their respects to the longest serving monarch in history.

But while many Brits will enjoy the day off work, the government has said it’s not that simple.

New guidance from authorities confirms each employer needs to make their own decision on whether or not they will give staff the day off.

And despite the King declaring his mother's state funeral as a bank holiday, there is no legal requirement for employers to give staff the day off.

The government, in its online announcement, said the "bank holiday will operate in the same way as other bank holidays and there is no statutory entitlement to time off".

Will schools open?

Schools will be closed on September 19 so staff and students can mourn the death of Her Majesty. 

The government's statement reads: "We are not asking schools to remain open on the day of the bank holiday."

It is possible that some schools may opt to remain open in a limited capacity, in effort to look after children should their parents be at work.

However, the government does not require this. It would likely be an individual decision made by each school.

Will shops stay open?

Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Waitrose and Morrisons are understood to be finalising details to close their stores or reduce opening hours for the Queen's funeral.

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It is thought large supermarkets will shut roughly between the hours of 10am and 2pm.

However, smaller convenience stores will remain open, in part to ensure that the thousands of people expected to gather to watch the funeral will be able to buy water and food for the day.



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