Books of Condolence – Cathedrals

12th September 2022

Hoards of people gathered at our cathedrals yesterday as local proclamation ceremonies took place up and down the country for King Charles III.

Books of Condolence opened at Cathedrals.

On Saturday the King was formally proclaimed at St James’s Palace, officially marking the start of his reign following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on Thursday.

And as the Queen embarks on her final journey, our cathedrals are open all day for people to join in services, lay wreaths, light candles, say prayers, write their messages in the Books of Condolence or simply just to be.

Prayers are being offered at every service in our cathedrals – with some cathedral offering prayers hourly throughout the day and tehre are services of choral evensong, reflection, commemoration and thanksgiving planned.

The Church of England has set up an online book of condolence here.

And you can light an online candle here too.

Many cathedrals have special services throughout the next seven days so please check your cathedral for up to date information.

The Queen’s coffin will be taken from the Palace of Holyroodhouse today to nearby St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh for a service of thanksgiving.

Members of the public will be able to view the coffin at the cathedral and pay their respects from 5pm for a period of 24 hours.

Later in the evening, the King and other members of the royal family will mount a vigil at the cathedral in honour of their mother.

Tomorrow, the King and Queen Consort are to fly to Northern Ireland to visit Hillsborough Castle and meet Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris and party leaders, and receive a message of condolence led by the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly before travelling to St Anne’s Cathedral for a service of prayer and reflection.

The Princess Royal will accompany the Queen’s coffin when it is flown to London by RAF aircraft to RAF Northolt on Tuesday evening, it will then be taken to rest at Buckingham Palace’s Bow Room.

The King will lead Wednesday’s slow silent procession behind the gun carriage carrying her coffin to Westminster Hall, where the Queen’s lying in state will begin before the state funeral on September 19.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will conduct a short service following the coffin’s arrival.

Those wishing to pay their respects will be able to file solemnly past the Queen’s coffin 24 hours a day from 5pm on Wednesday September 14 until 6.30am on the day of the funeral service – Monday September 19.

The Royal household has announced a one minute silence at 8pm on Sunday before the day of the funeral, church bells are expected to ring for the funeral service in Westminster Abbey which will be televised, and a national two minutes’ silence is expected to be held on what has been named the national day of mourning.

After the service, the coffin will be taken in procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch and then travel to Windsor.

Once there, the hearse will travel in procession to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle for the Queen’s final resting place in the King George VI memorial chapel, an annex to the main chapel – where her mother and father were buried, along with the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret. Philip’s coffin will move from the Royal Vault to the memorial chapel to join the Queen’s.