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Gun salutes, church bells and an address from King Charles III: Britain begins tributes to Queen Elizabeth
9 September 2022, 09:20 | Updated: 9 September 2022, 12:39
Gun salutes, memorials to the Queen and a 6pm address to the nation from King Charles will take place as Britain mourns the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
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An online book of condolence has been opened on the royal.uk website for those wishing to pay their respects, and cities including Nottingham and Liverpool have said that books of condolences will be opened in cathedrals and city halls.
The monarch died at her residence in Balmoral yesterday afternoon, and her funeral has been set for Monday September 19 with the service expected to take place at Westminster Abbey.
Today, King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla will return to London after spending the night at Balmoral, and the King will hold his first audience with the last Prime Minister to be appointed by Queen Elizabeth - Liz Truss.
The pair departed Balmoral at around 11.15am.
Royal gun salutes will be fired in London today at 1pm in Hyde Park, central London by The King's Troop and at the Tower of London by the Honourable Artillery Company. The guns will be fired 96 times, to mark each year of the Queen's life.
Public continue to pay tribute to the Queen with flower tributes at Buckingham Palace
The Palace has also revealed how to leave flowers at various royal estates.
"Following the death of Her Majesty The Queen, the following guidance is given to members of the public who wish to leave floral tributes at Royal Residences:
▪ At Buckingham Palace members of the public will be guided to lay floral tributes at dedicated sites in The Green Park or Hyde Park. Flowers left outside the gates of Buckingham Palace will be moved to The Green Park Floral Tribute Garden by The Royal Parks. Further guidance will be issued by The Royal Parks.
▪ At Windsor Castle, floral tributes can be left at Cambridge Gate on the Long Walk. These flowers will be brought inside the Castle every evening, and placed on the Castle Chapter grass on the south side of St George’s Chapel and Cambridge Drive.
▪ At the Sandringham Estate, members of the public are encouraged to leave floral tributes at the Norwich Gates.
▪ At Balmoral Castle, floral tributes can be left at the Main Gate.
▪ At the Palace of Holyroodhouse, members of the public are encouraged to give floral tributes to the Wardens at the entrance to The Queen’s Gallery. Those flowers will be laid on the Forecourt grass in front of the North Turret of the Palace.
▪ At Hillsborough Castle, floral tributes may be laid on the Castle Forecourt, in front of the main gates.
Bell ringings are set to take place in churches throughout the country, including at Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral and Windsor Castle.
Other churches have been asked to mark her death by with bell ringings at noon.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II dies aged 96, Buckingham Palace confirms
King Charles is due to broadcast a pre-recorded address to the nation at 6pm on Friday evening.
The official length of national mourning will also be confirmed later today, likely to be around 12 to 13 days, from now up to the day after the Queen's funeral.
The Government will also announce that the funeral day will be a public holiday, in the form of a Day of National Mourning.
The House of Commons will not sit at 9.30am as planned, and instead both Houses of Parliament will gather at noon for a special session led by Liz Truss - set to last until 10pm - where MPs and peers will be invited to pay tribute to the Queen.
The Government is not expected to announce any other business during the session, unless anything urgent occurs, to allow the focus to remain on the Queen.
As well as having an audience with the Prime Minister, King Charles is likely to meet the Earl Marshal - the Duke of Norfolk - who is in charge of the Queen's funeral, to approve a carefully choreographed schedule for the coming days.
The King will decide on the length of court or royal morning for the members of the Royal Family and royal households, which is expected to last for a month.
There will be more to come in the days ahead, on Saturday morning the Accession Council will meet at St James's Palace in London to formally proclaim Charles as the new sovereign, and then later the House of Commons will sit to allow senior MPs to take the oath of allegiance to King Charles.