How Northern Ireland will mark death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Mural of Queen in Shankill, Belfast - credit PressEye
A new mural to mark the passing of Queen Elizabeth II on Belfast's Shankill road Credit: PressEye

The death of Queen Elizabeth II, aged 96, has touched many across Northern Ireland.

The monarch's passing will have a significant impact on daily life over the coming days.

UTV takes a look at what events are expected to take place as the United Kingdom enters 10 days of national mourning.

Bells will toll around the the UK on Friday for the Queen, as the nation enters an official period of mourning to mark the monarch's death.

A period of royal mourning will be observed from now until seven days after the Queen’s funeral, the date of which will be confirmed in due course, Buckingham Palace said.

The period of official public mourning is expected to be 12 days, beginning after Her Majesty's death on Thursday and going on to the day after the funeral. It is expected the Queen's funeral will be a day of national mourning. If a bank holiday is called, schools will close.

The King and Queen return to London - Charles and Camilla stayed at Balmoral overnight on Thursday, but return to London on Friday.

Audience with the PM - Despite his grief, duty calls for new sovereign Charles who will have his first audience as monarch with Prime Minister Liz Truss.

Parliament is to be recalled on Friday for MPs to pay their respects. The sitting will continue on into Saturday.

Confirming funeral plans - Charles is likely to meet the Earl Marshal - the Duke of Norfolk - who is in charge of the accession and the Queen's funeral, to approve the carefully choreographed schedule for the coming days.

Flags are to fly at half mast on government buildings.

On Friday a special service of prayer and reflection will be held at St Paul's Cathedral in London.

King Charles III is set to tour the nations ahead of the Queen's funeral - known as Operation Spring Tide. He is to give a public address on Friday evening.

In Northern Ireland, the focus of many events to remember the Queen will be based at Hillsborough Castle in Co Down.

The Northern Ireland Office has said the public can pay their respects Hillsborough Castle during the period of official mourning.

Special transport will be put in place from the Eikon Centre to visit Hillsborough Castle from Saturday.

There are currently structural preparations being put in place and Hillsborough Castle will remain closed to members of the public until Saturday.

In a statement, police advised of "potential disruption and delays in the Royal Hillsborough area". A one-way system is currently in place in the town.

In a tweet posted on social media, the Northern Ireland Office wrote that "special arrangements will be in place for people wishing to travel to Royal Hillsborough". It continued: "Further details will be issued later."

A gun salute is expected to take place at Hillsborough Castle on Friday afternoon. A total of 96 rounds will be fired - each one marking a year of the Queen's life.

On Sunday September 11, the Queen's coffin is expected to be taken by road to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

Proclamations are be read at the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland devolved parliaments in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

The Northern Ireland Assembly is to be recalled on Monday to allow MLAs to pay their respects. It will convene

A letter from speaker Alex Maskey to MLAs said the death of the Queen was recognised as an "historic global event".

He continued: "It is important that Assembly members should meet in the Assembly chamber at the earliest opportunity to express their condolences in recognition of a long life given to public service.

"I will gather members in the Assembly Chamber at 12.30pm on Monday September 12 for tributes to be paid.

"Following the tributes, and taking account of what is happening in other legislatures, I will then open a book of condolences for Assembly Members and building users to sign in the Great Hall."

Books of condolence are expected to open at various sites across Northern Ireland throughout Friday including at Belfast City and Derry City and Strabane Councils.

The royal family added its "Book of Condolence" to the official website.

Belfast's book of condolence will open at 2.30pm on Friday.

Members of the public will be able to sign the books which will be at City Hall until the day of the state funeral.

Books of condolence will be in the main reception area and east wing of City Hall and will be available for signing from 9.30am – 8pm daily.

The Garden of Remembrance at City Hall will also be open for anyone wishing to lay floral tributes.

The public are being asked to only leave tributes in the Garden of Remembrance and to enter via Donegall Square West. Stewards will be on hand to assist members of the public.

The Union flag at City Hall will be flown until the morning after the state funeral, in line with Royal protocol.

In Derry and Strabane District Council, the book of condolence opens at the Guildhall and at the Alley Theatre in Strabane from 3.30pm.

It will open from 9am to 5pm daily. For those who cannot sign the book in person they can sign it online via the Council’s website.

Books of condolence have also opened at Coleraine Town Hall, Ballymoney Town Hall, Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre in Limavady and Sheskburn House (Ballycastle), and an online version will be available for those in the Causeway area.

Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council posted on facebook that a number of leisure centre facilities will be closed over the weekend.

A number of sporting fixtures due to take place on Friday and over the weekend period have also been cancelled. Ulster's pre-season game on Friday against Glasgow has been cancelled, as has all domestic rugby for the weekend.

On Monday September 12, a procession is expected along Royal Mile to St Giles' Cathedral. Service and the Vigil of the Princes by members of the royal family.

The public may get the chance to file past the Queen's coffin at a mini lying in state in St Giles'.

The House of Commons and the House of Lords are expected to come together in Westminster for a Motion of Condolence, which the King could attend.

On Tuesday September 13, the coffin is expected to be flown to London. Expected to be at rest at Buckingham Palace.

A rehearsal for the procession of the coffin from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster takes place.

On Wednesday September 14, the Queen's lying in state is expected to begin in Westminster Hall - Operation Marquee - following a ceremonial procession through London. It will last four full days. The Archbishop of Canterbury will conduct a short service following the coffin's arrival.

Hundreds of thousands of people will file past the coffin on its catafalque and pay their respects, just as they did for the Queen Mother's lying in state in 2002.

Senior royals are also expected to pay their own moving tribute, standing guard at some stage around the coffin - the tradition known as the Vigil of the Princes.

On Thursday September 15, Lying in state continues and a rehearsal is likely to take place for the state funeral procession.

On Friday to Sunday, lying in state continues, ending on D+9. Heads of state begin to arrive for the funeral.

The Queen's state funeral is expected take place at Westminster Abbey in central London on Monday.

The original 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 poignantly 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.

Heads of state, prime ministers and presidents, European royals and key figures from public life will be invited to gather in the abbey, which can hold a congregation of 2,000.

The service will be televised, and a national two minutes' silence is expected to be held.

The same day as the funeral, the Queen's coffin will be taken to St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for a televised committal service.

Later in the evening, there will be a private interment service with senior members of the royal family.

The Queen's final resting place will be 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.

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