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Guidance for the Period of National Mourning

Published: 10 April 2021

The Royal Family has announced that a national Online Book of Condolence is now available on the Royal website for those who wish to send a personal message. 

Send a message of condolence

The Royal Family has also advised that:

During the current public health situation, Books of Condolence will not be available for the public to sign. The Royal Family ask that members of the public consider making a donation to a charity instead of leaving floral tributes in memory of The Duke.

Read the statements from the Lord Mayor of Westminster and the Leader of Westminster City Council.

Guidance for the Period of National Mourning

The Government has issued guidance for the Period of National Mourning:

Ceremonial Arrangements

His Royal Highness will lie-at-rest in Windsor Castle ahead of the funeral service, but this will not be open to the public.

The Royal Ceremonial Funeral of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh will be held on 17 April at 3pm in St. George’s Chapel. Further details can be found at the Royal website.


Businesses may wish to make arrangements for observing the national one minute silence at 3pm on the day of the funeral. There is no expectation for businesses to close during the mourning period unless they wish to. This is a decision for individual organisations.

Flags and Silences

Union flags flying from Royal Residences and Government Buildings were half-masted on 9 April and will remain half-masted until 8am on 18 April, the day after the funeral.

Businesses or other organisations wishing to pay their respects by half-masting flags or holding silences should follow the guidance that has been issued by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

A national one minute silence will take place at 3pm the day of the funeral.


In order to comply with COVID-19 restrictions in place, and to prevent the spread of infection, we respectfully ask members of the public not to lay flowers or other memorial items such as candles, messages and mementoes, at Royal Residences or other public spaces.

Public Services

All public services and any services involved in the Government response to COVID-19 will continue as usual throughout the mourning period.


We understand that many people would like to express their grief on the death of His Royal Highness. Making a donation to one of His Royal Highness’ many patronages is a fitting way of paying tribute to his remarkable legacy. A list of His Royal Highness’ patronages, and how you can donate can be found on the Royal Website.

Further Information

For further information, please refer to the Royal Website or GOV.UK.