Prince Philip: What does it mean to be in a period of national mourning?

The Duke of Edinburgh’s death on Friday officially began the UK’s period of national mourning.

This will last up to and including his funeral on Saturday 17 April.

What does this mean?

The period of national mourning came after the Queen approved a recommendation by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Union flags at royal residences and on government buildings were lowered to half-mast on Friday and will stay that way until 8am on the day after the funeral.

Union flags will be flown at half-mast on royal residences, government buildings, Armed Forces establishments and at UK posts overseas for the next week.

Public services and the government’s pandemic response will continue.

Will businesses have to close?

There is "no expectation for businesses to close during the mourning period unless they wish to", according to the Cabinet Office guidance.

Many businesses in England, such as non-essential shops and outdoor hospitality, are due to reopen on Monday, as lockdown rules are eased.

The guidance states that businesses might want to make arrangements for observing the national one-minute silence at 3pm on the day of Philip’s funeral.

Will sporting events take place?

The guidance suggests organisers of sporting fixtures could consider using black armbands and observing a silence before matches are played.

The Football League said matches scheduled for 3pm will be rearranged, as will Premiership rugby fixtures.

The Football Association, Premier League and the England and Wales Cricket Board are speaking with the government while the Women’s Six Nations is awaiting guidance.

The British Horseracing Authority is considering its plans.

Does the Royal Family still carry out public engagements?

Engagements will continue appropriate to the circumstances, a senior royal official has said, as the family observes two weeks of royal mourning starting from last Friday.

Can I lay flowers in tribute to Philip?

People should not lay flowers, candles or messages in public spaces or at royal residences, due to coronavirus restrictions limiting gatherings.

What can I do instead?

You could donate to a charitable organisation with which the duke was associated – a list is on the Royal Family’s website.

What about signing a book of condolence?

There are no physical books of condolence, due to lockdown restrictions.

There is an online version on the Royal Family’s website.

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