Death of a Member of the Royal Family Protocol

(A pdf version of this policy is available for download here)


This document offers guidance to the elected Members, staff and residents within the area covered by St Stephen in Brannel Parish Council on marking the death of a member of the royal family. It sets out the protocols to be observed on the death of the Sovereign, which involves the greatest number of ceremonial elements

All parts of this protocol apply on the death of the Sovereign. In addition, this protocol is constructed in a way to allow the appropriate elements to be used when marking the death of other national figures such as the Prime Minister, a serving Councillor or other prominent person.

It is the responsibility of the Chairman and Clerk to decide for whom the protocol is implemented and to what extent.

Elements of this protocol may also be used when responding to another incident which has led to a large number of deaths (i.e. a local disaster or terrorist attack).

Operational Code Names are –

London Bridge The Sovereign
Menai Bridge Prices of Wales


Implementation of the Protocol on hearing of the death

The Clerk or their appointed deputy shall be responsible for enacting the protocol.

Plans to mark a death must be implemented only when a formal announcement has been made by Buckingham Palace or the equivalent

Council business will continue as usual but with regard to grief, respect and the mood of the nation. Meetings and other certain events may proceed but celebratory events will be cancelled or rescheduled. It is the responsibility of the Chairman and Clerk to determine what is appropriate. If meetings are cancelled, the emergency scheme of delegation will be activated.

Timetable – The Sovereign

It is expected that the timetable for national mourning will be –

D Day – Date of Death[2]
D+1 Proclamation Day (London)[3]
D+2 Proclamation Day
D+? Middle Sunday (Civic Services)
D+4-6 to D+9 Lying in state
D+10 Date of Funeral (Public Holiday unless a Saturday. If a Sunday fuleral will be D+11)

[2] Place of Death may change timetable (If in Scotland, follow Operation Unicorn.
[3] Proclamation Day could change due to Privy Council meeting, Bank Holiday or an Election. Follow Buckingham Palace lead.

Timetable – Senior National Figure

It is expected that the timetable for nation mourning will be –

D Day – Date of Death
D+? – Middle Sunday (Civic Services)
D+2-4 to D+7 – Lying in state
D+8 – Date of Funeral


The Proclamation of the new Sovereign will be made on D+1 in London at 11.00am and 12noon

At 12noon on D+2 the Proclamation will be read in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

At 12.30 on D+2 the Proclamation will be read at Edinburgh Castle.

Once those Proclamations have been read it is appropriate for the Proclamation to be read at County and Parish level.

The High Sheriff of Cornwall will read the County Proclamation at 13.00hrs

As the first citizen of the parish, the Chairman shall read a local Proclamation at the parish council offices at 3pm. If the Chairman is not available, the local proclamation will be read by the second citizen of the parish – the Clerk. The Clerk will be responsible for advertising the reading. All Councillors and staff are expected to attend and the Chairman, Clerk and Vice Chairman will form the platform party.

Flag Flying

On the formal announcement of death, the Parish Council request that all flags within the parish are to be lowered to half-mast until 08:00am on the morning following the funeral.

In the case of the death of the Sovereign, all flags shall be flown at half mast until 11am on D+1 when it shall be raised to full mast for the Proclamation. It shall them return to half mast immediately after the local Proclamation until 08:00am on the morning following the funeral.


The Clerk or their appointed Deputy will liaise with the Tower Captain of St Stephen Parish Church to ensure the following –

  • On the announcement of the Sovereigns death, a single will toll for each year of their life.
  • At the Proclamation, there will be a full open peal of bells.
  • During any civic service, there will be a full muffled peal of bells
  • On the day of the funeral, a single bell will toll for one hour prior to the funeral.


The parish council request that any floodlights within the community are turned deep purple to show the parish is in mourning. Alternatively, flood lights should be switched off.

Books of Condolence

The provision of ‘Books of Condolence’ will remain within the power of Cornwall Council

Parish Council Website

A black homepage, featuring a picture of the deceased, their birth and death dates and links to the main website and further information will be added to the Parish Council website until 08.00am on the morning following the funeral. A message from the Chairman will be included.

Floral Tributes

Residents may choose to express their sadness by laying flowers; in order to manage such activity safely, the Parish Council has identified the following sites within the Parish:

War memorial, St Stephen Churchtown cemetery
War memorial, Nanpean cemetery

All flowers will be removed the week after the funeral has taken place.

The parish council respectfully request that any plastic or cellophane is removed to allow composting which will be used in the planting of a memorial tree.

The Chairman will lay floral tributes at both sites on behalf of the parish council.

Dress Code

On occasions where a Parish Council meeting falls during the period of mourning or on the death of the Sovereign and when the Proclamation is read, it is appropriate for all Councillors and members of staff to wear a small black rosette or a black armband. These will be provided by the Parish Council office.

The badge of the chain of office shall be worn in a black mourning pouch until after the funeral.

Marking a Silence

On the death of the Sovereign there will be a two-minute silence at 11.00am on the day of the funeral (D+10).

That silence will be kept for other members of the royal family; advised for the day of the funeral as part of the funeral service.

Letter of Condolence

It is usual, in the case of the death of a member of the royal family, for letters to be sent to the Private Secretary of the deceased, asking that condolences be passed to the next of kin and other members of the family (except in the case of the Sovereigns deaths, in which case they should be sent to the new Sovereigns Private Secretary asking that condolences be passed on to the new Sovereign). In each case, one official letter of condolence will be sent on behalf of the Parish Council by the Clerk.


A portrait will be displayed, with mourning ribbon, in the Parish Council office for one month following the funeral.

Memorial Tree

Memorial trees will be planted in Nanpean and St Stephen Churchtown cemeteries.


Any queries on this protocol should be directed to the Clerk on or 01726 823003.

[Adopted by Full Council at their meeting held on Thursday 7th July 2022 under minute number FPC156/22.]