What Will Happen In Australia Now Queen Elizabeth II Has Died?

What Will Happen In Australia Now Queen Elizabeth II Has Died?

As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Queen Elizabeth II has unfortunately passed away. Her eldest son, Charles is now King making him King Charles III.

At 6:30 pm on Thursday local time (3:30 am Friday for us), Buckingham Palace released a statement confirming her death.

“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” it read.

The world has already started to enter a period of mourning as we wake up to the news that the Elizabethan Era has come to an end.

With the news, it’s understandable that many people are confused about what happens now, especially in Australia where the Queen was our Head of State.

Here’s what will happen in Australia now that Queen Elizabeth II has passed away.

Queen Elizabeth II’s time as monarch

Queen Elizabeth death
Queen Elizabeth II. (Photo by Steve Reigate – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth II was born on April 21, 1926. At the time of writing, the Queen was 96 years of age.

She has acted as Queen of the United Kingdom since February 6, 1952 – that’s 70 years. For most of us, Queen Elizabeth is the only British ruler we’ve ever seen on the throne. Her father, King George VI was only 56 when he died.

What happens now that Queen Elizabeth II has died?

As you may assume, there is a very regimented plan in place for the passing of a reigning monarch.

The Guardian reported a few years back that once Queen Elizabeth II has passed, Charlies will become king and the Queen’s private secretary will communicate the news to the British Prime Minister using the coded message: “London Bridge is down”.

From here, the 15 governments where the Queen stands as the head of state (this includes Australia) will be notified, followed by the remaining nations in the Commonwealth.

Formerly, the BBC would be notified first of a royal death but according to The Guardian, this is no longer the case, with the announcement now going out to the Press Association and worldwide media via news release.

A series of ceremonial acts will play out across London

Tradition asks that a footman dressed in mourning attire will attach a notice of Her Majesty’s passing on the gates of Buckingham Palace, and an announcement will be made on the royal family’s official website.

Bells will toll across the city, including Westminster Abbey’s tenor bell, and flags will be lowered to half-mast. Ten days of mourning will commence. During this time, it’s expected the Queen’s coffin will be kept in Westminster Abbey where the public may pay their respects (how this will roll out with COVID, however, we’re not sure). A state funeral will be held by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

In Australia, there are specific rules in place following the Queen’s death also

Flags will fly at half-mast here in Australia, also, which can already be seen at Parliament House. Once the news has been received by the government, Parliament will meet.

According to reports from The Australian, the governor-general of Australia will announce the accession of a new monarch and the Prime Minister will issue a speech. Both are normally expected to travel to London for the funeral proceedings.

The outlet reports that The Australian Defence Force will also take part in a series of gun salutes in correspondence with events in London. A 41-gun salute will be fired from Hyde Park, London.

What is the protocol when it comes to Prince Charles?

Charles is expected to address the nation the evening of the date of the Queen’s passing. He has now become King Charles III. As we recently learnt, it has been confirmed that Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will be queen consort now that her husband Prince Charles will take on the throne.

When Charles married Camilla, her initial proposed title was “princess consort” – to appease a disappointed public who remained very much loyal to Princess Diana. However, during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, she shared it was her “sincere wish” that Camilla be crowned Queen Camilla.

The new king will be proclaimed 24 hours after the Queen’s death and flags will be returned to full mast. It is also believed that Prince William will take the title of Prince of Wales after this point.

The coronation will occur a few months from that point, allowing for a mourning period.

The list of events is long and detailed and is something we haven’t seen roll out since the passing of King George in 1952. What’s certain is this will be a major moment in history, and one that few of us have experienced before.

If you’d like to see more detail, check out The Guardian’s full exploration in its 2017 piece here.

This article on the death of Queen Elizabeth II has been updated since news broke of her passing. 

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


3 responses to “What Will Happen In Australia Now Queen Elizabeth II Has Died?”

Leave a Reply