King Charles Calls for Royals to Mourn Queen Until Week After State Funeral

King Charles III has let it be known that he wishes members of the royal family and households to observe official royal mourning until one week after the state funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

In a statement from Buckingham Palace released on Friday, less than 24 hours after the queen died aged 96 at her Scottish home of Balmoral Castle, it was announced that it was Charles' "wish" to honor his mother in this way.

King Charles Royal Mourning
King Charles III (when Prince of Wales) photographed at the funeral of his father Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, April 17, 2021. The new king has requested that members of the royal family and household observe royal mourning until seven days after Queen Elizabeth II's state funeral. Leon Neal/WPA Pool/Getty Images

"Following the death of Her Majesty The Queen, it is His Majesty The King's wish that a period of Royal Mourning be observed from now until seven days after The Queen's Funeral," the statement read. "The date of the Funeral will be confirmed in due course.

"Royal Mourning will be observed by Members of the Royal Family, Royal Household staff and Representatives of the Royal Household on official duties, together with troops committed to Ceremonial Duties."

Mourning is traditionally observed by the royals to honor the death of family members and was last publicly seen after the death of the queen's husband Prince Philip in 2021.

The most visible way this tradition is observed by the royals is to dress in black, though white is also a historic mourning colour for royalty—Queen Victoria requested an all-white funeral.

In the past, court mourning could last up to a year for monarchs and their spouses but during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II the custom was dramatically reduced.

In 1952 on the death of her father King George VI, the new queen asked that the royals observe 16 weeks of mourning. By 2021 for the death of Prince Philip, the queen requested a two-week period which included and extended past the eight-day period of national mourning.

The difference between royal mourning and national mourning is that one applies to the royals and their households and the other applies broadly to the country at large.

In the eight days of national mourning for Philip for example, no new laws were passed and politicians in the House of Commons wore black armbands.

The queen's funeral is expected to take place 10 days after her death, according to plans seen by Politico titled "Operation London Bridge." This would bring the period of royal mourning—which begins on the day the monarch dies—to 17 days.

King Charles Floral Tributes
King Charles III and The Queen Consort (when Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall) photographed viewing floral tributes left on the occasion of Prince Philip's death, April 15, 2021. Jeremy Selwyn - WPA Pool/Getty Images

As well as an announcement regarding royal mourning, the directive released from Buckingham Palace on Friday also detailed how floral tributes to the late queen would be handled.

Instead of tribute placed outside the gates of the royal residences being allowed to build up as was the case with those left in 1997 when Princess Diana died, those left to the queen will be placed in the royal parks in dedicated "gardens."

"At Buckingham Palace members of the public will be guided to lay floral tributes at dedicated sites in The Green Park or Hyde Park," it read.

"Flowers left outside the gates of Buckingham Palace will be moved to The Green Park Floral Tribute Garden by The Royal Parks. Further guidance will be issued by The Royal Parks."

This also extended to Windsor Castle where: "floral tributes can be left at Cambridge Gate on the Long Walk. These flowers will be brought inside the Castle every evening, and placed on the Castle Chapter grass on the south side of St George's Chapel and Cambridge Drive."

The palace has decided that there will be no physical books of condolence placed at royal residences for the public to sign as has been the case in the past, but a digital book has been set up on the royal family's official website for people to send messages in.