By Brooklyn Neustaeter
LONDON (CTV Network) — After days of mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II, a sense of finality has settled over the U.K. and Commonwealth following her state funeral Monday, during which crowds gathered along streets to honour the late monarch and her historic 70-year reign.
Monday was declared a public holiday in honour of the Queen, who died on Sept. 8 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland — and hundreds of thousands of people descended on central London and Windsor to bid her farewell.
Filled with pomp and pageantry, the solemn day was widely considered a moment for the public to say goodbye to their former sovereign.
Sally Osman, former director of Royal Communications at Buckingham Palace, told CTV News the Queen’s funeral has brought an end to an era, and it requires reflection before moving forward.
Speaking during CTV News’ live coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral on Monday, Osman noted the Queen, who had a hand in planning her own funeral, offered the public a chance to grieve before her family. Osman said it was her last act of service, in a way.
“There’s been something very profound going on, not just in the U.K. I think, but around the world, and now that these ceremonies are over I think there will be a moment when we just pause and reflect,” Osman said.
Despite the public mourning period coming to a close, the Royal Family will continue mourning until at least Sept. 26. Protocol dictates that the Royal Family continues to mourn for a week after the public.
During this time, the Royal Family will not do any public engagements unless the King gives special permission. They will also continue to wear black attire and flags, with the exception of the Royal Standard, will continue to fly at half-mast.
“I think that the Queen, wherever she may be, would be looking down and be incredibly proud of her family, the way they’ve conducted themselves with such dignity while having to grieve publically,” Osman said.
But despite the additional mourning period for members of the Royal Family, Osman said business must continue to be done.
“Nevertheless, the wheels of the constitution will keep turning,” she said. “Whether that’s signing legislation, meeting other heads of state who might be in town that the King hasn’t had a chance to meet yet, and starting to undertake those important duties of monarchy.”
There’s been little downtime for the Royal Family since the Queen’s death, especially for King Charles III.
The new Sovereign has had one “day of reflection” since his mother’s death. The rest of the days he’s been busy balancing new responsibilities with personal sadness and grief, even touring the four nations of the United Kingdom.
In addition, the King gets no rest from receiving the famous red boxes containing state papers, which arrive every day of his reign except on Christmas Day.
Following their mourning period, there will likely be more tours and engagements across the country — and the world — for not just the King, but other members of the Royal Family as they adjust to their new roles.
As well, planning will likely soon start for King Charles III’s coronation. While the King immediately ascended to the throne when his mother died, his coronation will likely not be before spring 2023 as the logistics of such an event requires months of planning.
Buckingham Palace also begins planning for the annual Christmas Broadcast in September, which will be the King’s first.
“You have to think about the band that’s going to play, the hymns that are going to be sung, the theme… what reading might come from the Bible,” Osman said. “There (is) huge amounts of symbolism built into what looks like a very, very simple undertaking.”
Osman noted this ongoing stream of work – even amid person grief – comes with the territory of being a member of the Royal Family.
This is duty, Osman says, Queen Elizabeth II deeply understood. She said the Queen had “a real sense of commitment” and was an exemplar of “true leadership.”
“Now we need to give the King and his family as much support as we can,” she said.
Osman said the events leading up to and including the funeral not only close the final chapter of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, but signify the welcoming in of a new era for the monarchy.
She added this sense of hope is something the late sovereign would have wanted the public to keep in mind amid their sorrow.
“She’ll want people to remember this time… about how we can come together in times of sadness and joy, and we should remember that sense of collectiveness and being together,” she said.
With files from The Associated Press
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