The British Monarchy: What Happens Next?

By: Michael Crooks

After a 70-year reign, the Queen has died. When is her funeral? How is Australia paying its respect? And what happens to our coins?

Mourners in London were filing past the Queen’s coffin during days of lying in state, with queues stretching as far back as 8kms and those hoping to get into Westminster Hall have waiting up to 14 hours or more.

Queen's coffin lying in state while mourners pass by

The coffin was accompanied in a procession from Buckingham Palace as King Charles, his siblings Anne, Andrew and Edward and three of the Queen’s grandsons walked behind.

The Royal Family has released full details about the “arrangements for the State Funeral and Committal Service for Her Majesty The Queen”.

His Majesty The King and the Royal Family wish to send their sincere gratitude for the messages of condolence received from around the world. The Royal Family has been deeply moved by the global response and affection shown for The Queen as people join them in mourning the loss of Her Majesty.

The State Funeral of Her Majesty The Queen will take place at Westminster Abbey on Monday, 19th September at 1100hrs BST (8pm AEST). A Committal Service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, will take place later the same day at 1600hrs (1am Tuesday AEST).

The State Funeral Service will be conducted by the Dean of Westminster. During the Service, the Prime Minister and the Secretary General of the Commonwealth will read Lessons. The Archbishop of York, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and the Free Churches Moderator will say Prayers. The Sermon will be given by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who will also give the Commendation. The Dean of Westminster will then pronounce the Blessing.

Towards the end of the Service, at approximately 1155hrs (8.55pm AEST), Last Post will sound followed by Two Minute’s Silence to be observed in the Abbey, and throughout the United Kingdom. The National Anthem will bring the State Funeral Service to a close at approximately 12 noon (9pm AEST).

After the Service, Her Majesty’s Coffin will be borne through the Abbey, returning to the State Gun Carriage for the Procession to Wellington Arch, Hyde Park Corner, arriving at 1300hrs (10pm AEST). The King and Members of the Royal Family will again follow The Queen’s Coffin in Procession. The Procession will include detachments from the Armed Forces of the Commonwealth. Minute Guns will be fired in Hyde Park by The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, and Big Ben will toll throughout the duration of the Procession.

At Wellington Arch, the Coffin will be transferred to the State Hearse to travel to Windsor. As the State Hearse departs Wellington Arch, the Parade will give a Royal Salute and the National Anthem will be played. His Majesty The King and Members of the Royal Family will then depart for Windsor.

When the Coffin reaches Windsor, the State Hearse will slow to join a Procession to be formed up on Albert Road to travel via the Long Walk to St George’s Chapel, Windsor for the Committal Service. Members of the Royal Family will join the Procession in the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle. Minute Guns will be fired on the East Lawn, Windsor Castle by The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, and Sebastopol Bell and the Curfew Tower Bell will be tolled.

The Procession will halt at the bottom of the West Steps of St. George’s Chapel where a Guard of Honour, found by the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, will be mounted. The Queen’s Coffin will be borne in Procession into the Chapel.

The Committal Service will begin at 1600hrs (1am Tuesday AEST), and alongside His Majesty The King and Members of the Royal Family, the congregation will be made up of past and present members of The Queen’s Household, including from the private estates. Also in attendance will be Governors General and Realm Prime Ministers.

The Service will be conducted by the Dean of Windsor, with prayers said by the Rector of Sandringham, the Minister of Crathie Kirk and the Chaplain of Windsor Great Park. The Choir of St George’s Chapel will sing during the Service.

Prior to the final Hymn, the Imperial State Crown, the Orb and the Sceptre will be removed from Her Majesty The Queen’s Coffin, and placed on the Altar. At the end of the final Hymn, The King will place The Queen’s Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on Her Majesty’s Coffin. At the same time, The Lord Chamberlain will “break” his Wand of Office and place it on the Coffin.

As The Queen’s Coffin is lowered into the Royal Vault, the Dean of Windsor will say a Psalm and the Commendation before Garter King of Arms pronounces Her Majesty’s styles and titles.

The Sovereign’s Piper will play a Lament and The Archbishop of Canterbury will pronounce the Blessing. The National Anthem will be sung at the conclusion of the Service.

A Private Burial will take place in The King George VI Memorial Chapel later that evening, conducted by the Dean of Windsor.

The Queen is to be buried together with The Duke of Edinburgh.

Recent portrait photo of Queen Elizabeth II in pale blue dress

The Governor-General and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese are in London for the Queen’s funeral, along with 10 “ordinary Australians” invited to attend, including Australian of the year Dylan Alcott, Victoria cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith and Danny Abdallah – the father of three of four children killed by a drunk and drugged driver in Oatlands in 2020.

Send a message of condolence

The Royal Family’s website has been setup for people all over the world to be able to send a message of condolence in memory of Her Majesty The Queen.

How will Australians pay their respects?

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced a one-off National Day of Mourning for Australians “to pay their respects for the passing of Queen Elizabeth”.

The public holiday is set for Thursday 22 September to coincide with a memorial service for the Queen, after Mr Albanese and the Governor-General have returned from attending the Queen’s funeral in London.


Though no date has yet been set, the coronation for King Charles III will most likely take place early next year.

Queen Elizabeth’s coronation was not held until over a year after she became Queen.

“The coronation ceremony, an occasion for pageantry and celebration, but it is also a solemn religious ceremony, has remained essentially the same over a thousand years,” reads a statement on the Royal Family’s website.

“For the last 900 years, the ceremony has taken place at Westminster Abbey, London.”

King Charles’ wife, Camilla, is now the Queen Consort, a title that indicates she is the spouse of a king (people who marry into the royal family cannot inherit the throne).


Australian bank notes lying side by side

The Queen is dead, long live her currency? Not quite. Though coins and notes bearing Queen Elizabeth’s profile will remain in circulation, the Royal Australian Mint will make new coins bearing King Charles III.

As is the tradition, the King’s profile will face left or west, the opposite direction to the last reigning monarch (Queen Elizabeth faced right).

According to the ABC, Queen Elizabeth II has appeared on more money than any other person in history.

Her face has been on coins in 35 countries including the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and other Commonwealth nations.

Her face is on every Australian coin, from the 5c to the $2 coin and also appears on Australia’s $5 note. Her Majesty was also on the now obsolete $1 note.

“The monarch has traditionally appeared on the lowest denomination of Australian banknotes and it is our expectation that this would continue should there be a change in the monarch,” a Reserve Bank of Australia spokesperson said.

But whether coins show Queen Elizabeth or King Charles, it is all legal tender.

“All Australian banknotes issued from 1913 retain their legal tender status,” the RBA spokesperson said.

Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.

Royal Photos Source: The Royal Family Facebook
Currency Photo Source: by Melissa Walker Horn on Unsplash

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