Lying in state, successor, half-mast flag… What does that mean? Royal Edition

Lying in state, successor, half-mast flag… What does that mean? Royal Edition

Home » Advice » Lying in state, successor, half-mast flag… What does that mean? Royal Edition

Language used by royal officials can sound like jargon to anyone else. Lying in state, successor, state funeral… there are a lot of confusing terms being used at the moment. We’re here to help guide you through what you might be reading online since Queen Elizabeth II died.

What does “London Bridge is down” mean?

This is a royal code phrase to announce that Queen Elizabeth II has died.

What does Operation London Bridge mean?

The plans that follow after the Queen’s death e.g. the state funeral.

What does D-Day mean?

This is how officials refer to the day the Queen died. This is not the same D-Day you may hear referred to in war history.

Who is The Lord Chamberlain?

The royal family news person – they decide how and when to announce a royal death.

What does passed away peacefully mean?

Died. Died in a peaceful way. This sometimes means they died in their sleep or with little pain. This is often used to described the death of an elderly person who has died of old age.

What does period of mourning mean?

Grieving/sadness in the time after the death.

What does Royal Assent mean?

You might hear the phrase ‘There will be no Royal Assent to any business done in Parliament’. This means there will be no new laws made whilst the Royal Family is in mourning.

What does half-mast flag mean?

This describes when a flag is flying halfway up the post instead of at the top. If the national flag is at half mast, all other flags should be the same or not flown at all. Half-mast flags are a sign of remembrance.


You might also like to read…


What does state funeral mean?

Usually only for monarchs (e.g. Kings or Queens). The monarch can also choose to hold a state funeral for someone else if Parliament agrees. For example, Winston’s Churchill had a state funeral in 1965, which was the most recent one! A state funeral allows mass groups or even entire nations to mourn. They are often shown on TV.

What does ceremonial funeral mean?

Anyone else in the Royal Family, including consorts and heirs (more on these terms below!) would have a ceremonial funeral rather than a state funeral. For example, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, Prince Phillip, had a ceremonial funeral in 2021.

What does ceremonial procession mean?

Armed forces and members of the family walk behind the coffin.

What does lying in state mean?

A few days when the coffin is in an official building and the public can visit to pay their respects. Queen Elizabeth II’s body will be formally dressed and displayed in the Houses of Parliament/ The public will be able to register for tickets with time slots to go and view the body and pay their respects.

What does paying respects mean?

This is something we all do in different ways to remember and show how much someone means to us when someone dies. For example, you might visit a gravestone and lay flowers there. For the Queen, the Royal Family have asked people to consider donating to charity instead of buying flowers. They have also suggested people write a tribute of remembrance in the online book.

What does lie at rest mean?

The time between the death and the burial.

What does eulogy mean?

A formal reading or speech to celebrate and remember someone who has died.

What does descendant mean?

A person from the same ancestor – Prince Charles is a descendant of Queen Elizabeth II.

What does successor mean?

The order in which the Royal Family members are in line for the throne… Prince Charles is the successor because he is the Queen’s son and he will become the King of England. We are unlikely to have another Queen of England for decades, maybe centuries.

What does heir mean?

A person who legally inherits/takes over the work/property/rank of another person who has died. For example, Charles, Prince of Wales is Queen Elizabeth II’s heir because he is her eldest son and legally will follow on from her. Traditionally royal heirs have almost always been male and are often the eldest son.

What does Operation Spring Tide mean?

This is the code name for the plans around Prince Charles becoming King Charles III. The day after the Queen’s death, there will be a formal discussion at St James’s Palace to declare the new King.

What does consort mean?

This wife, husband or companion of a reigning monarch. When Prince Charles becomes the King, his wife, Camilla, will become Queen Consort. Camilla can’t be called the ‘Queen of England’ because she isn’t a direct descendant of the Royal Family.

Get support

If the news of the Queen’s death has made you feel as though you would like to speak to one of our team about your own experience with grief, place get in touch. You can call us on 08088 020 021 (open 8am-8pm, Monday to Friday) or email ask@winstonswish.org

If you need urgent support, the Winston’s Wish Crisis Messenger is available 24/7 for free, confidential support in a crisis. Text WW to 85258.

More information

We got this information from the following websites – if you want to find out more about the Queen and the Royal Family, check them out.

https://www.royal.uk/

https://www.parliament.uk/

https://britishheritage.com/

https://www.history.co.uk/