After Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday at the age of 96, people all around the world wondered what would happen next. We assumed Charles would become the King, but what about his second wife, Camilla? Will the public be able to see the Queen’s coffin and pay their respects? When is her funeral? And what happens to all those regal outfits?
Some answers have yet to be revealed by the royal family, but in the meantime, we’ve created a handy guide to address what we’ve been seeing a lot of you asking about!
First of all, what do we expect from the days ahead?
On Tuesday, the Queen's coffin will be moved from St. Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh to a Royal Air Force aircraft at Edinburgh airport. The coffin will then arrive at RAF Northolt and will be transported to Buckingham Palace.
The late Queen's body is scheduled to arrive at Westminster Hall at some point on Wednesday. This is when the Queen will lie in state in London, meaning that her coffin is put on view, allowing the public to visit her and pay their respects.
The Queen will lie in state for four days until Monday, when the coffin will travel to Westminster Abbey, where the state funeral will take place.
If you're looking for a detailed itinerary on what's to come in the days leading up to the Queen's funeral, we have a play-by-play of the journey of the Queen's coffin here.
When and where will the Queen’s funeral be?
Buckingham Palace on Saturday confirmed that the state funeral for the late Queen will be at 11 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 19, at Westminster Abbey, and it will be televised. Until then, Britain is in a period of national mourning.
Where will the Queen be buried?
The Queen is expected to be laid to rest at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in England. The chapel has been the resting place of many other royals, such as the Queen’s father, King George VI; her sister, Princess Margaret; and her late husband, Prince Philip.
How did the Queen die?
The Queen was 96 years old, and in recent months her health had declined, but no official cause of death has been given. However, she had struggled with mobility issues recently, which caused her to skip events and postpone meetings.
Last week, rather than following tradition and going to Buckingham Palace, new Prime Minister Liz Truss instead traveled to Scotland to be formally appointed into her new role by the Queen, who was there at her retreat.
During the visit, a photographer who captured the moment between Truss and the Queen told the Scotsman that the Queen looked more “frail” than she had over the summer.
When will King Charles have his coronation?
As the oldest son of Elizabeth and Philip, Charles, 73, officially became the King immediately after his mother’s death.
He was proclaimed King on Saturday at St. James’s Palace in London. The proclamation was led by the Accession Council, a ceremonial body led by government figures, including his wife and eldest son.
After a lot of bureaucratic pomp and circumstance, the Principal Proclamation took place on Saturday, after which the proclamation was publicly read from a balcony at St. James’s Palace.
But it will likely take months to plan the coronation. Queen Elizabeth II’s own coronation, for example, took place 14 months after her father died.
Oh, and, for the record, King Charles III is the oldest person ever to become a British monarch.
Will Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, be crowned too?
Yes! Camilla and Charles are expected to be crowned side by side.
When Charles and Camilla married in 2005, there was some debate around what title Camilla, who had been divorced, would take when Charles became King.
But it was cleared up in February when the Queen requested that Camilla be known as the Queen Consort when Charles took the throne. “It is my sincere wish that, when the time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service,” the Queen said.
What does it mean to be the Queen Consort? Why isn’t Camilla simply the Queen?
Queen Consort is the title given to the spouse of a king. The role of a Queen Consort is to assist the King and support him in carrying out his duties. Camilla’s new primary role is to “provide companionship and moral and practical support” to the King, Buckingham Palace said.
Unlike the King, the Queen Consort does not hold a formal position in the structure of government.
As to why Camilla can’t simply have the Queen title, only members of the royal family who are born in the direct bloodline of succession can become the monarch. That’s why, regardless of what happens to King Charles III, the next in line to the throne is his eldest son, William — not Camilla.
Will Charles and Camilla live at Buckingham Palace?
Yes, it is expected that Charles and Camilla will make Buckingham Palace their official residence, even though there is no law saying they have to.
What happens to the other royals under King Charles III?
Now that Charles is King, his oldest son, Prince William, becomes heir to the throne and takes over his father’s previous title as the Prince of Wales. William’s wife Kate will now be the Princess of Wales. The last Princess of Wales was William’s mother, Diana.
Prince William will also become the Duke of Cornwall and the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland, among a string of other titles.
With the death of the Queen, William and Kate’s children have also moved up in the line of succession.
Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, are expected to keep their titles as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. But the Queen’s death means that, according to conventions set by George V, their children, Archie and Lilibet, would be expected to receive the titles of prince and princess because they are now grandchildren of a sovereign.
Harry and Meghan, however, are no longer working members of the royal family, having stepped down in 2020. And in light of Meghan’s assertion to Oprah Winfrey that Archie wasn’t made a prince at birth because of his mixed-race heritage, there are many questions about the status of their titles.
As of yet, there has been no confirmation that they will be conferred upon Archie and Lili, as she is known. BuzzFeed News has reached out to a Sussex spokesperson for clarification.
Prince Edward, the current Earl of Wessex, was originally meant to become the Duke of Edinburgh after the death of his father, Prince Phillip, who previously held that title. But nothing has been announced yet, so the decision appears to rest with the new King.
Charles’s brother Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, was stripped of his royal duties as well as his military titles and patronages after he was accused of sexual abuse in civil court in the US (claims he has denied).
There are rumors about whether King Charles is expected to “permanently phase out” Prince Andrew now that the Queen has died. I guess we just have to wait and see!
How long will it be until the Queen’s face is removed from money and stamps?
Currently, there are 4.5 billion sterling banknotes in circulation featuring the Queen’s face. Replacing them will likely take at least two years, according to the Guardian.
The Royal Mail will stop producing stamps bearing the likeness of the late Queen and will soon begin producing stamps that feature the profile of the new monarch. The Royal Mail said in a statement that unused Definitive stamps, which are "ones that show Queen Elizabeth's head against a plain background," will, however, remain valid.
Want to read more about what happens to the special stamps, mailboxes, and flags? The Guardian lays it all out in greater detail.
What happens to the UK national anthem?
The words in the national anthem will revert to its original title of “God Save the King” (it was substituted with Queen when the monarch was a woman).
What happens to the Queen’s suits and dresses?
We honestly have no idea where the Queen’s clothes are going to go, but it has long been rumored that Queen Elizabeth II never wore the same outfit more than twice at important events. After wearing them, she reportedly sent her clothes back to her dressers, who were then allowed to either wear them or sell them.
These rumors come from royal biographer Brian Hoey and his book Not in Front of the Corgis. In the book, he wrote that if the Queen’s dresser wished to sell a returned item, they were “not allowed to disclose any of the information about its former owner.”
“All labels and any evidence that might point to the Queen have to be removed so that no one can trace its origin,” Hoey added.
So maybe you’re already wearing one of the Queen’s dresses and just don’t know it!
What happens to the Queen’s fortune?
The late Queen is reportedly leaving behind more than $500 million in personal assets, which — you guessed it! — will be inherited by King Charles.
The royal family makes money in several different ways. Some of their income comes from the British taxpayer fund known as the “Sovereign Grant,” which is paid yearly to the royal family. In the 2021–2022 fiscal year, the grant amount came to around £86.3 million. On top of that, the monarchy holds billions of pounds in real estate assets, as well as other sources of income such as art, jewelry, and personal investments.
What will King Charles’s reign be called?
The death of Queen Elizabeth II brings us to the end of another Elizabethan era. For King Charles III, nothing has been confirmed yet, but if we’re following history and look at the names the UK has used for other kings named Charles, then this era’s name would have something to do with the word Carolus, which is the Latin word for Charles. For King Charles I, they called his era the Caroline era, and for King Charles II, they named it the Carolean era.
How can I stay up to date with what’s going on?
Well, the Accession Council, which will proclaim King Charles III as the new monarch, is set to be televised for the first time in history.
The proclamation will take place Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m. UK time, which for US viewers is 5 a.m. ET. You will be able to watch it on BBC World, the international service of BBC, as well as Sky News.
The Queen’s funeral is also set to be televised, but a date has still not been confirmed.