What happens when the Queen dies?

04.06.18 11:17 AM By Stuart Hartley

As the world's longest reigning female monarch and the only one that most Kiwis would have known in their lifetime, what will happen when the Queen passes away?

Preparations are already underway as many New Zealanders will want to pay their respects to the Queen.

New Zealand's official commemorations will only be triggered once the news is confirmed by Buckingham Palace.

Upon her death, the first in line to the throne will immediately succeed the Queen, and at this point, that means Prince Charles will become King Charles.

When it comes to public tributes for the monarch, it's important New Zealanders get an opportunity to pay their respects and although not set in stone, they could include the following:

  • lowering flags to half-mast from the day of death until after the State Memorial Service
  • a ceremony to proclaim the accession of the new King
  • acknowledging the death of the Queen in Parliament
  • a State Memorial Service
  • a 21-gun salute
  • the opening of a condolence book

But commemorations won't be limited to what the Government decides to do, with local bodies and other organisations choosing to mark the Queen's death "in their own way".

However what does this mean for New Zealand events that are scheduled to take place during this period and may be impacted by her death?

Standard event cancellation cover would provide indemnity should the event be cancelled, abandoned, postponed, interrupted, curtailed or relocated as a sole and direct result of "national mourning" following the death of a member of the Royal Family or Head of State however this is usually for those below the age of 65 years.  With the Queen recently celebrating her 92nd birthday, her death would therefore be excluded from the policy.

Cover will therefore need to be extended and the policy endorsed to include this eventuality; and for a small premium increase, event managers can be confident that all bases are covered and their insurance is robust enough to cover this event.

The way the Queen is going, I don't think we have any worries for a number of years!

Stuart Hartley