On Monday, September 19, Canada will mark the passing of Queen Elizabeth II with a national day of mourning and a national memorial ceremony in the nation’s capital.
The events, which will take place on the same day as the Queen’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey, will include a memorial parade through downtown Ottawa, a service at Christ Church Cathedral and a flyover of planes from CF-18 fighter over Parliament Hill.
While plans are still being finalized, government officials briefed reporters on Wednesday on the elements of the event already settled and offered new details on how Canadians can participate.
Aware of the heightened security on Parliament Hill around major events since the convoy protests this winter, officials said plans were underway to ensure that these commemorations honoring the life and contributions of longest reigning monarch in Canada can take place in “a family environment”. “
Here’s what we know so far.
The day’s events will begin with a memorial parade at approximately 10:10 a.m. ET and will last 40 minutes along the 2.2 kilometer route.
The parade will begin at the Cartier Square Armoury, a military training center located next to Ottawa City Hall along the Rideau Canal, which currently serves two regiments, the Governor General’s Foot Guards and the Camerons. Highlanders of Ottawa.
The parade, made up of members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, will pass the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument and the National War Memorial on Elgin Street, before turning onto Wellington Street towards Cathedral.
A member of the National Sentry Program will carry Her Majesty’s personal Canadian flag, and 32 members of the Canadian Armed Forces Central Band will also participate, according to a government official.
A 96-gun salute – one shot for each year of Queen Elizabeth II’s life – will be fired during the parade.
People are urged to gather along the parade route to watch, with plans underway to set up barricades and close roads for security reasons.
Screens will also be installed in the Garden of the Provinces and Territories on Wellington Street so that spectators can follow the events throughout the morning.
The hour-and-fifteen-minute service at Christ Church Cathedral is by invitation only, with federal officials saying they are expecting 600 guests.
Due to begin at 11 a.m. ET, officials did not say who will be in attendance.
As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Governor General Mary Simon travel as part of a Canadian delegation to London for the state funeral, the cathedral is expected to be filled with dignitaries, parliamentarians, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of various religious communities, and charities with which Queen Elizabeth II had a close connection.
There will be a commemorative procession led by a piper, which will include honorary pallbearers, representatives from each of Her Majesty’s 16 military regiments and a representative from the RCMP Musical Ride, among others.
Officials said the ceremony will involve religious and non-religious elements, reflecting the diversity of religions seen in Canada, as well as a tribute from an Algonquin spiritual advisor affiliated with the cathedral.
The ceremony will also include hymns and songs, a tribute video featuring an original piece composed by the Canadian Armed Forces for the occasion, musical interludes by Canadian artists, an address by a “prominent Canadian” who has not yet been announced and a minute of silence.
For anyone wishing to watch across Canada, the ceremony will be televised live and streamed online.
At the end of the ceremony, the church bells will ring and there will be a flypast of Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18s in the “Missing Persons Formation” moving over Parliament Hill, towards the cathedral.
The Canadian flags that have been flown at half-mast on all federal buildings and establishments in Canada and abroad, including the Peace Tower, should be raised at sunset on the day of the funeral.
While Canada’s official period of mourning will end after Monday, a series of changes are yet to come for Canadian institutions.
Since King Charles III has been proclaimed Head of State of Canada, certain procedural and ceremonial adjustments have already been made.
For example, Canada’s Royal Anthem, “God Save The Queen” became “God Save The King”. The Queen’s Privy Council is now the King’s Privy Council, and the official title of the Official Opposition is now “Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition”.
The protocol states that the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II should remain until the day after the funeral, but these images in buildings across the country should then be removed and replaced with the portrait of the new sovereign, once it becomes available. , which may take some time. .
The royal monogram – the Queen’s personal monogram that is used on badges of Canadian orders, medals and badges – will also eventually be replaced by the personal monogram of King Charles III.
In the future, although Canadian currency that bears the image of Queen Elizabeth II is legal tender, it is possible that in the future the federal government may order the Royal Canadian Mint to design and circulate new coins and banknotes featuring a portrait of the king.