11 Sep 2022

Queen Elizabeth: Cabinet to decide on memorial service and public holiday

6:14 pm on 11 September 2022

Cabinet will consider options for a New Zealand memorial service for the late Queen and a possible public holiday when it meets tomorrow.

Flowers laid by well-wishers, two days after Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96.

Flowers laid by well-wishers, two days after Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96. Photo: AFP

The Queen died on Friday (NZT) and will lie in state for four days before her funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday, 19 September.

A government spokesperson has confirmed that Cabinet will discuss tomorrow the possibilities for a memorial service in this country.

A public holiday will also be considered.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has confirmed the country will have a public holiday for the National Day of Mourning on 22 September.

The official proclamation of Charles III as Aotearoa New Zealand's new king took place at Parliament today, following a similar ceremony in the Uk overnight.

Defence Force set out for funeral service

New Zealand Defence Force staff will spend a week rehearsing with their Commonwealth colleagues before marching in the funeral procession for the Queen.

Around 30 staff are taking part and many boarded commercial flights to London today.

Lieutenant Colonel Edward Craw said it will be a week of full-on preparation.

"Parades, marching rehearsals ... there will be one 2am rehearsal that's done in location in London on one of the nights.

"Other than that, it's just preparing and making sure that we have our ceremonial kit ready and we understand the routes and commands that are going to be given to us."

Craw said the Queen took an active interest in New Zealand's Defence Force and it will be an honour for the group to pay their respects.

Ardern talks to new UK PM

A spokesperson for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expressed the "great sense of loss" felt in New Zealand following the death of Queen Elizabeth when she spoke to her new British counterpart Liz Truss last night.

Ardern also congratulated Truss on her appointment as Prime Minister.

The spokesperson said Ardern acknowledged that this was a difficult time to have the "privilege of office" leading the United Kingdom through the grief at the loss of the Queen.

Truss expressed her condolences on the fatal boating accident in Kaikōura.

The leaders said they looked forward to meeting in person soon.

Ardern also invited Truss to visit New Zealand.

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