queen funeral holiday canada

Queen Elizabeth II's funeral is set and Canada could make it a national holiday

Monarchists worldwide are mourning the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 96, and details of the late monarch's funeral have begun to emerge.

Though unconfirmed by the Canadian federal government, it is widely believed that the funeral of Canada's now-former head of state might mean a day off of work and school for the nation of 38 million.

The Queen's state funeral will be held on Sept. 19 at Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace announced on Saturday that she will lie in state in Westminster Hall for four days, starting Wednesday.

Canada is currently observing a ten-day mourning period, including longstanding customs like decorating portraits of the late queen, flags and other national symbols with black ribbons. Government officials and members of the public may also be seen sporting black ribbon pins during this period.

The Canadian heritage department confirmed to news outlets over the weekend that the day of the funeral will be observed in Canada with a ceremony at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa, to be attended by "representatives of organizations with whom Her Majesty had a close connection."

Even though the actual funeral will be taking place thousands of kilometres away in London, the Canadian ceremony will be quite the event, with a memorial parade, a 96-shot salute representing each year of the queen's life, and even a Parliament Hill flyover by Canadian Forces CF-18s.

Canadians will be able to tune into the ceremony live on television or via livestream, and there's a good chance that the masses will have their schedules freed up to take in the spectacle.

In each past instance of a monarch passing away, Canada has observed an official "Day of Mourning" on the funeral date, and though times have changed during the Queen's 70 years on the throne, it would be a major break from tradition if Canada didn't treat Sept. 19 as a national holiday.

The last time this happened was in 1952, after the sudden passing of King George VI. Canadians were given a day off to mourn the king and observe his funeral on Feb. 15, 1952, though the reaction seems to have softened for the Queen.

While theatre marquees were dimmed in Toronto on the eve of TIFF, it's a far cry from the reaction seven decades earlier, when theatres were shuttered entirely in a show of respect.

There has still been no indication whatsoever from the federal government that a public holiday is planned for the funeral date, and a request to the Prime Minister's Office for confirmation has gone unanswered since the day of the Queen's passing.

Still, experts seemed to think — at least before the Queen passed away — that a public holiday was still in the cards.

Canadian protocol expert and author Christopher McCreery told the National Post in 2017 that "it would be a pretty significant break with tradition for there not to be a day of mourning that is a holiday."

Other Commonwealth nations, including Australia, have already announced that a public holiday will be observed on the day of the funeral.

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