The Cabinet Office is to publish details of the moment of reflection for the whole nation to get together at 8pm on Sunday to mark Her late Majesty’s seven decades of service and duty to Britain and the Commonwealth. It comes as thousands of people continue to line up in London to pay their respects at her coffin which is lying in state in Westminster Hall until her funeral on Monday.
A senior Whitehall source said: “The Prime Minister and everyone in the Government has found it incredibly moving how many people have wanted to pay their respects to the late Queen Elizabeth.
“The queues to walk past her coffin are like nothing any of us have seen before.
“But we are also aware that many people who want to come will not have the opportunity to pay their respects in person and we thought it was important that we do something to catch the national mood in which the whole nation can share.”
There were concerns in Government that the message about the national moment of reflection would be lost in the “incredible amount of detailed coverage” of the late Queen’s death and the accession of King Charles III.
READ MORE: Furious Scottish MPs rage over BBC dancing to Sturgeon’s tune with Queen’s death coverage
And private briefings have been issued to Express.co.uk and other outlets to ensure that the message gets out so as many people as possible can share the moment.
The senior source said: “It may be a moment which people want to have some solitary contemplation or can share with families and friends.
“We have seen many different reactions from those passing Her late Majesty’s coffin, all respectful, and the moment of reflection can be something similar.”
The Express was given early access to Westminster Hall after people were able to start paying their respects at 5pm yesterday.
Many people were crying, some crossed themselves, other bowed or curtsied and some said prayers.
It is estimated that at least 400,000 will have had the chance to pay their last respects in Westminster Hall during the four-day lying in state of the late Queen.
But the moment of reflection will be an opportunity for millions more to share in remembering her long reign “and the changes that happened under her guidance.”
It is understood that senior politicians including Prime Minister Liz Truss and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will help lead the moment of national reflection.
And it is hoped that it will be taken up in all four parts of the United Kingdom.
King Charles III today completed a tour of remembrance for his late mother with a visit to Wales following trips to Northern Ireland and Scotland.