Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

New easy read guides to help people understand and cope with the Queen’s death

The learning disability charity United Response has produced an easy-read article explaining the recent passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully at her home in Balmoral Castle on 8th September 2022, at the age of 96. She was the longest reigning British monarch and female head of state in history, sitting on the throne for 70 years.

Understanding what will happen following the Queen’s death

Her passing will bring about significant changes for the UK and the commonwealth. This can feel like a confusing time, and many will be wondering what will change in the coming weeks and months now that the Queen’s son, Charles III, is King of the United Kingdom.

To help make this significant time of change easier to understand, United Response have created an easy-read guide explaining what will happen following the Queen’s death.

The article explains that the Queen’s son, King Charles III is now the head of state. This is because the Royal Family works on a hereditary system, meaning that the next King or Queen is usually the oldest child of the current King or Queen.

It also tells the reader about the Queen’s upbringing, and how she came to become Queen at the age of just 25, following the death of her father, King George VI.

When will the Queen’s funeral happen?

The Queen’s funeral will happen on Monday 19th September at Westminster Abbey. The day of the funeral has been declared as a bank holiday, to give people the opportunity to watch the funeral and mourn the Queen’s death.

Before the funeral, the Queen’s coffin will be moved to Westminster Hall, where it will be on show to the public (known as ‘lying in state’), so that anyone who wants to is able to pay their respects.

The doors of Westminster Hall will open to the public at 5pm on Wednesday 14th September (today). During this time, it is expected that lots of people will travel to London. The train strikes that were planned for the next few weeks have now been cancelled to help people get there.

There is an accessible queuing scheme available for those with a disability or long-term condition which means they are unable to queue for an extended period of time. If you require this queue, you may be accompanied by one carer or companion.

If you need to use the accessible queuing scheme, please click here for more information.

What can I do if I feel sad about the Queen’s death?

Even though most of us did not know the Queen personally, she has been a constant in our lives for so long that many will feel saddened by her death.

Cruse Bereavement Support, the UK’s largest bereavement charity, says that it is important to realise that these feelings are valid, and to seek support if you need to.

“With someone like our Queen, who has been part of the shared public landscape for so long, not being around can make the world feel like a less safe and certain place. This can make us feel vulnerable,” the organisation said.

Cruse Bereavement said taking the time “to think about your own memories of the Queen and what she meant to you” may help people come to terms with their grief.

The NHS has also produced an easy-read guide to grief and loss when someone dies, which can be used by carers and those with learning disabilities to prompt discussions about coping with perhaps unexpected feelings following the Queen’s death.

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