The events and services around the UK that have been cancelled for the Queen’s funeral
Written by Meg Walters
Businesses and public services around the country are shutting their doors on Monday 19 September in respect of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.
Yesterday, family holiday company Center Parcs announced that it would be closing its five sites around the country “as a mark of respect” for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday 19 September. All guests staying at the parks would need to leave from 10am on Monday until 10am Tuesday – even if they were in the middle of their planned holiday.
The announcement prompted a strong response on social media. “Possibly the craziest thing I’ve heard since the Queen died is that Center Parcs are kicking everyone out on Monday, but don’t worry they can just come back the next day,” one person tweeted.
“Absolutely devastated to have our family holiday ruined,” tweeted another.
Later on Tuesday, Center Parks backtracked, announcing it had “reviewed our position regarding the very small number of guests who are not due to depart on Monday and we will be allowing them to stay on our villages rather than having to leave and return on Tuesday.”
While the parks are to remain open to guests, the company clarified that there would be no facilities available and guests would be offered a discount as compensation.
Center Parcs is not the first business to announce a last-minute change of plans in light of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday. Numerous other companies and public services are set to be disrupted on the day of the state funeral.
Several NHS trusts have announced that non-urgent appointments and surgeries on Monday 19 September are to be rescheduled. This comes after the NHS released a letter to GP surgeries that stated, “GP practices will be contractually able to close on this day.” Bedfordshire Hospitals and Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals are among the NHS trusts that have announced reduced or cancelled services on Monday.
According to The Guardian, thousands of important appointments and operations, including hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery, maternity checks and some cancer treatments have already been cancelled. The news of these cancellations comes at a time when a record 6.8 million people in England are already on hospital waiting lists due to backlog caused by the pandemic.
As The Times reported, there are usually 1.3 million GP appointments in England each Monday, making it the NHS’s busiest day. Normally, bank holidays are expected and few appointments are made in the first place. However, in this case, because it is a last-minute bank holiday, thousands of people are receiving last-minute cancellations.
“I think it’s difficult because we are all struggling for appointments and with backlogs,” Bolton-based senior GP partner Dr Helen Wall tells Stylist. “We know that if we cancel [people’s appointments] they’ve probably already been waiting for ages and that’s extremely upsetting. We also know it puts pressure on the rest of our week as there is no slack in the system to absorb moved appointments and cancellations.
“However, what we also need to understand is that NHS staff are human too with emotions and life’s stressors and deserve to be treated as such,” adds Dr Wall. “Many are also in mourning and even if they are not, if schools are closed, they will have childcare issues, so we need consider this. None of us were planning for this and we have to try and do our best to manage it.”
A number of funeral and crematory services have decided to close their doors on the day of the Queen’s funeral.
“Some funerals will go ahead, others are moving to a different date – led by the needs and wishes of the bereaved families involved and in consultation with their chosen funeral venue,”Deborah Smith, a spokesperson for the National Association of Funeral Directors told AP News.
For many, the cancellation of funerals has been disruptive. A woman called Louise from Hertfordshire explained on James O’Brien’s LBC radio show that her mother’s funeral had been cancelled by the funeral directors and crematorium.
“They’re shutting for the whole day apparently because it’s a bank holiday,” she said.
“It feels like one of those decisions that can be made on paper quite easily but there’s no appreciation to the distress and practical problems that causes,” added Louise. “We’ve got relatives from the States and France who’ve already booked their flights […] plus all of the emotional build-up that happens when you have a particular date in mind. We’re now in the middle of trying to negotiate a new date.”
Several food banks have also announced plans to close for the bank holiday on Monday.
As reported by Novara, food banks in Liverpool, Bristol and Stoke-on-Trent all made announcements that they would shut on Monday.
A spokesperson from The Trussell Trust told Metro, “Food banks are all independent, but we have emailed saying it is a bank holiday and they can decide what to do.”
They added, “It really depends on the local need on the ground. The volunteers will know if they are particularly quiet on a Monday, or if it is a busier day.”
According to the government’s website, most hearings will not take place on Monday 19 September because of the bank holiday. Urgent hearings such as overnight custody cases are set to continue. Other hearings are set to be rescheduled.
These cancellations come as courts are already facing major backlogs due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As of July 2022, victims of rape and sexual offences are waiting up to five years for a court date in London while support services are “stretched to breaking point”.
“Cancelling court hearings at a time of significant backlogs will leave victims of rape and domestic abuse even more vulnerable,” tweeted barrister and academic Dr Charlotte Proudman.
Barrister Leisha Bond tweeted, “I can’t be the only one who thinks closing courts on Queen’s funeral is wrong? Many people will have waited months for their hearing date.”
Other businesses and institutions
Several major retailers and businesses will also shut for the bank holiday on Monday, including many museums, theatres, shops and supermarkets along with a number of cafes and pubs.
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