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Wales Online
Wales Online
Cathy Owen

Queen's death: The things you need to know on Friday morning

Tributes to the Queen, who has died after 70 years on the throne, have been paid as the country enters an extended period of national mourning. King Charles III will return to London on Friday from Balmoral, the scene of his mother’s final moments, and is expected to address the nation with a televised statement at 6pm .

A meticulously planned process proclaiming him as monarch will now unfold over the coming days, as most government business is suspended and people gather in their thousands outside Buckingham Palace and other royal residences to pay their respects.

The new King, who had dashed to the Queen's bedside, said the death of his beloved mother was a "moment of great sadness" for him and his family and her loss would be "deeply felt" around the world. See the newspapers and how the Queen's death has been reported here.

Read more: Live updates as people across Wales pay tribute to to Queen Elizabeth II

Churches across Wales are expected to open their doors for people to leave tributes, and a 96-gun salute is planned at Cardiff Castle for 1pm with more details being released later this morning. Gun salutes will ring out elsewhere too and bells will toll across the country, with churches, chapels and cathedrals encouraged to open for prayers or a special service for mourners. Flags will fly at half mast across the UK .

Normal government business is suspended during the period of mourning, with no ministerial visits, statements or press releases, similar to an election period. But Liz Truss, who has only been Prime Minister for three days. will lead tributes in the House of Commons, and MPs are likely to sit on Saturday as well.

Floral tributes that have been left at Balmoral (PA)

The Commons will meet at midday to allow MPs to pay tribute to the Queen, sitting until around 10 pm. this evening. They will meet again on Saturday, when a small number of senior MPs will take the oath to the king. Tributes will then continue until late in the evening. Every MP will have the option of taking an oath to the King when the House returns but are not obliged to. King Charles will have his first audience as monarch with the Prime Minister .

Parliament's tributes will follow an outpouring of grief from across the political spectrum as the world digested news of the Queen's death at the age of 96.

Ms Truss hailed the country's longest-serving monarch as the "rock on which modern Britain was built", while Sir Keir Starmer, the leader of the Opposition, said she was "a symbol of the best of us".

Boris Johnson was among the six living former prime ministers of the Queen's reign to pay his respects, two days after he met her at Balmoral to resign from office.

He said the Queen spread "magic around her kingdom" for an "unrivalled" 70 years and had a "simple power to make us happy".

The King will have his first audience as monarch with the Prime Minister and that could as soon as Friday afternoon.. He is also expected to approve funeral arrangements before details are made public by the palace.

The bell at Windsor Castle is also likely to toll at midday , once a minute for all 96 years of the Queen’s life.

The Queen's body is expected to be returned to Buckingham Palace on the Royal Train . The Queen will then lie in state.

If this is confirmed, large crowds can be expected along the route which is likely to be along the classic East Coast Main Line route along the spine of the country.

A flag at half mast at Cardiff Castle (WalesOnline/Rob Browne)

Flags other than the royal standard will be flown at half mast, all royal public engagements canceled, and there is a black masthead on the website.

Sports and cultural events are likely to be cancelled , though this isn’t mandatory. Schools will remain open , while civil servants have been asked to carry out their duties respectfully and wear appropriate clothing. The Welsh Government has said that no decisions yet on whether schools will close for the funeral.

Downing Street said it was expecting large crowds to gather in London, Windsor and Edinburgh and that anyone who wishes to leave floral tributes near royal residences will be asked to do so in designated areas as directed by stewards. People started arriving at Balmoral from 6.30am on Friday.

Several people walked to the entrance of the grounds of the Scottish royal retreat to lay bouquets of flowers as a tribute to the late monarch.

One woman was spotted lighting a candle while others were seen reading personal notes written on the flowers.

The area was blocked off for a period on Thursday night when members of the royal family arrived at the castle as news broke of the Queen dying.

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