Residents Invited to Public Events in Reading to Mark the Passing and Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
- A Civic Memorial Service, a National Moment of Reflection and the screening of the funeral in Forbury Gardens all take place in Reading over the coming days
- The three public events offer residents the opportunity to come together again to mourn and pay tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
THE passing and funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be marked at three separate and solemn events in Reading on Sunday (Sep 18) and Monday (Sep 19).
Reading’s First Citizen, Mayor Councillor Rachel Eden, is extending an invite to all residents of the town to pay tribute to HM Queen Elizabeth II at a Civic Memorial Service which takes place this Sunday (18 September) at Reading Minster from 2pm. The Service will be led by the Bishop of Reading and attended by the High Sheriff of Berkshire and other dignitaries.
The Council is respectfully asking residents to arrive in good time for the start of the Civic Memorial Service at The Minster Church of St Mary The Virgin, taking their seats by 1.45pm for the 2pm start.
Later that same evening (18 Sep), a National Moment of Reflection has been called to mourn the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and to reflect on her life and legacy. This takes place at 8pm across villages, towns and cities in the UK and across the world. People have the option to mark the silence privately at home, with friends or family, out on doorsteps or the street with neighbours, or at any community events and vigils which may be arranged locally. Community groups, clubs and other organisations in Reading are being encouraged to take part and may choose to make their own arrangements. People are advised to check for any events which may be taking place in their local community.
Reading Borough Council will be marking the National Moment of Reflection at the front of the Civic Offices on Bridge Street, where the Union Jack flag remains at half-mast. The Council Leader and Mayor will lead the silence. Reading residents are invited to attend and are asked to arrive before 8pm when the minute’s silence will begin.
The Council will be live streaming both the Civic Memorial Service and the National Moment of Reflection. Live Streaming of the Service is from 2pm via the Council’s YouTube channel:
https://youtu.be/x62KkzfaC0M (Please subscribe ahead of viewing at www.youtube.com/c/ReadingCouncilNews) or alternatively live via the @ReadingCouncil Facebook channel. Reading’s Moment of Reflection can also be viewed live at 8pm on Sunday here: https://youtu.be/Q1i4acU7IiM and via the Council’s Facebook channel.
The following day, Monday 19 September, is the day of the funeral. Following the significant public turn-out at the County and Town Proclamations for the new King, which took place at Reading Town Hall and Reading Minster on Sunday, Reading Borough Council is choosing to screen the funeral in order to allow residents to gather again to mourn the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Both London and Windsor are expected to be extremely busy on the day of the funeral and Reading residents have the opportunity to view the funeral in their hometown and avoiding the large crowds.
The solemn screening will take place at Forbury Gardens. This will be a free ticketed event and residents can secure their place at https://whatsonreading.com/venues/forbury-gardens/whats-on/reading-screening-hm-queen-elizabeth-ii-funeral
Gates will open for ticket holders from 9.30am, ahead of the screening starting at 10.30am. There will be some limited seating, but the Council recommends people bring their own seating if required. There will be a dedicated area for people with disabilities.
Reading Council Leader Jason Brock said:
“Reading turned out in force at the Proclamations on Sunday following the news of the passing of our longest serving Monarch. Those who attended on Sunday will agree there was a real sense togetherness and community at both ceremonies.
“As the nation mourns, we felt it was important to offer Reading residents opportunities to come together again and pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II. It has always been the case that people find strength in togetherness, especially at difficult moments, and Reading has a history of doing so.
"The Civic Memorial Service on Sunday at 2pm, the National Moment of Reflection at 8pm and the screening of Her Majesty’s funeral at the Forbury Gardens are the opportunities to do that once again, and will be sad and solemn occasions for us all.”
Reading Mayor Rachel Eden said:
“As well as sadness, there was also a deep sense of gratitude on Sunday for the service of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and there was a real feeling of unity on Sunday as many people in town were able to gather together for the Proclamations.
“I invite Reading residents to join me again at Sunday’s Civic Memorial Service at Reading Minster. The National Moment of Mourning at 8pm on Sunday will also be an opportunity for residents, families, neighbours and communities to gather in silence. You may wish to mark this in your own home or street, at local community events, or to join me outside the Civic Offices, where I will be marking the minute’s silence.
“The following day I know many will prefer to watch the funeral in their own homes, but for those who wish to share what will be a difficult day together, you are most welcome to the screening at The Forbury Gardens.”
Residents who plan on hosting their own funeral screenings locally, are being reminded that a special dispensation will allow those observing the funeral in community settings, such as churches or community centres where TV is not usually watched, to screen the event without needing to purchase a TV Licence. More information at https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/faqs/FAQ290
Floral tributes continue to be welcomed at the Queen Victoria Statue, outside of Reading Town Hall. Residents who lay flowers are being respectfully asked to please remove any plastic before placing them under the statue and to take the plastic away with them.
Books of Condolence also remain open for the public. These are at Reading Town Hall, Reading Minster and all local branch libraries (except Central Library). Please check for opening hours on the Council’s website. A Reading e-book of Condolence remains open at https://www.reading.gov.uk/news/book-of-condolence/ All Books of Condolence will be passed on to the Berkshire Records Office for safe keeping once the period of mourning is complete.
Notes to editors
Photo credit for Mayor / Leader picture: Photography by Dijana www.dvision-images.com