Queen Elizabeth II's funeral took place in London today and the nation was given a one-off bank holiday to honour the late monarch's life. Shops, restaurants and museums have closed their doors to mark the day, as the funeral proceedings take place across London and in Windsor, later today.
We could be getting another bank holiday next year after a petition proposing a permanent ‘Queen Elizabeth II bank holiday’ has reached more than 140,000 signatures. The aim of the campaign is to make September 8, the day of the Queen’s death, an annual day off to honour the monarch’s life and her 70-year reign.
The change.org petition states: ‘Queen Elizabeth II is our longest-reigning Monarch, and arguably the nation’s and the world’s most popular ever monarch.’
‘Britain has fewer bank holidays than most European countries; France has 11 compared with our 8, Spain has 14. I believe we need a new public bank holiday to mark our greatest sovereign’s lifetime; a Queen Elizabeth Day.’
There are currently eight national bank holidays in England and Wales, while Scotland has nine and Northern Ireland has 10. It is rare for the government to introduce a new, permanent holiday so the chances of the petition leading to a ninth annual day off are pretty slim.
Read more: here’s how to see the Queen lying in state in London.
Plus: here’s everything you need to know about the Queen’s funeral.