Government Communication response during the period of National Mourning of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

It has been an extraordinary 12 days. I am so proud of the communications teams across GCS and so many other public bodies who have worked so hard since Her Late Majesty The Queen passed away.

Our objectives were to support a fitting commemoration of the life and legacy of the Queen, celebrate the accession of the new King, bring our country together, and enhance the reputation of the UK overseas. Hand on heart, on each I feel we succeeded and comms played its part.

It has been an astonishing collaboration, bringing together communications teams from hundreds of partners across every part of the UK. 

I want to say a special thanks to those who had planned this moment so meticulously over many months – especially Carl Newns, Carol McCall, and Minal Vachhetta, from Cabinet Office – and to officials from the wider Bridges Secretariat who led the overall operation. 

Thank you to the communications teams at The Royal Household for their patience and professionalism in what, for them, was both a private moment of grief and yet a moment of huge international significance. And thank you to those GCS members who volunteered to support the Palace during the mourning period. 

Thank you to GCS members in every Government Department, and especially those in The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) , who led the communications for Lying in State and other ceremonial moments, and The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) who led our international media efforts and the arrangements for visiting dignitaries. The Department for Transport (DfT), The Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland offices all had major roles too.

Every nation across the UK was involved. The Scottish Government’s communications team did a fantastic job over the first five days, and the Northern Ireland Executive and Welsh Government communications teams both managed Royal Proclamations, services of remembrance and early visits from the King.

Thank you to the communications teams at our operational partners too, especially those at the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London (TfL), Westminster City Council and the  Greater London Authority (GLA) who did an incredible job of getting clear practical information to the public. 

At the centre, we coordinated these efforts, provided insight so that we could spot issues and adapt, and led an enormous media and stewarding operation. Thank you to Shaun Jepson, Andy Pike and Jen Wood who led the News and Communications Centre and all of the volunteers from across GCS who supported this effort. The team worked on media enquiries, accreditation, monitoring, coordination, the provision of public information and arranging the National Moment of Reflection – a special mention to Amy Taylor for all her hard work on this. And a huge thank you to my fellow Gold Communications Leads – Lisa Hunter, Alex Aiken and Gem Walsh. 

The dedication and professionalism of everyone involved allowed plans to be executed almost flawlessly. 

I am very grateful. And I am very proud of you all.

Thank you.

Cypher of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, white text on a black background
The Cypher of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
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