Residents are invited to join civic leaders at a public service to commemorate the life Our Late Sovereign Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The Stoke-on-Trent commemoration service will take place on the eve of the funeral, at 6.30pm on Sunday 18 September at Stoke Minster. It will be followed by the observation of the national moment of reflection at Stoke Cenotaph at 8pm.
A short, formal procession with civic leaders will take place from Stoke Town Hall to Stoke Minster at 6.25pm. The procession will be led by high-ranking civic dignitaries including the High Sheriff of Staffordshire, Ben Robinson MBE DL; Deputy Lieutenant of Staffordshire Pippa Gee; Stoke-on-Trent Lord Mayor Faisal Hussain; and Deputy Lord Mayor Lesley Adams.
As a mark of the city’s mourning, the ceremonial mace will be draped in black, and the Lord Mayor will wear the city’s chain of office with a black ribbon.
The one-hour-long commemoration is open to the public and will be led by Rector of Stoke, Canon Andrew Wickens. Following the service, the procession will return to Stoke Town Hall, ahead of the national moment of reflection to be observed at the cenotaph.
Residents who would like to pay their respects ahead of the state funeral, which will be held at Westminster Abbey, on Monday 19 September at 11am, are encouraged to sign the book of condolences held at the King’s Hall, in Stoke Town Hall. The book is available daily between 9am-5pm up to and including Saturday 17 September, and will be again on the day after the funeral on Tuesday 20 September, as the national period of mourning draws to a close. As an expression of our sadness, the city’s flags will continue to fly at half-mast until next Tuesday.
Floral tributes to Our Late Sovereign Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II can be laid at Kingsway, Stoke town on the grass near the Cenotaph. Residents can also lay floral tributes at their local church.
Lord Mayor Faisal Hussain said: “Our Late Sovereign Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II dedicated her life to public duty and we join communities across the UK and the world in mourning her loss. The commemoration service is an opportunity for the city to come together to remember and reflect on the life and public service of our country’s greatest ambassador.
“On behalf of the city of Stoke-on-Trent, our deepest condolences and prayers are with the members of the Royal Family.”
Council leader Abi Brown said: “As a city we will mourn the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and pay our thanks for her dedication to the nation.
“We have immense civic pride in the response from residents across the city who have already been paying their respects by way of signing the book of condolences and laying floral tributes. We have put arrangements in place so that residents can continue to pay their respects during the period of mourning, and we would welcome residents in joining the commemoration service and the observation of the national moment of reflection.”
For further information on the period of national mourning, including the books of condolence please go to www.stoke.gov.uk/HMTheQueen.