Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II a number of false claims have been circulating on social media.
Various tweets and Facebook posts have claimed that funerals, burials and cremations are not allowed to take place on the day of the Queen’s State Funeral on Monday 19 September.
While it may be the case that some funeral services scheduled to take place on the day of the Queen’s funeral will be rescheduled, there is no formal requirement for all such services to be postponed.
According to national mourning guidance published by the government after the Queen’s death: “There is no expectation on the public or organisations to observe specific behaviours during the mourning period.”
When asked whether the government was offering any specific advice for funerals, burials and cremations, a spokesperson for the Cabinet Office directed Full Fact to the guidelines, which read: “As a mark of respect, organisations might wish to consider cancelling or postponing events or closing venues on the day of the State Funeral. They are under no obligation to do so and this is entirely at the discretion of individual organisations.”
In response to viral claims about funerals being cancelled, the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) tweeted on Monday 13 September:
Further to this statement the NAFD told Full Fact: “Funeral service is a 24/7 profession and all bereaved families deserve the same level of care and support. There will, sadly, be families who lose a loved [one] on the day of the [Queen’s] funeral, or who have a loved one that is already in the care of a funeral home.
“Funeral directors are balancing the needs of all these families in covering the day of the State Funeral – as well as the needs of employees who wish to watch the funeral, or who may have caring responsibilities as a result of closures elsewhere.”
A spokesperson added that they had heard anecdotal reports that some crematoriums would be closing on the day of the State Funeral as all scheduled funerals had been postponed at the request of the families, and no new services were being booked for that day.
A spokesperson for the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management told Full Fact that they advise decisions should be “driven by the wishes of families”.
They added: “However, each cemetery and crematorium operator can make their own decision about whether they will be remaining open or closing on the day of the State Funeral. Some are remaining open, and some are closing.”
The ICCM has since said they understand some funerals have been postponed as a result of cemetery or crematorium operators taking the decision to close, but that the majority of funerals would go ahead as planned.
Image courtesy of The White House