Q&A: Passing of Her Majesty The Queen


What was Queen Elizabeth’s full title? 

  • Her late Majesty’s full Canadian title was "Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom, Canada, and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith." 

How long did she serve as Queen? 

  • Her late Majesty was the longest-reigning living monarch in the modern world, and the longest-reigning monarch ever in Commonwealth history.  
  • She was 25 years old when she ascended to the throne on February 6, 1952, upon the death of her father, King George VI.  
  • Elizabeth II was crowned Queen at Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953. She was the first monarch to be crowned “Queen of Canada.” 
  • Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch on September 9, 2015, when she surpassed the reign of her great-great-grandmother Victoria.
  • On February 6, 2017, she became the first British monarch to celebrate a Sapphire Jubilee, commemorating 65 years on the throne. 
  • On February 6, 2022, she became the first monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service.

When does Prince Charles become King? When will he be crowned?  

  • Prince Charles became King the moment Queen Elizabeth II died. The Accession Council meets to proclaim that he is the new King, but the powers have already transferred upon the death of Her Majesty.
  • It is not necessary for the new monarch to be crowned (have a coronation ceremony) to become King.  
  • Following an appropriate period of mourning and preparation, a Coronation will be held.

How will Nova Scotia mark the ascension of the new king? 

  • Following the death of Her Majesty the Queen, an Accession Proclamation will be issued by the King’s Privy Council for Canada in Ottawa, under the Great Seal of Canada.   
  • The Nova Scotia Executive Council and Lieutenant Governor will also issue an Accession Proclamation as has been done since the accession of King George III in 1760.
  • A special Accession Proclamation Ceremony will be held at Government House in the coming days including the Lieutenant Governor, members of the Cabinet and Indigenous leaders.
  • Nova Scotia will, in accordance with flag protocol, will fly all flags at half-mast from the moment The Queen’s death is announced. Flags will return to full mast on the day the new monarch is proclaimed.
  • Other than Accession Day, all flags will fly at half mast for the mourning period of Her Majesty.

How can I send my condolences to the Royal Family? 

  • Individuals can write to members of the Royal Family to express their condolences. Information on the use of titles, addressing the Royal Family and mailing information can be found at royal.UK.  
  • Nova Scotians are encouraged to sign a book of condolences at Government House between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.
  • After the period of mourning has concluded, the pages will be bound and placed in the Provincial Archives. During The King’s first tour of Nova Scotia as Sovereign, he will be shown the books of condolence.
  • An online condolence book has been setup by the Government of Canada at Book of condolences for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - Canada.ca

Will there be a memorial for the Queen in Nova Scotia? 

  • Yes, the province will hold a ceremony honouring Her late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. This ceremony will take place on the same day as the UK/Commonwealth Service and following the Commemorative Service in Ottawa. 
  • Information about the Provincial Commemorative Service will be made public via the Lieutenant Governor’s website and social media platforms and through a news release in due course.

Why are people wearing black arm bands? Where can I get one? For how long are black arm bands traditionally worn? 

  • During the period of mourning after the passing of the sovereign, it is customary for various marks of respect to be observed. This includes the use of black armbands to officially mourn the passage of a person of state importance, and to serve as a mark of respect in the period immediately following their death. 
  • Black armbands are traditionally worn on the left arm, above the elbow. They may be worn by men or women; the gender differentiation that once existed has long ago been discarded.  
  • It is also customary to wear more subdued clothing (no bright colours or light colours) during the period between the death and the funeral. If a necktie is worn, it should be solid black in colour. 
  • The Government of Nova Scotia is not able to accommodate the demands for armbands. Nova Scotians can consider calling or visiting a local flag or fabric shop for availability.   

Is there a specific site where I can bring flowers? 

  • There will be a designated area at the base of the flag pole in front of Government House where flowers may be placed. We ask that you kindly remove all plastic from flowers prior to arriving.
  • Condolences cards will be collected and given to the Nova Scotia Archives for preservation.
  • In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to a charity of your choice or to one of the Canadian charities championed by Her Majesty, such as the Canadian Red Cross Society, St. John Ambulance Canada or Canadian Cancer Society. 
  • A list of charities for whom Her Majesty was the Patron can be found here https://www.royal.uk/her-majesty-the-queen  

I was just recently sworn in as a Canadian citizen. Do I need to swear another oath to the new King? 

  • No, the oath is sworn not to the individual but to the Crown in Right of Canada, and the oath is in perpetuity to the Queen’s heirs and successors according to law.   

My long-term care residence wants to do something special to honour Her Majesty. Is there funding available? 

  • While funding is not available, residents are encouraged to consider signing the online condolence book, watching the memorial ceremony on television, or hosting a tea in her honour.
  • A simple gathering with tea and cookies, and some singing would be a thoughtful and inexpensive way to honour Her late Majesty. 

Will Nova Scotia have an Accession Ceremony to formally proclaim the accession of His Majesty as King of Canada and Canada’s Head of State? If there is a ceremony, will it be open to the public? 

  • Yes, Nova Scotia will hold a Accession Proclamation Ceremony at Government House shortly after the Proclamation Ceremony in Ottawa.
  • The Lieutenant Governor will preside over the ceremony which will be attended by members of the Cabinet and Indigenous leaders.
  • Accredited members of the media will be able to attend, however there is no capacity for members of the public to attend.

Why are there not books of condolence throughout the province? 

How is it decided that Nova Scotia will mourn Her Majesty for 10 days? 

  • The Government of Canada prescribes the mourning period. The province simply follows their lead.   

Where can I send my own condolence card to? Buckingham Palace? Or is there somewhere else that will be collecting them? 

  • You can send your card directly to The Palace. The Government of Nova Scotia will not be collecting cards or letters for mailing.  
  • You may bring a condolence card to Government House for preservation in the Provincial Archives.  
  • All Nova Scotians are welcome to sign the online condolence book set up by the Government of Canada at Book of condolences for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - Canada.ca

Do places named for the Queen have to change their names? 

  • No, all buildings or infrastructure bearing the name of the Queen or the Royal designation were formally given those names either a gift from a jurisdiction to Her Majesty, a gift from Her Majesty to the jurisdiction, or as a show of respect to Her Majesty.  

Do places with Royal designation get to keep that designation?  

  • Yes, all buildings or infrastructure bearing the name of the Queen or the Royal title were formally given those names either a gift from a jurisdiction to Her Majesty, a gift from Her Majesty to the jurisdiction, or as a show of respect to Her Majesty. 

My money has the Queen on it. Is it still good? When will money with the King on it be available?

  • Yes, although new currency will begin printing once Prince Charles becomes King, it will take time for currency bearing Her late Majesty to move out of circulation. 

My stamps have the Queen on them. Are they still valid? When will stamps with the King be available?

  • Yes, the stamps remain valid though new stamps with the King on them will be issued. 

Is my Canadian passport still valid (since it’s issued in “the name of Her Majesty The Queen”)?

  • Changes will be made to the wording of passports to recognise the new Monarch, but this will not affect their use. Current passports will be recognised and unaffected until they are renewed.  

I’m using materials issued by the Queen’s Printer Nova Scotia. Are they still valid? Will we need to re-purchase everything if it changes to King’s Printer, or can we continue to use materials from the Queen’s Printer? 

  • Materials issued by the Queen’s Printer are still valid.
  • The Queen’s Printer for Nova Scotia will be restyled “The Kings Printer” in due course.  

We have a picture of the Queen up in our school/government office/service club/etc. When can we get a new photo of the King?

  • All official photos of Her Majesty are to be replaced with the official photo of His Majesty The King in due course. YOU DO NOT have to remove existing portraits of The Queen at this time.
  • It is not known at this time how long it will take for the official photo of The King to be available for download. In the interim, the official photo of Her Majesty should remain in place and be draped in black.   
  • Photos of Her Majesty that are not official may remain on display as a  remembrance of Her Majesty’s life and service to Canada. 

Is my Silver/Golden/Diamond/Platinum Jubilee Medal still valid? Can I still wear it? Same question for Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers (or other National Honours). 

  • Yes, this is an honour presented to the individual. A similar example would be wearing war medals even though the war has ended. 

What happens to Nova Scotia’s Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal Program and the medals?

  • The Platinum Jubilee Medals will remain valid honours in perpetuity.
  • The Platinum Jubilee Medal program will continue as a tribute to Her Majesty’s life of service and dedication to Canada and to recognize outstanding Nova Scotians for their service.
  • The medal program will still conclude on 5 February 2023.

Will His Honour the Honourable Arthur J. LeBlanc remain the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia?

  • Yes, the oath sworn by the Lieutenant Governor includes a reference to the sovereign’s heirs and successors, rather than to a specific individual. 

Who are the heirs to the Crown and in what order? 

  • The 2013 Succession to the Crown Act amended the system so that males no longer take precedence over their older sisters.
  • For examples, although Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and Prince William’s third child is a boy, Princess Charlotte will remain fourth in line to the throne and won’t be bumped down to fifth place. However, Prince Edward (youngest child of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip) takes precedence over his elder sister Anne in the line of succession because the new rules only apply to males born after October 28, 2011.   
  • The line of Succession: 
    • SOVEREIGN: Queen Elizabeth 
    • The Prince of Wales (Prince Charles, eldest child of Queen Elizabeth) 
    • The Duke of Cambridge (Prince William, eldest child of Prince Charles) 
    • Prince George of Cambridge (eldest child of Prince William) 
    • Princess Charlotte of Cambridge (second child of Prince William) 
    • Prince Louis of Cambridge (youngest child of Prince William) 
    • Harry Mountbatten-Windsor (second child of Prince Charles): Despite his step back from royal duties, Harry is still in line for the throne. 
    • Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor (eldest child of Harry):  
    • Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor (second child of Harry) 
    • The Duke of York (Prince Andrew, third child of Queen Elizabeth) 
    • Princess Beatrice of York (eldest child of Andrew) 
    • Princess Eugenie of York (youngest child of Andrew) 
    • August Philip Brooksbank (son of Princess Eugenine and Jack Brooksbank) 
    • The Earl of Wessex (Prince Edward, fourth child of Queen Elizabeth) 
  • Source:  https://www.royal.uk/succession

What if I have a question that isn’t answered in this document? 


Future of the Monarchy in Canada 

If Prince Charles becomes King, does that mean Camilla will become the Queen?  

  • Yes, the Duchess of Cornwall will be come the Queen consort. 

Is Canada required to accept the new King and Queen consort? Will Canada do away with the monarchy? 

  • The transition of the Crown and role of the Sovereign from Queen Elizabeth II to His Majesty the King (formerly Prince Charles) is automatic in law and has taken place.
  • Canada is a constitutional monarchy. The monarchy exists within the Canadian constitution. This was confirmed in the 1982 Constitutional Act signed by Her late Majesty. Any change to this requires the approval of the federal Parliament, as well as each of the provinces.  


Nova Scotia Justice  

Will the Queen’s death affect the House of Assembly? 

  • The Nova Scotia Legislature will continue as if the Queen had not passed.  
  • The Interpretation Act states that the legislature is not dissolved by the death of the Queen. 

I’m a Queen’s Council (Q.C.). Does it automatically change to King’s Council (K.C.)? If I’m using QC on my office stationery, can I wait to change it if I need to/how long can I go without changing it? 

  • All patents of Queen’s Counsel remain in effect, however Q.C.s have automatically become K.C.’s
  • The patent of a Queen’s Counsel creates an office at the pleasure of the Crown.  

Will judges, police officers, RCMP officers, sheriffs (and others who took an oath of office to do their jobs) be able to do their jobs or will they need to take the oath again? 

  • Under the Interpretation Act, it is not necessary for a person again to take an oath of allegiance or an oath of office in respect of an office, profession, occupation or calling.   
  • Under the Interpretation Act, holding office, the right or capacity to engage in a profession, and any oaths continue as if the Queen had not passed. 

Do cabinet members, MLAs, mayors/other elected officials have to be re-sworn-in or re-appointed?  

  • No, under the Interpretation Act, it is not necessary for a person again to take a new oath of allegiance or an oath of office in respect of an office, profession, occupation or calling.   
  • The Interpretation Act also states that the Legislature is not dissolved by the demise of the Queen and it continues as if the demise had not occurred.    


Contact Information