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What to expect from Ottawa's memorial service and parade to honour the late Queen

Memorial events in the capital will recognize the Queen’s long life and reign with a parade, church service, gun salute and fighter jet flyby.
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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The bells at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa will toll on Monday, Sept. 19 as the nation bids farewell to the late Queen Elizabeth.

Memorial events in the capital will recognize the Queen’s long life and reign with a parade, church service, gun salute and fighter jet flyby.

Here’s what to know:

What is planned?

After the Queen’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey in London, members of the Canadian Armed Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police will parade through the streets of Ottawa Monday morning.

The procession is expected to pass the National War Memorial and National Aboriginal Veterans Monument before arriving at the church.

During the parade, CAF members will perform a gun salute with 96 salvos, one for each year of the Queen’s life.

A service will be held at Christ Church Cathedral, where 600 dignitaries, diplomats, and prominent Canadians have been invited to take part.

After the service, the church bells will toll as CF-18 Hornet fighter jets fly over Parliament Hill and the cathedral in an aerial salute known as the “missing person” formation. 

What will the service include?

The Queen served as Supreme Governor of the Church of England and was a member of the Anglican faith. Though the commemorative ceremony will be held in an Anglican Church, many elements of the service are expected to be non-denominational.

The program is expected to include prayers, hymns, choir performances, musical interludes by Canadian artists and an original piece composed by members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

The eulogy will be delivered by a civilian who has yet to be publicly named, but who senior government officials refer to as an “eminent Canadian.”

Who will be there?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Gov. Gen. Mary Simon will lead a Canadian delegation to London, England, for the Queen’s funeral.

The guest list for the service in Ottawa has not yet been released but is likely to include dignitaries, diplomats, former prime ministers and governors general, as well as representatives from organizations and charities with whom the Queen had a close relationship.

How can other people take part?

The government has invited Canadians to visit downtown Ottawa on Monday to take part in the events. The public is encouraged to line up along the parade route to watch the procession. Large screens will also display video footage of the parade and the service on Wellington Street in front of the Garden of the Provinces and Territories.

Where else can people watch?

People who can’t make it to Ottawa will still be able to watch the televised events.

The parade and service will be carried live on the Canadian Heritage website and YouTube channel, as well as “The Crown in Canada” Facebook page. 

Are there any security concerns?

Government officials who provided a briefing on the condition they not be named say they have no specific security concerns but are “keeping an eye out” and making sure they have a plan in case anything unexpected happens.

The government is working with local police agencies to plan for the event, though officials would not release the number of officers that have been engaged.

Several streets are also expected to be closed around downtown Ottawa.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 14, 2022.

 

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