I am writing to thank you for your support during this period of national mourning and to update you on arrangements over the coming days.
I am particularly grateful to the many colleagues who have been directly involved in the University’s respectful and considered response to the death of Her Majesty The Queen. This has required some adjustment to our activities in line with UK Government and local guidelines.
Professor Antony Long attended the proclamation of the accession of His Majesty King Charles III in Durham Market Place on Sunday, representing the University at an historic moment.
I much appreciate the positive relationships that we have with our partners, including Durham County Council and Durham Cathedral, enabling collective leadership and resilience in supporting our communities during this time.
The many thoughtful messages I have received from our overseas partners are a tribute to our international network of mutual support. They include Zaporizhzhia National University, our twinned University in Ukraine, and our partners in the Matariki network of universities.
Many commemorative events are taking place across Durham City, County and our nation. I am privileged to be representing the University at the Service of Reflection at Durham Cathedral on Saturday at 3pm. The service is ticketed and fully booked. It will be live streamed through the Cathedral’s Facebook page. For further information, see the Cathedral’s webpages.
Colleagues should be aware that footfall around Palace Green will be busier than normal on Saturday afternoon.
Our Open Days will be going ahead tomorrow and Saturday. We have worked closely with Durham County Council and Durham Cathedral to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place for the additional footfall around Palace Green, especially on Saturday.
A National Moment of Reflection has been scheduled at 8pm on Sunday 18 September, the night before the State Funeral. All members of the public are invited to take part in a minute’s silence.
The University will be closed on Monday 19 September, a national Bank Holiday. Colleagues required to maintain critical services who wish to watch live coverage of the State Funeral should discuss potential adjustments to their working day with their line manager. Business as usual will resume on Tuesday 20 September.
Thank you for your continued understanding and support. All of the latest updates, including FAQs, are on our website here: Her Majesty The Queen - Durham University
With warmest wishes,
Professor Karen O’BrienVice-Chancellor & Warden
Further to this morning’s communication regarding the announcement of the State Funeral on Monday 19 September, you can now find answers to some frequently asked questions on our website.
As a reminder, Monday 19 September will be a Bank Holiday. In line with U.K. Government guidelines, the University has taken the decision to close on that day. Business critical services will continue.
The FAQs cover practical matters such as who will need to work on the day of the State Funeral as well as guidance on planned events. Please do take the time to read through them.
While we must ensure critical services continue, we wish to operate with as few people as we can. Where possible, colleagues who are required to work will be allowed to watch the State Funeral during their working hours or to change the start or end of their working time so that they can watch the State Funeral at home. If this is relevant to you, please speak to your line manager.
If you have any questions that are not addressed in the information provided to date, please contact your line manager in the first instance.
Professor Janet Stewart Executive Dean (Arts and Humanities)
Following the announcement of the death of Her Majesty The Queen, a period of national mourning has started and will continue until the end of the State Funeral.
The official date of the State Funeral is Monday 19 September 2022. This will be a Bank Holiday.
In line with U.K. Government guidelines, the University has taken the decision to close on that day.
As is usual for University closure periods, business critical services will continue.
Other than Monday 19 September, our University remains open and will operate as usual.
For any scheduled activities, please be mindful we are in a period of national mourning and consider if content and format need to be adapted accordingly.
Where an event is planned you should have received an email with guidance from Event Durham (and please contact your Event Durham contact if you need further advice).
Further information about events planned on the day of the State Funeral will be sent to organisers. FAQs will be published later today.
Further information will follow for all staff and students via email and our usual communications channels.
All latest updates are published on our web pages: www.durham.ac.uk/about-us/her-majesty-queen-elizabeth-ii/messages-to-staff-and-students/
Please direct any questions on communications and engagement to Lucian Hudson (Director: Advancement, Marketing and Communications) firstname.lastname@example.org and Claire Whitelaw (Deputy Director / Head of Communications and Engagement) email@example.com.
For any general questions which are not addressed, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Janet StewartExecutive Dean (Arts and Humanities)
Following the recent announcement of the death of Her Majesty Elizabeth II, I am writing with the latest information on University operations as we enter a period of national mourning.
The University is operating to national and local guidelines in this fast moving and unprecedented situation. We will endeavour to keep you updated through our usual channels. We are preparing a set of question and answers, which will be available as soon as possible on our dedicated web page.
We have now entered a period of national mourning.
The University has planned ahead for this eventuality. I am chairing the major incident response group which is meeting regularly. This group is making key decisions in line with national and local guidelines. The University is following guidance supplied by the UK Government for business operations during this time. We continue to operate under business as usual during the mourning period, noting there will be specific guidance for the date of the funeral.
However, we must remain mindful and sympathetic to the current context and that we are currently reacting at pace to a changing situation. We will keep you updated on university-wide actions and we will share all information as we receive it.
Guidance on national mourning is here: www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/her-majesty-queen-elizabeth-ii
A dedicated Durham University website, accessible internally and externally, has been created to contain all information in relation to Her Majesty’s passing and will be regularly updated. This can be found at: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - Durham University
Latest information, copies of staff and student communications, along with other related content such as details of services, prayers and commemorative events being organised by members of the University’s Chaplaincy Network, will be included on this website in due course.
We will also include information from our partners at Durham County Council (DCC), Durham Cathedral and other agencies as appropriate. As with other events of national significance, we are working closely with our regional partners.
For any scheduled activities, colleagues should be mindful we are in a national period of mourning and consider if content, tone and format need to be adapted accordingly. This is particularly the case with social events. Please also be mindful of attire.
Colleagues are asked to exercise their judgement at a local level for events that are due to take place in the coming days, pausing or cancelling events where considered appropriate.
An online Book of Condolence is available until the day after the funeral at: www.royal.uk/send-message-condolence. A selection of messages will be passed on to the Royal Family and stored in the Royal Archives for posterity.
A physical Book of Condolence is also available at Durham Cathedral. Visitors are welcome to visit to pay their respects, leave a comment in the book of condolence, light a candle and say a prayer. There will be a full peal of Cathedral bells ahead of Evensong at 5.30pm tomorrow, Saturday 10 September.
Arrangements are in place for local and regional remembrance services. Details of these will be shared via our dedicated website mentioned above.
Durham County Council has requested that any floral tributes are placed in a designated area in Millennium Square in Durham City Centre. We ask that people do not leave flowers on Palace Green.
Any staff member requiring support may access our Employee Assistance Programme 24/7. The EAP can provide expert advice and counselling. Support is also available from the University’s Multi-Faith Chaplaincy.
This is a changing situation and one that we must navigate as a university in a respectful manner, regardless of personal views and beliefs.
Further information and updates will be shared over the coming days. If you have any questions that are not addressed by the information on the website, please direct them to email@example.com.
Many thanks for your continued support.
It was with deep sadness that we learned of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, a short time ago, after 70 years on the throne.
Our thoughts are with members of the Royal Family at this time. On behalf of our university community, I will be writing to offer our sincere condolences to our new King.
Her Majesty had numerous links with Durham. We welcomed her to our University on various occasions, including when our ‘Stockton Campus’ was renamed on its tenth anniversary as ‘Queen’s Campus’ in recognition of Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee in 2002.
Her Majesty’s last visit to Durham was during her Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012. I am sure those of you who were involved in these visits will have treasured memories of them.
This sad news will no doubt impact people in different ways, depending on their views, beliefs and experiences. As an inclusive community, we will continue to treat each other with respect.
If you need any support, please speak to your line-manager in the first instance. You can access our Employee Assistance Programme 24/7 and they can provide you with expert advice and counselling. Support is also available from the University’s Multi-Faith Chaplaincy.
As we enter this period of national mourning and until further notice, in line with national guidance, we will be taking a number of actions.
We will continue to communicate essential practical information or in the case of emergency. The majority of our general communications will be paused.
Further information and updates will be shared over the coming days.