Royal Family wants ‘minimum disruption for the country for The Queen’s funeral’ on Monday and have not ‘issued any blanket instructions on cancelling events and services’
Decisions to close food banks, postpone funerals and cancel hospital appointments are causing problems across the country.
A royal source told the Daily Mail: ‘While we appreciate people wanting to commemorate the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth appropriately and respectfully, it is up to individual organisations to decide how they do that, balancing it with the need to cause minimum disruption to others.
‘There have been no blanket instructions from the Royal Household for cancellations of events, services or transport links.’
Bosses have claimed they are doing so out of respect for the late Queen, but sources said there have been no orders from the Royal Household for events, services or transport to close.
Official guidance leaves it up to businesses whether they stay open on Monday, which is a bank holiday. There is no requirement for shops, restaurants, entertainment venues or holiday resorts to shut their doors, but many are doing so.
One food bank in Wimbledon, south west London, was forced into a U-turn after its decision to close sparked a backlash.
The Trussell Trust, which runs a nationwide network of food banks, was forced to defend plans by some of its facilities to close, including sites in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.
Southwark food bank in London, South Sefton food bank in Bootle, Liverpool, and all food banks in Bournemouth are also among those to have announced they will be closed on Monday.
One Twitter user said facilities which decided to close had delivered ‘a huge slap in the face to everyone who relies on your food bank to feed themselves right’.
But Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said in a statement: ‘Food banks in our network run sessions on different days and at different times.
‘Food banks are best placed to make the right decision for their communities and will ensure everyone who needs support can access it as they do with every bank holiday.’ Meanwhile the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) clarified that there is no blanket postponing of funerals after some undertakers cancelled plans.
The NAFD, which represents more than 4,100 funeral parlours, believes the ‘vast majority of family wishes are being honoured’, based on conversations with members.
It said: ‘Although work is still ongoing, some funerals will go ahead, others are moving to a different date – led by the wishes of the bereaved families involved.
‘Most funeral services booked for September 19 will have been arranged many weeks ago, so funeral directors and cemeteries/crematoria are working with families to find the best approach.’ Thousands of patients will also lose their hospital and GP appointments after some trusts postponed all non-urgent procedures and clinics on Monday.
Her Majesty has been handed to Britain by the King to lie in state until Monday for mourners to say their goodbyes
It includes hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery, maternity checks and even some cancer treatments.
NHS England has told patients to ensure they have enough medication to get them through the three-day weekend after informing GP surgeries they can close all day on Monday.
It issued guidance instructing hospitals to contact patients to let them know if appointments have been postponed.
NHS England said: ‘NHS staff will work to ensure that urgent and emergency services… are available.’ Schools and nurseries are also set to close on Monday.