A look ahead at the key events leading the news agenda next week, from the team at Foresight News. Delivered to your inbox on Fridays.
Leading the week
The nation is in mourning following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral yesterday. Her son Charles immediately ascended the throne and Clarence House confirmed last night that he will be known as King Charles III in the first of several significant constitutional changes that will follow Her Majesty’s death. The new monarch is due to address the nation for the first time tonight before the proclamation tomorrow (September 10) of the reign of King Charles III. Flags will temporarily return to full mast to celebrate the new monarch, but a period of Royal Mourning, which began today, will continue until after The Queen’s Funeral in around 10 days’ time.
At the time of writing, Buckingham Palace had not confirmed arrangements for the funeral and other official events. Based on Operation London Bridge, we currently expect that a series of visits and services will take place over the coming days; all remain subject to confirmation from the Royal household. Both Houses of Parliament met today for tributes to Her Majesty, and will sit again tomorrow for senior MPs and peers to take an Oath to The King and continue paying tribute.
On Sunday (September 11), the coffin bearing the body of The Queen is expected to travel from Balmoral to the official Royal residence at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, while proclamations are made in the devolved assemblies to mark The King’s accession and flags return to half-mast at Royal residences and government and civic buildings. Motions of condolence to The King are expected to be presented on Monday (September 12), before the monarch travels back to Scotland for a service at St. Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh and a traditional gathering, known as the Prince’s Vigil, around The Queen’s coffin by members of the Royal family.
Her Majesty’s coffin is expected to return to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday (September 13), when The King travels to Belfast for a service at St. Anne’s Cathedral. A procession from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster is expected on Wednesday (September 14), with members of the public expected to line the streets and gather in royal parks to pay their respects. A service will take place in Westminster Hall, where Her Majesty will then lie in state for four days. King Charles’ national tour is expected to conclude in Cardiff on Thursday (September 15) with a service at Llandaff Cathedral. The King is then expected to hold a series of formal audiences with Commonwealth leaders (September 16) and Prime Minister Liz Truss (September 18).
A state funeral for The Queen, the first in the UK since Winston Churchill’s in 1965, is currently expected to take place on September 19; the public holiday will be declared a National Day of Mourning. A period of Royal Mourning which began the day after Her Majesty’s death will then continue for a further seven days.
Uzbekistan rarely features in the news, but next week all eyes will be on the Silk Road city of Samarkand, which is hosting the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation on Thursday and Friday (September 15-16). News earlier this week confirming that Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the summit in person and plans to meet one-to-one with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the margins has galvanised interest in what was already shaping up to be a star-studded affair. Other leaders expected to attend include a who’s who of regional players, featuring Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. But the Putin-Xi meeting, their first in person encounter since Putin launched his offensive in Ukraine back in February, looks set to garner the most interest, particularly as it comes at a particularly tense moment in relations between Washington and Beijing.
The latest session of the UN Human Rights Council opens on Monday (September 12) in Geneva, the first since former rights chief Michelle Bachelet issued her bombshell report on the situation in China’s Xinjiang province. The report, which provoked a predictably furious response from Beijing, came on Bachelet’s last day in office, with no successor in place. Yesterday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced the nomination of Volker Türk, an Austrian who is currently Under-Secretary-General for Policy, for the post. Although Türk’s appointment was subsequently approved by the UN General Assembly, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif will kick things off on Monday with an oral update, with states responding during the general debate, which follows on Tuesday and Wednesday (September 13 and 14). The session will cover rights in a wide range of countries, but there will be particular interest in the findings of the Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, which will be presented on September 23.