The National Memorial Arboretum, part of The Royal British Legion, joins the Nation, the Commonwealth and the rest of the World in mourning the death of Her Majesty The Queen. HM Queen Elizabeth the Second was Patron of the Royal British Legion and through it, the National Memorial Arboretum, and she was gracious and generous in providing her unstinting support over many years.
Her Late Majesty's first visit to the Arboretum was in July 2002, shortly after our opening, as part of her Golden Jubilee tour. The Armed Forces Memorial was dedicated in her presence in October 2007. In July 2011, The Queen attended the Armed Forces Memorial for the dedication of the names of the 112 members of UK Armed Forces who were killed on duty during 2010. Her last visit was in May 2016 when she was present for the dedication of the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment Memorial. During that visit she also observed construction work on the Arboretum's current Remembrance Centre.
For the national period of mourning, the Union Flag will be flown according to protocol. Visitors to the Arboretum are welcome to sign the Book of Condolence in the Remembrance Centre and to lay floral and other tributes in the Amphitheatre, adjacent to the tree Her Late Majesty planted to mark her Golden Jubilee in 2002.
On request, visitors can be directed to the many memorials and planted areas with which The Queen had a special connection. As a further mark of respect, black armbands are being worn by the Arboretum team, including by volunteers who are recipients of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. During this period, the Arboretum's social media accounts will feature photography of Her Late Majesty, inviting followers to leave comments and personal recollections.
The Daily Service in the Millennium Chapel will be observed, with the addition of a special reading acknowledging the service of Her Late Majesty to the Nation and the Commonwealth. Visitors should arrive at 10:30hrs.
Philippa Rawlinson, Director of the National Memorial Arboretum, said: "Our entire team is immensely saddened by the death of Her Majesty, our Patron. Following the proclamation of our new Sovereign, I shall write to Buckingham Palace asking The King’s Private Secretary to express our condolences to all members of the Royal Family.
“At this moment in history, we will provide a fitting tribute to The Queen, offering visitors the chance to sign the book of condolence and to leave their messages online. There are a number of areas within the Arboretum with which Her Majesty had a particular affinity, and we will be encouraging visitors to follow in her footsteps."
The book is located in the Drum, within the Arboretum’s Landscapes of Life exhibition.
As the Nation’s year-round place to remember, the Arboretum will be open as usual during the Bank Holiday on Monday 19 September.
Although we won’t be hosting a public screening of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral, the Arboretum offers a quiet and contemplative space where you can come to remember loved ones or pay your respects to Her Late Majesty in your own way.
We are expecting a high number of visitors to the Arboretum over the next few days, and our team will be ready to welcome and support all those who wish to pay their respects. We therefore encourage visitors to book in advance where possible, but all are welcome.