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Thursday, July 23, 1998 Published at 17:49 GMT 18:49 UK


UK

Flags at half-mast for Diana

Flags at royal residences will fly at half mast on August 31


The BBC's Nicholas Witchell reports on the Queen's decision to lower flags
Flags at royal residences will fly at half-mast in respect for Diana, Princess of Wales on the first anniversary of the death.

The Queen has ruled that all flags at royal residences will be lowered to half-mast on Monday August 31, Buckingham Palace has announced.


[ image: The decision only applies to the first anniversary]
The decision only applies to the first anniversary
The government has decided to follow suit, ordering the move at public buildings.

The announcement follows the angry public response to the royal family's initial refusal to lower the flag at Buckingham Palace after Diana died.

Tradition demands the Royal Standard flag is never flown at half-mast, even on the death of a monarch.

But protocol was finally broken when the Queen left the palace to attend the princess's funeral a week after her death.

The decision to fly flags at half-mast applies only to the first anniversary of Diana's death, Buckingham Palace said.

Blair to join royals on anniversary

A palace spokeswoman said: "To mark the first anniversary of the death and as a special mark of respect, the Queen has said that flags at royal residences should be half-masted."

"The government has said it will follow suit."

The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Prince William, 16, and Prince Harry, 13, will be attending private family prayers at Crathie Church, Balmoral, the royals' Scottish estate.


[ image: The government has followed suit]
The government has followed suit
The prime minister and his wife, who will be guests at Balmoral on the anniversary, will join the royal family at the church service.

A special - and private - service of remembrance will be held for royal household members and former employees and staff of the princess at St James's Palace.

The Royal Standard flying at Balmoral, will remain at full mast. Like the Standard at Buckingham Palace before an exception was made last year, it is never half-masted, even on the death of the Sovereign.



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