The Royal Family will not open any official books of condolences at Windsor Castle or Buckingham Palace

Official condolence books for the Queen will not be opened at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle or any other royal estate and will only be online, the royal family said.

Books of condolences for the Queen will be opened in churches, theaters and local authorities across the country.

The Royal Family added their “Book of Condolences” to the official website, allowing people from around the world to send messages of support as crowds gather to mourn the late Queen.

Crowds outside Buckingham Palace have laid flowers and messages in memory of Elizabeth II in scenes commemorating the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997.

After Diana’s tragic car accident, people lined the streets to sign a book of condolence at Kensington Palace, where thousands of flowers covered the floor.

This time there will be no physical books of condolence in any of the royal residences, but the public can leave their messages online.

Crowds outside Buckingham Palace have laid flowers and messages in memory of Elizabeth II in scenes commemorating the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997

The Royal Family have said condolences can be given online but there will be no official condolence books

The Royal Family have said condolences can be given online but there will be no official condolence books

Mounds of flowers were left outside Buckingham Palace in memory of Queen Elizabeth II

Mounds of flowers were left outside Buckingham Palace in memory of Queen Elizabeth II

Thousands have gathered outside the palace since yesterday to mourn the late monarch

Thousands have gathered outside the palace since yesterday to mourn the late monarch

The Royal Family’s website states: “A selection of messages will be passed on to members of the Royal Family and may be preserved in the Royal Archives for posterity.”

Neither the royal family nor the government will be able to accept books of condolence.

In their national mourning guidance, the royal family said: “There will be opportunities to sign condolence books at various town halls and other locations across the UK. Please check with your local authority.’

The guideline also states that any organization or person may create a book of condolences during the period of national mourning.

Books are usually placed on a drop-leaf table with a white tablecloth, a floral arrangement – usually lilies or other white flowers – and a framed formal photograph of the Queen with a black ribbon wrapped around the upper right corner as a mark of respect.

Local councils across the UK have set up books for people to write messages of support in – some physically and others online.

Cllr James Jamieson, Chair of the Local Government Association, said in a statement: “Councils have been proud to serve Her Majesty throughout her reign and will continue to do so, now making local arrangements to ensure the public do so encourage them to express their own sympathy.

The Duke of Edinburgh and Queen are seen here looking at the mounds of flowers left outside Buckingham Palace in memory of Princess Diana on 5th September 1997

The Duke of Edinburgh and Queen are seen here looking at the mounds of flowers left outside Buckingham Palace in memory of Princess Diana on 5th September 1997

Prince Charles with Prince William and Prince Harry.  They look at flowers left by his wife and her mother outside Kensington Palace.  The photo was taken in September 1997

Prince Charles with Prince William and Prince Harry. They look at flowers left by his wife and her mother outside Kensington Palace. The photo was taken in September 1997

“These precautions include opening both public and virtual books of condolence, ensuring flags are flown at half-mast and overseeing arrangements for laying flowers in public areas.”

Portsmouth City Council, Westminster City Council, Swansea City Council, Derby City Council, Preston City Council, Nottingham City Council, Lancashire County Council and Belfast City Council have already prepared books for local residents to sign.

Elsewhere, the Church of England website has launched an online memorial book and is encouraging people to light a virtual candle for the Queen.

At Worcester Cathedral, hundreds of visitors had signed books of condolence, which were laid out in the Lady Chapel next to a large framed photograph of the Queen.

Locals also placed dozens of floral tributes around the base of a war memorial in the cathedral grounds, including one with a note that read, “Ma’am, you were a constant in my life, you are sorely missed.”

The cathedral’s dean, Reverend Peter Atkinson, said it will remain open every day up to and including the day of the Queen’s funeral for people to light a candle, pause, sit, reflect, remember and give thanks.

He said: “This is a place where the people of Worcestershire and beyond have come in times of sorrow and joy for hundreds of years.

“This is the Cathedral doing what the Cathedral is doing once again at this very important moment in our national life.”

The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers also encouraged congregations to open books of condolence as it recommended ringing muted bells for an hour on Friday from noon.

St. Philip’s Cathedral, Lincoln Cathedral, Guildford Cathedral and Wakefield Cathedral in Birmingham are among those that keep books of condolence for visitors to sign.

Theaters across the country also open condolence books and dim their lights, observe a minute’s silence and play the national anthem before performances as a mark of respect.

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