Queen To Join Silence For Victims

2 July 2015, 19:36

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will join people across the country in pausing at noon on Friday for a minute's silence in memory of the victims of last week's beach massacre in Tunisia, it has been confirmed.

She will mark the silence during a visit to the University of Strathclyde's Technology and Innovation Centre in Glasgow, said Buckingham Palace. Prime Minister David Cameron will also join the silence in his Oxfordshire constituency.

Flags will be flown at half-mast throughout the day over Downing Street and other Government buildings, as well as police stations across the country and military bases and embassies around the world. At royal palaces including Buckingham Palace, the Union flag will fly at half mast.

The start of play at Wimbledon will be delayed by 45 minutes to 12.15pm on outer courts, to allow tennis players and fans and tournament staff to observe the silence. And the scheduled race at Henley Regatta is being put back until after the silence is over.

Police officers and staff across the country have been asked to observe the silence, and the Government is encouraging schools and local authorities to do the same. Transport for London and national rail services have been asked to make announcements to remind staff and passengers of the memorial event.

The moment's silence marks exactly a week since gunman Seifeddine Rezgui murdered 38 people enjoying holidays in the Tunisian resort of Sousse, among them 30 British nationals.

The massacre was Britain's worst loss of life in a terrorist atrocity since the bomb attacks on London's Tube and bus system on July 7 2005, whose tenth anniversary will be marked in ceremonies next week.

Plans for a national silence were announced by Mr Cameron at Westminster on Monday, just moments after MPs had observed their own minute of silent memory in the chamber of the House of Commons.

The Prime Minister told MPs then: "I know the whole country will want to share in a moment of remembrance. So following the act of remembrance we have just held in this House, we will have a national minute's silence on Friday at 12 noon, one week on from the moment of the attack.

"In due course, in consultation with the families, we will also announce plans for a fitting memorial to the victims of this horrific attack.''

The PM's official spokeswoman said: "It will be an opportunity for the country to come together and remember the victims of the Tunisia terrorist attack, those that are coming to terms with the loss of loved ones and those who have been injured, and to show solidarity with them one week on.''