Some British schools in Dubai to close early for Queen Elizabeth II's funeral

Others will observe two minutes of silence to pay homage to UK's late monarch

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Some British schools in Dubai will close early on Monday to allow families to watch the televised funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

Others will observe a two-minute silence as a mark of respect to the country's longest-serving monarch.

The funeral service will take place at 2pm UAE time.

Dubai College said in a letter to parents it would close early on Monday after securing permission from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, the regulator of private schools in the emirate.

Quote
To be a part of this, albeit from afar, and join their families at home for this sad but iconic moment, will be important to many in our communities
Jared Nolan, director of UK curriculum schools at Taaleem Education

"Queen Elizabeth II was for all of us the only British monarch that we will have known during our lifetimes. Wherever you sit on the political spectrum, the emotional impact that this news had on members of our community should not be underestimated," the letter read.

"For many who have expatriated from the UK, this will be one of the most culturally significant events in the country’s history and it is important to allow community members to share in this event."

The school said it was proposing to close at the start of lunch at 12.25pm, "so that those interested and invested in the cultural life of the UK can watch the queen’s state funeral from the comfort of their homes in the company of their families. All extra-curricular activities and events on that day will be postponed."

Children who do not leave early will watch the broadcast live in the auditorium in place of regular lessons.

The UAE is home to an estimated 240,000 Britons and there are about 165 schools offering the British curriculum in the UAE.

Taaleem Group, which has three British curriculum schools in Dubai, said its pupils would have the option to finish the school day earlier on Monday.

"We recognise that some of our parents and pupils in Taaleem’s British Schools will want to finish the school day earlier than usual to mourn the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and watch as her life and service to the nation and the Commonwealth is celebrated," Jared Nolan, director of UK curriculum schools at Taaleem, told The National.

"To be a part of this, albeit from afar, and join their families at home for this sad but iconic moment, will be important to many in our communities."

Mr Nolan said all British schools had immense respect for Her Majesty's leadership and legacy and the special bond the UAE leaders had with the former monarch.

Some other schools such as Horizon and Regent International told The National they do not have early dismissal, but instead will observe two minutes of silence.

Some have sent out letters to parents, saying they have approached the education authority to allow them to finish early on Monday.

The early finish will help many people to connect with their family and friends in the UK, the letters stated.

Schools said the authority has asked them to secure the vote of parents in favour of or against the early closure. The support of the majority will influence the final decision.

The state funeral

In the UK, there will be a national bank holiday to allow as many people as possible to watch the queen's funeral.

The lying-in-state will continue until 6.30am (9.30am UAE) on the day of the funeral when the coffin will be taken in a grand military procession from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey.

Senior members of the royal family are expected to follow behind the queen's coffin and the military will line the streets and also join the procession.

A national two minutes' silence are expected to be held.

After the service, the coffin will be taken to Wellington Arch and then travel to Windsor, where the hearse will travel in a procession to St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle via the Long Walk.

A televised committal service will take place in St George's Chapel.

Later in the evening, there will be a private interment service with senior members of the royal family.

The queen's final resting place will be the King George VI Memorial Chapel, an annex to the main chapel — where her mother and father were buried, along with the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret.

Prince Philip's coffin will move from the Royal Vault to the memorial chapel to join the queen's.

Is it being televised?

In Britain, yes. Further afield, it will be down to local decisions but international news channels are expected to broadcast live services.

The St George's Chapel committal will also be televised but there will be a private interment service away from the cameras.

Queen Elizabeth British School Al Khubairat - in pictures

Updated: September 14, 2022, 1:07 PM
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