Signs of changing legal times following Queen’s death

·1-min read
A staircase off the main hall at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Archive)
A staircase off the main hall at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Archive)

Visitors to the Royal Courts of Justice in central London will next week see signs of changing legal times following the Queen’s death.

Staff at the complex, where High Court and Court of Appeal judges sit, have started replacing signs which direct people to judges hearing cases in what was the Queen’s Bench Division of High Court.

Signs began appearing late on Friday referring to the King’s Bench Division.

Some cases due to take place on Monday are also being listed in the King’s Bench Division.

Judges in the division deal with personal injury, negligence, and libel claims.

Courts around the country had earlier fallen silent, and cases were briefly halted, as judges expressed their sorrow at the Queen’s death.

Lawyers and court users gathered in the Great Hall of the Old Bailey to observe a two-minute silence at 10am.

Among them were dozens of senior barristers whose titles will now change from Queen’s Counsel to King’s Counsel.

Some Old Bailey judges, who gathered in the hall, wore “mourning bands” with dark lines around their necks instead of their usual collars.

Before the two-minute silence at the Old Bailey, the King was acknowledged as the first case of the day was heard at 9.30am in court nine.

In a small change from the traditional announcement, a court usher solemnly declared: “Silence be upstanding in court.

“All persons who have anything to do before My Lords and Ladies, the King’s Justices at the Central Criminal Court draw near and give your attendance.”

On the roof, the Union flag fluttered at half-mast near to the golden statue of Lady Justice.