Support for members following the death of the Queen
Activities and guidance for volunteers
Her Majesty The Queen’s death affects each of us in different ways.
In 1953, the year after the Queen succeeded to the throne, she became Girlguiding’s patron. Our statement reflects the important role she held at Girlguiding and the legacy she leaves behind.
It can be difficult to know what to do to support young members in the mourning period and beyond. Here are some activities you can do with your unit to help manage conversations around the death of the Queen. We've also answered questions you may have around what our patron's death means for Girlguiding.
What can I do with my unit?
The significance of this event will impact people differently, and death can be difficult to talk about. You can use these bereavement toppers and the webpage we created with Child Bereavement UK earlier this year to help explore the topic with young people.
The bereavement toppers were not specifically designed for the death of the Queen but can be adapted in the following ways:
- Instead of creating a memory box together, you could create a commemorative artwork to be displayed in your unit space, windows or any other area. Or send a group letter or card to the Royal Family to express your condolences.
- The Queen was passionate about helping others and making the UK a better place. You could research causes close to her heart to help you celebrate her life.
Other unit meeting activities
Here are some programme activities you can adapt to reflect on the Queen’s life and manage conversations about death.
Turn them blue - a unit meeting activity to help girls remember and celebrate people in history by making a blue plaque, which you could use to focus on the Queen.
A royal engagement – an activity to allow Rainbows to act out a coronation and look at the Queen’s duties and role.
Brownies and Guides
Are you okay? – this activity from the First Aid skills builder stage 3 helps girls recognise different emotions and support others when they’re feeling down.
Happy thoughts - this activity from Feel Good skills builder stage 3 helps girls create a glitter jar to process their thoughts.
Give and take – you can use this Feel Good skills builder stage 5 activity to help girls understand how our actions can support others’ mental wellbeing.
You can also use our Peer Education Think Resilient resources to help young people think about how they can develop resilience and wellbeing during tough times.
Look after yourself
As much as you may want to support young members right now, it’s important to make time to look after yourself too. Talking about death may bring up difficult memories or emotions in your own life. It’s okay to feel you’re not the best person to manage a conversation about death and call on others for support.
Should training continue during the 10 day mourning period?
All training should go ahead as planned. We'd suggest that a two-minute silence is held where possible, as a mark of respect.
What happens if units are going on a trip during the 10 day mourning period - should the trip take place?
If you're a unit leader, you should make the decision as to whether a planned trip will go ahead. Our suggestion is that all events do go ahead as planned but would ask that a two-minute silence is held where possible as a mark of respect.
Should units meet in the official period of mourning?
It's up to unit leaders to decide whether a planned meeting should go ahead. We suggest that all meetings do go ahead as planned but would ask that a two-minute silence is held where possible as a mark of respect.
Can units meet on the day of the Queen's funeral (19 September)?
Our guidance is that units do not meet on the day of the funeral, Monday 19 September, but the decision ultimately lies with the unit leader to decide what's best. It is a public holiday and we think that members should have the time to pay their respects. If you do go ahead with any meetings, we ask that a two-minute silence is held where possible.
Will the name of the Queen's Guide Award change? If so, when?
The Queen's Guide Award will remain the same in name and in purpose, as a mark of respect and as a legacy to the Queen's relationship with Girlguiding.
When will the Promise change?
During the mourning period we won’t be changing the Promise, as a mark of respect. From 20 September, Girlguiding members will be invited to make their Promise using new wording, to mention the His Majesty The King. We have a shorter version for our youngest group, Rainbows, which will not change. There’ll be no requirement for anyone to redo their Promise in light of changes, but they can if they want to.
The new Promise wording can be found on our Promise page from 20 September.
Who will be Girlguiding's next patron?
We're working with the Palace and will announce a new Royal Patron when appropriate.
Will Girlguiding make a commemorative badge for the Queen?
We're working on a commemorative badge which will be available online, from volunteer shops and in our shop in Victoria, London. Please keep an eye on our social and communication channels for more information in due course.
How can I share my memories of the Queen or leave condolences?
Please contact Girlguiding’s Press Office if you’d like your story to be considered for any media opportunities.