Courts fall silent as mark of respect for the Queen


he courts have fallen silent and cases were briefly brought as judges expressed their “profound sorrow” at the death of the Queen.

Lawyers and court users gathered in the Great Hall of the Old Bailey to observe the 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.

Before observing the silence, the Common Serjeant, Judge Richard Marks KC said it was a “profoundly sad occasion”.

“I’m sure we all send out very deepest condolences to members of the royal family.”

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

Traditionally, the garb is worn for the entire mourning period but is not obligatory.

At the end of the two minutes’ silence, Judge Marks said a book of condolence had been opened as well as one at the High Court.

He said it was “indeed the end of an era” and a time of “profound sorrow” before adding: “God save the King

The court will not open on the day of the Queen’s funeral.

As a princess in her teens, Elizabeth visited the Old Bailey with Princess Margaret and sat in the famous Court One for an afternoon as part of her royal education.

She returned to the Central Criminal Court as Queen in 1971 for lunch with the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs and judges.

In 2007, she attended a reception to mark the centenary of the Old Bailey.

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