Even the lottery will be postponed

Britain will grind to a halt as a mark of respect, writes Amanda Kelly

The United Kingdom will come to a halt on Saturday morning as a grieving nation watches Diana, Princess of Wales, laid to rest. Shops and businesses all over the country will close their doors as a mark of respect and all the day's major sporting fixtures have been abandoned.

Many theatres will keep their curtains drawn and big name cinema chains will remain empty until the evening. Even the National Lottery will stop rolling. Camelot announced that the weekend draw would be postponed until Sunday morning. The owner of Harrods, Mohamed al-Fayed, whose son, Dodi, was also killed in the crash, has ordered that the department store will be closed on Saturday as a mark of respect.

People from all walks of life have booked the day off work and Register Offices all over the country have received calls from couples who had planned to marry at the weekend but who now wanted to postpone the ceremony.

The supermarket chain Tesco will keep all its stores closed until 2pm, and Going Places, Britain's second largest travel agent, will close its network all weekend. Many financial institutions, including the Yorkshire Bank and Birmingham Midshires building society, will close their branches on Saturday.

Cricket's NatWest Trophy Final, which would have been the biggest sporting event of the day, has now been put back until Sunday. Peter Edwards, the secretary-general manager of Essex, which is to play Warwickshire, said: "Princess Diana was a hugely popular figure and people who were due to turn up at Lord's on Saturday will now be free to say farewell and pay their respects."

A decision over the weekend's football league programme will be taken today, but Rugby Football Union officials say all league fixtures will be delayed until Sunday. RFU spokesman Richard Prescott said: "The postponement of Saturday's fixtures is a relatively small but sincere gesture from the English Rugby Partnership and the RFU to recognise the tremendous impact Princess Diana had on all our lives."

The British Horseracing Board announced that the five meetings at Haydock, Epsom, Thirsk, Wolverhampton and Stratford, scheduled for Saturday have all been scrapped. Even the annual pre-Trades Union Congress cricket match between journalists and union leaders has been called off.

The National Trust, of which the Queen Mother is president and Prince Charles is vice-president, will close all its houses, shops and restaurants until 3pm.

In Portsmouth, of which the Princess was a freeman, all the city's public buildings will close on Saturday and a remembrance service will be held in the cathedral on Thursday.

Among theatres, Shakespeare's Globe, the National and the Royal Shakespeare Company have all cancelled matinee performances on the day of the funeral and a one-minute silence will be held before many performances this week.

A gala dinner to celebrate the completion of renovation work to the Serpentine Gallery in central London, at which the Princess was to have been the guest of honour, will no longer take place on Thursday.

Hello! magazine, which so often featured Diana on its cover, will be late on the newsagents shelves. Several hundred thousand copies of this week's edition are being pulped because it carried articles about the Princess's romance with Dodi Fayed.

Yesterday, many workplaces held silences to remember the Princess. Others cancelled their day's business and stayed at home. The Prime Minister remained at Downing Street after calling off two meetings, and the leaders of all the political parties opted to stall campaigning on devolution. And the heart of London's financial world stopped at 11am yesterday when thousands of City workers took a few moments to honour the late Princess.

Celebrations in Glasgow to mark the centenary of the Scottish TUC were abandoned, as was a ceremony to mark the handing over of Rosyth former naval base in Fife from the Ministry of Defence to a private consortium. Scotland's home rule referendum will, however, go ahead as planned on 11 September, the Scottish Office announced yesterday.

Football league matches today and tomorrow will go ahead, although many clubs will hold one-minute silences.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Recruitment Genius: Advertisement Sales Manager

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A publishing company based in F...

Guru Careers: Product Design Engineer / UX Designer

£20 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a tech savvy Product Design Engineer /...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor