What Happens When Queen Elizabeth II Dies?


When the world’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, dies, it is going to be communicated with 4 easy phrases: “London Bridge is down.”

The phrase refers to “Operation London Bridge,” Britain’s not-so-secret plan for learn how to proceed within the occasion of the monarch’s passing. Though the plan itself has been public information for years, the renewed give attention to the Queen’s deteriorating well being places the small print of these plans, a lot of which was leaked to Politico last year, in addition to how these plans may change, into sharp reduction.

Learn Extra: Queen Elizabeth II Under Medical Supervision as Health Concerns Grow

Right here’s what is understood about it.

How will the world discover out if the monarch has died?

On the day of the Queen’s loss of life, recognized merely as D-Day, the information can be delivered to the British Prime Minister by the Queen’s personal secretary, who can even inform the cupboard secretary (the nation’s highest civil servant) and the monarchy’s formal physique of advisers, referred to as the Privy Council. The information will then exit to the leaders of the greater than 50 nations making up the British Commonwealth. In the meantime, a newsflash can be despatched to the U.Ok.’s Press Affiliation, the nation’s nationwide information company, in addition to the remainder of the world’s media. On the BBC, a Chilly-Struggle period alarm referred to as the Radio Alert Transmission System (or RATS, for brief) can be activated. Tv anchors will grow to be black apparel. Information shops in Britain and around the globe will rush to publish pre-prepared obituaries.

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Maybe probably the most formal discover will come from Buckingham Palace itself, the place the “Official Notification” of the Queen’s loss of life can be pinned to the palace gates. The Royal Household’s web site, which can be set towards a black background, will publish an announcement confirming the loss of life.

What occurs after the information is introduced?

Bizarre authorities enterprise will successfully come to a halt, with the U.Ok. parliament, in addition to its devolved legislatures in Northern Eire, Scotland, and Wales, being adjourned. In Whitehall, the London neighborhood the place the British authorities sits, flags can be flown at half mast. The Prime Minister will make an announcement and a nationwide minute of silence can be introduced. A service of remembrance is predicted to happen at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, with the Prime Minister and different senior ministers in attendance.

On the identical day, the plan for the ascension of Prince Charles to the throne—dubbed Operation Spring Tide—can be underway. The Prime Minister will maintain an viewers with Prince Charles, who will then ship his first broadcast to the nation at 6 p.m. native time.

When would the funeral happen?

The funeral is predicted to happen 10 days after the Queen’s loss of life. Ought to that occur at her Balmoral property in Scotland, the place the Queen is at the moment, her coffin can be transported all the way down to London by royal practice (dubbed Operation UNICORN) or by airplane (Operation OVERSTUDY), the place it is going to be obtained by the Prime Minister and different senior authorities figures.

4 days after the Queen’s loss of life, there can be a procession from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster, the place her coffin will lie in state earlier than the funeral. It’s right here the place the general public will be capable to pay their respects to the Queen.

The state funeral can be held at Westminster Abbey and can be thought of a Day of Nationwide Mourning, with a two-minute interval of silence to be noticed throughout the nation at noon. After the funeral, the Queen can be buried at Windsor Citadel subsequent to her late husband, Prince Philip, and her father, King George VI.

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Does Prince Charles routinely turn out to be King?

Because the inheritor obvious, Prince Charles will routinely inherit the throne, in addition to all of the rights and obligations that include it, on the time of his mom’s loss of life. At 11 a.m. native time on the day after the Queen’s loss of life, the Accession Council can be convened to formally proclaim Charles the brand new sovereign. Whether or not he can be “King Charles III,” nonetheless, remains to be unclear. The brand new monarch, whose full title is Charles Philip Arthur George, may select to be recognized by one other title as an alternative. His spouse, Camilla, will undertake the title Queen Consort in accordance with his mother’s wishes.

Following his ascension, Prince Charles will meet with the Prime Minister and the Cupboard earlier than embarking on a tour of the U.Ok., starting in Scotland.

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Write to Yasmeen Serhan at yasmeen.serhan@time.com.

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