Home Latest News What happens when the queen dies? Operation London Bridge

What happens when the queen dies? Operation London Bridge


It’s not daily a serving British monarch dies. There must be a plan. And so, with the demise of Queen Elizabeth II on the age of 96 on Thursday, the long-awaited “Operation London Bridge” swung into motion.

Named after a former London landmark that was eternally “falling down,” Operation London Bridge was the code phrase attributed to a formally choreographed sequence of occasions that may happen after the demise of the British monarch.

The not-so-secret plan has by no means formally been launched, although variations of it have been leaked a number of instances over time. It’s designed to make sure not solely that the information of the queen’s demise was damaged in a dignified method and her reminiscence commemorated, but additionally to make sure the continuation of the royal throne as Britain’s head of state.

In keeping with one account of the process published by the Guardian after a 2017 investigation, the information of the queen’s passing can be privately introduced by the queen’s personal secretary with a coded phrase:

“London Bridge is down.”

In keeping with accounts of the plan, the day of the demise is called “D-Day.”

Underneath the anticipated process, after the British monarch dies, his or her alternative takes over instantly. Which means after Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday, her son Prince Charles robotically turned monarch — and in his case, he turned King Charles III.

For the BBC, a state-funded broadcaster, the process is difficult. The information is anticipated to be damaged in a cautious, somber method, with hosts sporting black to dignify the significance of what has occurred. An alarm for nationwide emergencies, not often used, will go off within the places of work.

Veteran host Jeremy Paxman wrote that within the Seventies and ’80s, journalists had been anticipated to come back in on a weekend each six months to undergo the process for Elizabeth’s demise. “Lengthy units of tips had been produced and laminated in plastic,” Paxman wrote in his e book “On Royalty.”

However some issues have modified. On Thursday, the information of the queen’s passing was first shared on a Twitter account belonging to the royal family. It was broadly anticipated, nonetheless, and broadcasters from the BBC and different networks had been already all in black.

Flags had been lowered to half-staff throughout the nation, with discover of the demise posted to each Buckingham Palace and the royal web site.

The subsequent days are thought of D-Day+1, D-Day+2, and so forth, in accordance with leaked documents published by Politico last year. Precisely how today will play out shouldn’t be but clear, however we’ve a tough define from centuries of monarchal apply.

An “Accession Council” is anticipated to convene Saturday, later than ordinary. The physique usually meets inside 24 hours of the monarch’s demise, at St. James’s Palace, the place many vital occasions in royal historical past have taken place. It hosts officers and a few royals for accession proceedings for King Charles.

The council formally declares the demise of the monarch and the accession of the successor to the throne, according to the Privy Council, a proper advisory physique to the monarch. The Accession Council is presided over by the lord president of the Privy Council — Penny Mordaunt, a Conservative member of Parliament and the chief of the Home of Commons.

Later — although not all the time on the identical day — the brand new sovereign, or head of state, will maintain his or her first session with privy counselors. The monarch will take an oath swearing to guard the Church of Scotland, which has been taken by each monarch since George I in 1714. Signed copies of the oath are then despatched to official record-keepers.

The proclamation marking the accession of the monarch is later learn from the balcony above Friary Court docket at St. James’s Palace, accompanied by gun salutes. After the proclamation asserting Charles’s accession is learn, for the primary time since 1952, the nationwide anthem will likely be performed with the phrases “God Save the King.”

On Saturday, the queen’s physique is anticipated to be transported to Buckingham Palace. As she died at Balmoral in Scotland, her household’s summer time retreat, it’s not but clear if the coffin will likely be transported by royal prepare or by airplane.

When the queen’s physique returns to Buckingham Palace, a small variety of prime authorities ministers, together with the prime minister, will attend a reception. Her physique is anticipated to remain at that palace till Tuesday, when it is going to be moved to the Palace of Westminster and one other service will likely be held.

The queen will lie in state on the palace’s Westminster Corridor. She’s going to lie on a raised field often called a catafalque, and members of the general public, in addition to VIPs, will likely be allowed to go to to pay their respects.

In the meantime, the king will obtain the movement of condolence at Westminster Corridor and later start a tour of the UK. He’s anticipated to go to Scotland first, most likely on Sunday, earlier than happening to Northern Eire on Monday. His final journey, to Wales, is anticipated on D-Day+7, which is subsequent Thursday.

The queen’s state funeral is anticipated to be held on D-Day+10, which is Sunday, Sept. 18, at London’s Westminster Abbey. Heads of state and different VIPs from overseas will likely be in attendance. Later, there will likely be a committal service at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Citadel, a royal dwelling outdoors of London, and the queen will likely be buried contained in the King George VI’s Memorial Chapel inside St. George’s Chapel.

Britons will most likely have the time without work if the state funeral is on a weekday. Politico reported last year that the British authorities was involved concerning the large inflow of crowds to the funeral websites.

The funeral of Queen Elizabeth’s husband, Prince Philip, final 12 months could present one thing of a mannequin, albeit it was clearly of a smaller scale. That funeral occurred on April 17, 2021. Although Prince Philip wasn’t given a state funeral, which is reserved for monarchs, he was buried after a service at St. George’s Chapel. Philip was interred within the Royal Vault at St. George’s Chapel, however his stays will likely be moved to the King George VI’s Memorial Chapel in order that he may be laid to relaxation subsequent to the queen.

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