The entire royal family rushed to Queen Elizabeth’s side this week as doctors supervised the monarch’s health. Buckingham Palace confirmed in a statement Thursday morning that doctors were “concerned” for Her Majesty, and hours later, sadly confirmed her death.
Reporters and mourners dressed in all black have since surrounded Balmoral Castle, the monarch’s residence in Scotland, where she passed.
Ahead, everything we know about Operation LONDON BRIDGE, the United Kingdom government’s multistep plan for what is to be done now that Queen Elizabeth II has passed away.
Immediately upon the queen’s death, her private secretary calls the prime minister to inform her of the news, perhaps with the message, “London Bridge is down,” per documents obtained by Politico.
The royal household issues an official statement informing the staff, civil servants, and the public of the queen’s death, and the news is announced via an alert on the Press Association wire.
Then, flags across Whitehall are lowered to half-mast—ideally within 10 minutes, Politico reported. The Ministry of Defence arranges for gun salutes to take place, and a national minute of silence is announced. A service of remembrance is arranged at London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral.
The prime minister is the first member of the government to make a statement on the death. Then, the PM holds an audience with Charles, who delivers a broadcast to the nation.
The royal family’s website is changed to a black background, with a small message confirming the queen’s death, and the U.K. government website displays a black banner, as will all government departmental social media pages.
Internally, the day of the queen’s passing is referred to as “D-Day,” and each day after, until the funeral—which will take place on day 10—will be referred to as “D+1,” “D+2,” et cetera.
The morning after Queen Elizabeth’s death, Charles is sworn in as the new sovereign by the Accession Council.
The queen’s coffin will be carried to Buckingham Palace.
Since she died at Balmoral Castle, in Scotland, Operation UNICORN is activated, per Politico, meaning her coffin will be transported to London via royal train. If that is not possible, Operation OVERSTUDY will come into effect, and the coffin will instead be transported by plane. The prime minister and ministers will welcome it upon arrival.
There is an entirely different plan if she had passed away at Sandringham.
Charles will receive the motion of condolence at Westminster Hall and later start his tour of the United Kingdom as its new monarch.
When he arrives in Northern Ireland, he will attend a service at St. Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast. Meanwhile, a rehearsal will take place ahead of Operation LION, when the queen’s coffin will be carried from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster.
A service will be held in Westminster Hall upon the coffin’s arrival.
Queen Elizabeth II will lie in state at Westminster Hall in the Palace of Westminster for three days in what is being called Operation FEATHER. For 23 hours per day, visitors will be able to pay their respects. Tickets will be issued to VIPs for designated time slots.
Charles will travel to Wales to receive another motion of condolence and attend a service at Liandaff Cathedral in Cardiff ahead of the queen’s funeral, which will take place the following day.
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