What happens after Queen Elizabeth's death? All you need to know about Operation London Bridge

Queen Elizabeth II (Image via Getty)
Queen Elizabeth II (Image via Getty)

It is no surprise that the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch, has sent shockwaves throughout the globe. Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96 on September 8, 2022.

According to reports, the royal family has an elaborate plan of action following the death of the monarch, which dates back to the 1960s.

The plan, titled Operation London Bridge, has every piece of information and step that would have to occur following the monarch's death, including how the public will be informed about it and how her funeral will be conducted.

Now that the first step has already commenced, the country will go on to mourn for 10 days while her funeral arrangements are being made. Her funeral is slated to take place at Westminster Abbey.

A statement from His Majesty The King:

Operation London Bridge is an elaborate plan that has been in place for quite some time now. This is not an uncommon practice in royal families. Previously, a similar plan, known as the Hyde Park Corner, was followed after the death of Elizabeth II's father, King George VI. Many such plans of action have been put in place for various members of the royal family.

According to the plan, Queen Elizabeth's secretary Sir Edward Young will be the first official to convey the news. This is barring friends and family (and the medical team, of course). From there on, Sir Edward Young will signal the Prime Minister with the code "London Bridge is down," thus marking the elaborate procedure.

The news will further go out to the 15 governments outside the UK where the Queen is also the head of state and the 36 other nations of the Commonwealth for whom she has served as a symbolic figurehead. World leaders, politicians, and ambassadors will also be a part of this group.

London Bridge is falling down 🤍 #QueenElizabeth

According to Operation London Bridge, the general public will be informed through newsflash to the Press Association and global media outlets. There will also be a notice outside Buckingham Palace, beside the announcements by a footman.

The Royal Family recently announced on Twitter:

"The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow."

As the queen died in Scotland instead of London, it also triggered another operation, titled Operation Unicorn. It consists of additional ceremonial events in Edinburgh before a Royal train is sent to bring Queen Elizabeth's coffin back to London.

This will also result in the Scottish parliament being temporarily suspended as the Queen's body is brought back to London.

The Prime Minister is slated to be the first official to make a public statement. Prince Charles will deliver a speech at 6.00 pm the following evening.

After Prince Charles' speech, there will be a dedicated mourning period of 10 days, after which Queen Elizabeth II's funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey. She will be buried at Windsor Castle's King George VI Memorial Chapel.

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Edited by Prem Deshpande
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