Queen Elizabeth II is loved and adored by millions in the United Kingdom and hundreds of millions worldwide irrespective of personal opinions on her legacy and the role of the monarchy in different parts of the world. She has been sitting on the British throne since February 1952, and is the second longest serving monarch in history, only 2 years behind Louis XIV whose reign lasted 72 years, 110 days.
Queen Elizabeth II’s time on the throne has encompassed countless pivotal moments in the nation’s history, with 15 British Prime Ministers serving during her reign. The first head of state to open two Olympic Games in two countries (Montreal 1976 and London 2012), she also became the first reigning British monarch to set foot in Russia in 1994.
Even though she is the most prominent monarch in the world, Queen Elizabeth II is still human, and subject to the laws of life and death. And today, Sep 8, 2022, she finally kicked the royal bucket.
Following her passing, “Operation London Bridge” – the codename given to the plan in place for national protocols that will be enacted in the event her death has been activated. These are the things that will now happen:
DAY OF THE QUEEN’S DEATH
- Announcement of the Queen’s Death: On the day of her death, the Queen’s Private Secretary will inform the Prime Minister who will be one of the first to be informed of the monarch’s passing. This message will be delivered by the Queen’s Private Secretary and sent to members of the Privy Council Office.
Members of Parliament and senior civil servants will also receive a call and an email stating: “Dear colleagues, It is with sadness that I write to inform you of the death of Her Majesty The Queen.”
An announcement on social media and flags across the UK are to be at half-mast within 10 minutes of the news.
The London stock market will close for the day out of respect for the monarchy. Schools, businesses, and other public institutions will also close for the day.
- Prince Charles Address: the soon-to-be crowned King Charles will address the nation in a televised broadcast after the announcement.
The Prime Minister will hold an audience with Charles, while the Ministry of Defence will organize gun salutes and a minute of silence will be held across the country.
There are ready-made documentaries about her life that will be released. BBC news casters have black suits on standby, and will change into them immediately after her death is announced. The iconic red logo of the BBC will change to black. The BBC will refrain from playing comedy shows until after the funeral as a sign of respect for the Queen.
- Prince Charles Becomes King: The Accession Council will name Charles the new King and a proclamation will be read out at St James’ Palace and the Royal Exchange.
The Prime Minister will give a speech which will be followed by a tribute from members of Parliament the next day.
Her Majesty’s coffin will return to Buckingham Palace where the PM and cabinet members will be waiting.
DAY 3 – 4
- KING CHARLES TOUR OF UK: King Charles will set off on his tour of the United Kingdom, visiting the Scottish Parliament and St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, then Northern Ireland’s Hillsborough Castle and a service at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast.
Meanwhile, in London, meticulous rehearsals for the late Queen’s funeral will be taking place.
- PROCESSION: On the fifth day, the Queen’s coffin will be led on a military procession, starting at Buckingham Palace and ending at the Houses of Parliament, then a service will be held at Westminster Hall.
The Queen will then lie in state for four days, as Kings Charles, the royal family, dignitaries from around the world, and members of the public visit to pay their respect.
DAY 6 – 9
- KING CHARLES VISITS WALES: King Charles will visit the Welsh Parliament and service at Cardiff’s Llandaff Cathedral.
Plans for the funeral will enter their final phase as mourners gather to mourn the Queen.
- THE QUEEN’S FUNERAL: The day of the Queen’s Funeral will be an official bank holiday. It will be a day of National Mourning and at 11 am, the bells of Big Ben will chime and a two (2) minute of silence will be held across the United Kingdom.
The funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey with 2,000 special guests, followed by a committal service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, where Queen Elizabeth II will be laid to rest next to her father King George VI.
The Stock Exchange will close that day, for the second time and many businesses will also close.
AFTERMATH OF THE QUEEN’S FUNERAL
- An official coronation for King Charles will take place on another bank holiday.
- The current notes and coins would slowly be withdrawn from circulation. New notes will be printed and King Charles’s portrait will be on the new notes.
- New stamps, passports, and police and military uniforms will also be printed.
- The Anthem is changed from God save the Queen to God save the King.
Note: There will be 12 days of mourning but only her funeral date will be a national holiday.
See a video that visualizes Operation London Bridge: