Operation London Bridge: What Will Happen When Queen Elizabeth II Dies?

You might be wondering what will happen when Queen Elizabeth II dies. Well, according to new reports, there is a plan dubbed Operation London Bridge

By Ingrid Mateos

- September 03 , 2021 - 16:14 hs

Queen Elizabeth II (AP)

We know that it sounds quite grim and even icky, but Queen Elizabeth's death is something imminent for every human being, no matter if you are royalty or a simple peasant. What catches the attention of this situation is that Queen Elizabeth II has been on the throne for quite a long time (69 years to be exact),

Generations have come and gone, and we bet that many people would feel uncertain if this awful event happens but apparently there is a plan for when this occurs...a top-secret document that is not so secret anymore. When the day comes that the Queen passes away, Buckingham Palace is prepared with a specific protocol that will hopefully allow for a smooth transition between monarchs.

Read More: Queen Elizabeth is Getting a Lawyer Amid Meghan and Harry Scandal

But first of all, the plan is dubbed Operation: London Bridge and explains in great and lengthy detail what will happen in the first ten days after the death of the monarch. The plan itself was made back in the 60s, but over the years it has been updated to include the new people involved. The Queen's death will first be confirmed by her personal physician, gastroenterologist Professor Huw Thomas, who's been working with Her Majesty.

Next to know will be the Queen's private secretary, who will relay the information via a secure phone line to the prime minister with the code words, "London Bridge is down." Sir Christopher Geidt, the Queen's longtime private secretary, resigned from his position in July 2017 and was replaced by his deputy, Sir Edward Young. So it's likely Young will now be the first official to receive the news—an example of how the plan is constantly needing to be updated.


According to Politico, who was the one reporting the leaked documents, there is a huge concern over London being too 'full' because of too many people flooding the city to mourn Queen Elizabeth II. Public transport, food accessibility, and policing are some of the problems that Londoners might face so, according to the plan, there is a security operation to be put in place.

Read More: Sarah Ferguson Calls Queen Elizabeth II Her 'Greatest Mentor' 

Now, according to Politico, the day will be referred to as “D-Day.” Each following day leading up to the funeral will be referred to as “D+1,” “D+2” and so on. The royal household will issue an “official notification” to alert the public and there are scripts in place on how officials should alert others on the news. For example, the cabinet secretary will email ministers and senior civil servants the following: “Dear colleagues, It is with sadness that I write to inform you of the death of Her Majesty The Queen.”There are also plans in place for all flags across Whitehall road to be lowered to half-mast 10 minutes after the news is delivered.

If the queen dies at Sandringham, her residence in Norfolk, eastern England, her body will be carried by royal train to St. Pancras station in London, where her coffin will be met by the prime minister and cabinet ministers. If she dies at Balmoral in Scotland, Operation UNICORN will be activated, meaning her body will be carried down to London by royal train if possible. If not, Operation OVERSTUDY will be triggered, meaning the coffin will be transferred by plane.

Modern times need modern measures and with it, comes to the social media rules to follow. Politico also mentions that “The royal family’s website will change to a black holding page with a short statement confirming the queen’s death. The U.K. government website — GOV.UK — will display a black banner at the top. All government departmental social media pages will also show a black banner and change their profile pictures to their departmental crest.” For some weird reason, retweets are 'explicitly banned-'

From day 6 to 9 the queen will lie in state at the Palace of Westminster for three days, in an operation codenamed FEATHER. Her coffin will lie on a raised box known as a catafalque in the middle of Westminster Hall, which will be open to the public for 23 hours per day. Tickets will be issued for VIPs so they can have a time slot. On D-Day+6, a rehearsal will take place for the state funeral procession.

And on the tenth day, the state funeral itself will be held at Westminster Abbey. There will be a two minutes’ silence across the nation at midday. Processions will take place in London and Windsor. There will be a committal service in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, and the queen will be buried in the castle’s King George VI Memorial Chapel.

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Ingrid Mateos

I am an Entertainment news writer at Show News Today. I love all about movies, royalty, and pop culture but also enjoy writing about the latest celebrity gossip. I have a B.A in E.L.T and a diploma in Tourism Studies. When not working with words, you can probabaly find me watching BBC'S Sherlock for the umpteempth time or an old movie.

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