Elizabeth: "London bridge fell" - What the protocol for the succession of the queen provides

What happens after the death of Queen Elizabeth and what is the top secret plan "Operation London Bridge" activated

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Just a few hours after notice of death of Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 96, the manner in which her death will be announced is again in the news. In 2021, Politico secretly published classified information related to that plan. The phrase that will be heard is "London Bridge has fallen".

Read also: Queen Elizabeth has died - Mourning in Great Britain

Within ten minutes of the announcement of her death, flags will fly at half-mast, the Royal Family's website will go black, and the now-King Charles will address the nation while touring the UK.

The top-secret plan, which will be activated upon the queen's death, was leaked to Politico, raising questions about who was responsible for its release, while it was revised due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Guardian, although the plan was first released in the 1960s, it has never been leaked in such detail, and does not include details of Prince Charles' enthronement ceremony, which will take place a few months later.

Immediately after the plan was officially announced, Buckingham Palace refused to comment. However, a source with knowledge of what's going on said they are "not happy", while people involved in royal affairs talk about a lack of ethics.

What does the plan provide?

Based on the leak, the first person outside of Buckingham to be informed of the sad news will be the Prime Minister, who will be called by the Queen's personal secretary. At the same time, cabinet members, members of privy councils and officials, such as the Armed Forces, will be informed by message, who will be planning honor ceremonies across the country a few hours later. Everyone will get the same message: “We have just been informed of the death of HRH the Queen. Discretion is essential."

The royal house will then issue a formal notice informing the world via television and press, along with assurances that the Queen's funeral will take place ten days later at Westminster Abbey, before being buried in the family crypt next to Prince Philip.

Before the funeral, her body will be on display for three days in public pilgrimage at the Palace of Westminster, which will be open 23 hours a day to those who wish to pay their respects.

At the same time, the government will ensure that all flags fly at half-mast within ten minutes, to avoid a wave of public outrage. The Department for Transport has already been notified that London will be packed, for the first time in its history, with trains and buses full of people traveling to the capital to mourn the Queen, while hotels and all accommodation will be full. .

"Operation London Bridge" also contains plans for Social Media and has been updated to keep pace with the internet.

Mavro will go on the Royal Family website, with a short statement confirming her death. All gov.uk websites will have a black banner. Every tweet from government and ministerial accounts will have to be approved by a communications officer, while no public statements are allowed until the prime minister speaks, possibly from Downing Street.

The leaked D-Day schedule in detail


The prime minister is informed by phone call and text that the Queen has died. It is not clear whether the code "London Bridge has fallen" will be used by Buckingham, but the phrase has been in designs since the 1960s.

A flurry of calls immediately begins to inform politicians and public officials down the hierarchy, starting with cabinet members. “We have just been informed of the death of Her Majesty the Queen. Discretion is required” will be said and the call will be disconnected.

Only when there is official notification will the news be released to the press and mainstream television stations, along with possibly specifying that the funeral will take place ten days after her death. An email will be sent to ministers and civil servants: "I regret to inform you of the death of HRH The Queen." The process of flying the flags at half-staff immediately begins.

Parliament will revoke devolved legislative power in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Royal Family's official website will go black with a brief announcement confirming the Queen's death. Government websites will also be blacked out with special, pre-designed banners.

The royal family's website will be blacked out, as will its Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, and all posts except those that have been agreed will cease. However, there will be silence until the Prime Minister speaks publicly first, in a live broadcast, paying tribute to the Queen.

The prime minister will then visit the new king, Charles, who will address the nation at 6pm. to coincide with the main evening newscasts. The prime minister and senior cabinet ministers will then go to a memorial service at St. Paul. Although pre-planned, according to the documents cited by Politico, the ceremony should feel "spontaneous."

One day after D-Day

10 in the morning

The Council of Accession will convene at St James's Palace, near Buckingham, and declare Charles as the new monarch. All men should wear a morning suit with black or dark ties, and no medals or awards may be worn.

An official will videotape the announcement that Britain has a new monarch – the same message will be read simultaneously at the London Stock Exchange, next to the Bank of England.

At noon, MPs will pay tributes in the House of Commons led by the Prime Minister. At 3.30 the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet will go to Buckingham Palace and have an audience with the new King Charles, but no spouses are allowed.

Two days after D-Day

The Queen's body will return to Buckingham, wherever it is, and the coffin will be placed in the Throne Room, where among others will be standing four guards, their hats tilted and their rifles pointed at the floor. Depending on where she will be, there are different plans for how her body will be transported. At the same time, a new debate is expected in the Parliament as well as in all the parliaments involved.

Three days after D-Day

The new King Charles begins a tour of the United Kingdom. The tour begins with a visit to Westminster in Parliament, where he will receive condolences from MPs.

The next stop is Edinburgh, where he will visit the Scottish Parliament, while there will be a church ceremony at St. Giles.

Four days after D-Day

King Charles will board a flight to Northern Ireland, where he will again receive condolences from the parliaments involved, while attending a memorial service in Belfast at St. Anne.

In London, there will be a rehearsal of the process with the Queen's coffin being moved from Buckingham Palace to Westminster, known as 'Operation Lion'

Five days after D-Day

The Queen will be transferred from Buckingham to Westminster. The process will be the first major military parade. When the Queen arrives at Westminster, there will be a memorial service.

Sixth to ninth day after D-Day

A three-day popular pilgrimage begins immediately. The plan includes detailed details of how the casket will be placed. First she will be found there by VIPs who will be given time to honor her.

After that the public will be able to enter the area which will be closed only for one hour every 24 hours. In the meantime Prince Charles will fly to Wales for the last leg of his tour. He will visit the Welsh Parliament, while attending a memorial service in Cardiff at Llandaff Cathedral.

Planning is in place both for what will happen at the royal residences and how to ensure heads of state, VIPs and dignitaries visit the UK on the day of the funeral. At the same time, the Ministry of Transport is drawing up plans to facilitate the British and foreigners who are expected to be in London at that time.

Day of National Mourning the day of the funeral

Ten days after the death, the Queen's funeral will be held which is called a "Day of National Mourning" although it will not be a public holiday. If the funeral takes place on a weekday, it is up to employers whether to allow employees to be off work.

The Queen will be taken to Westminster Abbey, while two minutes' silence will be observed across the nation at midday. A ceremony will follow at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle and she will be buried in the royal crypt at St George's Chapel, alongside Prince Philip.

It remains unknown when the enthronement of Prince Charles will take place, as well as the name he will want to take after assuming his new duties.

With information from First Issue