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'London Bridge Is Down': Here's What's Next for the British Monarchy

Toby Melville/Pool via AP

Spencer had it first: Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning British monarch, passed away at 96. Her husband, Prince Phillip, 99, passed away last year. The longevity of the British Royal Family has been noted, especially regarding the late monarch and the Queen Mother, the latter of which lived to 102. 


Earlier this morning, as Spencer said, the monarch was under medical supervision and ordered to remain rested in bed. However, it was clear that there was an anticipation for her passing, despite reports stating the Queen was comfortable. The mad dash from members of the Royal Family to Balmoral Castle in Scotland seemed to suggest otherwise.

Many articles have been written about what will occur after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. While “Operation London Bridge” and the call sign for the queen’s death were supposed to remain secret, it’s been known to the public for years. The funeral, which could be the largest in history, is set to be held 10 to 12 days after the monarch’s passing, and it will be a banking holiday. The British stock market and a host of businesses will close (via NY Post):

If unchanged, the Queen’s death will be referred to internally as “D-Day,” the military term for a major new operation — most famously, the 1944 Allied invasion of Normandy heralding the end of World War II.

The day following her death will be “D+1,” until her funeral on “D+10,” which will be declared a “Day of National Mourning,” according to the plans.

The Queen’s private secretary will reportedly be the first person to hear of her death before a “call cascade” will share the news with the prime minister and Britain’s most senior ministers and officials.

An updated call script shared by Politico will then instruct departmental permanent secretaries to tell government ministers, “We have just been informed of the death of Her Majesty The Queen.”


Once senior government officials are all alerted, flags across Whitehall, home to the UK government’s main offices, will be lowered to half-staff and Parliament will be recalled.

Meanwhile, news media will also be alerted, with broadcasters at the BBC — which previously first announced royal deaths — all known to have black ties at the ready for the news.


At 10 a.m. on “D-Day+1,” the Accession Council will meet at St. James’ Palace to officially proclaim King Charles the new sovereign, according to the leaked plans.

The proclamation will then be read at St. James’ Palace and the Royal Exchange in the City of London, confirming Charles as king.

Parliament will meet to agree on a message of condolence, with other business suspended for 10 days, Politico stated. The new king will then meet with the prime minister and his senior cabinet officials, according to the plans.


If the plan is followed, the funeral will be on the 10th day at Westminster Abbey — the first funeral of a British monarch there since 1760.


Most of the country will grind to a halt as it mourns, with a nationwide two minutes of silence at midday. The London Stock Exchange will cease business and UK banks will close.

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, the plans detailed by Politico noted.

With around 60 years of planning, “Operation London Bridge” should ensure the Queen’s send-off goes off without a hitch.


'God Save the King' will become the new British national anthem. A new currency will be printed with the image of King Charles III. Passports, stamps, police, and military uniforms will all be altered to accommodate the changes within this institution. In all, the death of Queen Elizabeth is set to cost the British economy billions of pounds during the transition. Charles will then meet with multiple government leaders in the British Isles, traveling to the capitals of Edinburgh, Belfast, and Cardiff.

Police and other law enforcement officials will also have to deal with the logistics of a packed London on the day of the queen’s funeral. The plans surrounding the queen’s death have been written and re-written for years, so changes to the funeral arrangements and other parts of the royal overhaul wouldn’t be shocking. Still, Business Insider and the Guardian have published good overviews of what to expect.

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