Operation London Bridge: Queen Elizabeth II passed away on Thursday at the age of 96. Having ruled the United Kingdom for more than 70 years, with members of the royal family by her side. Her passing set in motion a comprehensive strategy that had been put in place in the 1960s to take effect in the event that the queen passed away. The meticulously detailed plan outlines the steps that must be taken immediately after her passing and that conclude with her funeral ten days later.
The London Bridge operation
Operation London Bridge, the plan to handle the death of the head of state in Britain, was initially published by The Guardian in 2017 and later by Politico in 2021.
The London Bridge plan, according to The Guardian, took the possibility of her dying at Balmoral into consideration. Operation Unicorn was the codename for the component of the operation that involved killing her at her favorite Scottish castle.
These protocols truly serve as a thorough outline for the funeral procession and other important logistical tasks.
The plan designates her funeral day as D+10 and the day following her death as D+1 (D-day plus 10 days). After transmitting a message of sympathy, the British parliament will adjourn for these ten days.
The instant after death
According to the plan, after alerting the British Prime Minister. The news of the Queen’s passing was first shared with the 38 other Commonwealth countries before reaching foreign governments where she served as head of state.
Additionally, Prince Charles will instantly succeed the late Queen as monarch and head of state for 14 Commonwealth states. A formal proclamation, though, won’t be made until the day following the Queen’s passing. According to the BBC, this will take place in front of the Accession Council, a ceremonial council, in St. James’ Palace in London.
What transpires over the following few days
The Guardian reports that a ceremonial procession to St. Giles’ Cathedral on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh is also part of the plan. In addition to the Queen’s coffin possibly being brought to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
According to the same story, the casket will next be flown to London.
The likelihood of the coffin being transported to London by royal train was also suggested in the Politico report.
A ceremonial procession will move the coffin from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster on D+5, or D-day plus five days. Westminster Hall will host a service.
The Queen will lay in state in Westminster Hall from D+6 to D+9, according to the Politico article. And visitors will be welcome to pay their respects.
The Queen will be lying in state as the elaborate funeral arrangements are practiced.