It’s called Operation London Bridge and it’s the UK government’s highly detailed plan ready to shoot from the moment of Queen Elizabeth’s death. A protocol that has long remained secret, and which has now been unveiled by Politico.Ue. At the moment Elisabetta, 95, is in good health, so the documents that have emerged in these hours are not to be attributed to a worsening of the Queen’s conditions.
The documents reveal, among other things, a vast security operation to manage the crowds that are expected in London to pay homage to the sovereign. According to rumors already circulating in recent years, the prime minister will be alerted by a phone call from a public official who will say “London Bridge has fallen”, while the announcement of the queen’s death will come via a flash news on the “Association Press”.
The London Bridge operation, according to what Politico reveals, also provides that the Buckingham Palace website will be replaced by a black page with a brief declaration confirming the death of the sovereign and the government website and all the social pages gov.uk they will have a black banner. Non-urgent content will not be published. The prime minister and his cabinet will meet the queen’s coffin at St. Pancras station, while Prince Charles will embark on a tour of the UK in the ten days before the funeral.
The prime minister, the cabinet secretary (Britain’s highest official) and some of the senior ministers and officials will be informed first in a series of telephone calls. The prime minister will be briefed by the queen’s private secretary, who will also speak to the private council office, which coordinates the work of the government on behalf of the monarch. According to the coded language, the day will be referred to as “D-Day”. The days following the funeral will be “D + 1”, “D + 2” and so on.
An official note from the Royal Family will follow. Ministers will be informed with the following sentence: “We have just been informed of the death of Her Majesty the Queen”. Upon receiving this communication, the Whitehall flags will be lowered to half mast. This should be done in 10 minutes. The funeral is expected to take place 10 days after his death. The prime minister will be the first member of the government to make a statement. All other members of the government will speak only after him. The Ministry of Defense will organize the salute. There will be a minute of national silence. The prime minister will hold an audience with the new king and at 6 pm King Charles will deliver a message to the nation. At the same time, there will be a commemoration in St. Paul’s Cathedral in the heart of London.
The day after the queen’s death, at 10 am, senior government officials will gather at St. James’ Palace to proclaim Charles as the new ruler. The proclamation will be read at St. James’ Palace and the Royal Exchange in the City of London. Parliament will meet to agree on a message of condolence. All other parliamentary activities will be suspended for 10 days. At 3:30 pm, the prime minister and cabinet will see the new king. On D-Day + 2 the queen’s coffin will return to Buckingham Palace.
In the following days, King Charles will receive a motion of condolence in Westminster Hall. In the afternoon he will embark on a tour of the UK, starting with a visit to the Scottish Parliament and a service to St. Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh. He will then go to Northern Ireland, Hillsborough Castle, and attend a service at St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast. Operation Lion, the coffin procession from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster, will take place on day 5.
The Queen will lie at the Palace of Westminster for three days, in an operation called Feather. His coffin, raised off the ground, will be in the middle of Westminster Hall, which will be open to the public for 23 hours a day. The state funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey. At noon there will be a two-minute silence across the nation. The processions will take place in London and Windsor. There will be a funeral service in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle and the Queen will be buried in the castle’s King George VI Memorial Chapel.
Also read: The 20 Things Queen Elizabeth Owned You Wouldn’t Expect