Operation London Bridge: Queen Elizabeth is Dead, What Happens Next?

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday after 70 years on the throne and has triggered a carefully laid out plan dubbed "Operation London Bridge" which will choreograph events that lead up to her funeral.

Part of the plan was the swift installment of her eldest son as King Charles III to ensure that there is no void in the monarchy. Together with Queen Consort, Camilla, King Charles remained with his mother's remains at Balmoral Castle in Scotland until it is transfered to London.

The Guardian newspaper first broke details of Operation London Bridge in 2017, five years before Elizabeth's 70th year Jubilee earlier this year. That report has become the source of many news publications on the plan.

Here is what's inside Operation London Bridge:

  • On D-Day, immediately after her death, Charles is proclaimed king while Camilla will become queen consort. This makes Charle's son, Prince William, first in line to the throne, followed by his three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
  • William's brother, Prince Harry, is fifth in line, followed by his two children with Meghan Markle, Archie and Lilibet Diana, who have yet to assume the titles of prince and princess.
  • On the day of her death, the Queen's private secretary was expected to inform Prime Minister Liz Truss via a secure line that "London Bridge is down". Afterwards, the news will be cascaded down to leaders of Commonwealth nations where Elizabeth is head of state or a political figurehead, then to the rest of the world.
  • Flags will be flown at half mast, the UK Press association and world media will be informed and an official announcement in black will be made on the Royal Family's internet properties.
  • On the first evening of her death, Charles will make his first address to the nation as king.
  • Since Elizabeth died at Balmoral Castle, she will be feted with Scottish rituals before her body is returned to London.
  • On the second day after her death, a 12-day mourning period will commence, which will culminate in her funeral.
  • King Charles will tour the country, stopping in Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff to attend services for his mother.
  • Westminster Hall will be closed for cleaning and funeral preparations will be held.
  • Four days after her death, the Queen's coffin will be moved to Westminster Hall in a procession throughout London where her body will lie in state for four days. Big Ben will chime when the remains arrive.
  • Elizabeth's crown and orb will be placed on her coffin. A public viewing will be allowed.
  • Nine days after her death, Elizabeth's jewels will be cleaned for the funeral.
  • Daily life in London will come to a halt. Stores will be closed. Big Ben will toll at 9 a.m. sharp, with the hammers covered in leather so that the sound will be muffled.
  • Twelve days after her death, the funeral will be held. Television coverage is allowed but the faces of the royals will not be shown.
  • The same carriage that carried her father, King George V, will bring Elizabeth's body to her final resting place at Windsor Castle.

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