"London Bridge is down." 👑
The U.K. has been planning for Queen Elizabeth II's death for years, and some of the details of that plan have been revealed.
The queen cancelled virtual meetings on the advice of her doctors on Wednesday and she was told to remain under "medical supervision" on Thursday, sparking fears that the 96-year-old might soon die.
"The Queen's doctors are concerned for Her Majesty's health," Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Thursday.
That got people buzzing on social media about "Operation London Bridge," the long-planned roadmap for what happens when the monarch dies.
However, that plan could take shape as "Operation Unicorn" if she dies at Balmoral Castle, where she has been resting under doctor's orders this week.
When the queen dies, Operation London Bridge commences. The plan is extremely detailed, according to reports and documents obtained by Politico. It lays out what will happen on the day she dies and many days afterward.
According to Politico, snippets of the plan suggest that the U.K.'s prime minister will be told that "London Bridge is down" when the queen dies. Other members of the royal family also have code names for their deaths, the Bristol Post reports.
Here's what happens next, according to reports from Politico and Business Insider.
When the queen dies
On the day the Queen dies, her private secretary will tell the British prime minister. The leaders of the various Commonwealth countries will also be informed via a secure line, according to Business Insider.
The gates of Buckingham Palace will display a notice of the queen's death, according to Insider. The royal family's website will have a black holding page with the same news and the British government website will have a black banner at the top stating the queen has died.
Shortly after the queen's death, the prime minister will release an official statement, Politico reports.
The prime minister will be the first government official to make a formal comment about it, and Parliament business will be suspended for 10 days so lawmakers can pay their respects.
Prince (King, after the queen dies) Charles will address the nation that evening, according to Politico.
Before the funeral
The day after the queen dies, Charles will be proclaimed the new sovereign at St. James' Palace at 10 a.m.
Later that day, the new king will meet with the prime minister and the Cabinet.
If the queen dies at her residence in Norfolk, England, she'll be transported to London in the first few days after her death, according to Politico. However, if she dies at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, she'll have to be transported to London via train. A train trip would be dubbed "Operation Unicorn," although it'd be called "Operation Overstudy" if they end up using an aircraft.
Three days after the queen's death, King Charles will set out on a tour of the United Kingdom, starting with Scotland.
From day six to day nine after her death, the queen will lie in state at the Palace of Westminster so that people can visit and pay their respects. Funeral preparations will happen during this time, too.
The queen's funeral
Charles will return to London in time for the funeral. Arrangements will also be made to bring in VIP guests and heads of state.
A state funeral will happen 10 days after the queen's death at Westminster Hall before a procession takes the queen to her final resting place at Windsor Castle, where she will be buried in the King George VI Memorial Chapel.
Some sort of national mourning day is expected for the funeral, although reports vary. According to the plan that Politico obtained, the day will be an unofficial bank holiday, although Insider reports that it will be an official holiday.
The funeral will be a major moment in the U.K. and around the world, as everyone finally says goodbye to one of the longest-serving monarchs in history.
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