Operation London Bridge Explained: How The Queen’s Death Will Be Announced

The Queen
Credit: Alamy

Operation London Bridge is the procedure that will be put in place when the Monarchy dies.

It has been planned for the moment Queen Elizabeth passes with careful detail for every step.

First established in the 1960s, Prime Minister Liz Truss will be one of the first to be informed when she receives a message from the Queen’s Private Secretary.

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UK government officials will be told to put the flag at half-mast within 10 minutes of her death.

Prince Charles will officially be king and will address the nation on the day of her passing.

News organisations will have already prepared an obituary for her and they will all be informed through the Press Association.

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BBC News will air pre-recorded sequences of images and stills celebrating her life, which will give the presenters on air enough time to prepare for a formal announcement. 

Prime Minister Liz Truss would then hold an evening with Prince Charles after the soon-to-be king addresses the nation in a public broadcast.

If the Queen was to pass away in her home at Balmoral, Scottish protocols will be put in place, known as ‘Operation Unicorn’, which will involve the immediate suspension of parliament so that authorities can plan for a state funeral.

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The following day, MPs will give tributes in parliament and her Majesty’s coffin will return to Buckingham Palace.

The country will then begin a 10-day mourning period, which includes Prince Charles setting off on a UK tour and for the public to visit her coffin in Westminster Hall for 23 hours.

On the last day of the mourning period, her funeral will take place and a national two-minute silence will occur. However, staff are not obliged to take a day off. 

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