What happens when the Queen dies? The process after the death of the queen is already certain

“London Bridge is down.” Should these four words ever come to the Prime Minister, that’s what the “Guardian” wants to know, then an epoch comes to an end in Great Britain. This sentence should – at least so far – be the secret code if Queen Elizabeth II (96) should die. There is no official information about this: Buckingham Palace does not comment on the report.

“My whole life, should it be short or long,” promised the later Queen Elizabeth II on her 21st birthday that she wanted to dedicate it to her subjects. She is now 70 years on the throne (she was crowned Queen on June 2, 1953). She is jokingly referred to as the only princess who climbed a tree and came down as queen. Because the news of the death of her father, George VI, reached Elizabeth and her husband Philip with a delay in 1952 on a trip to Kenya in a tree house hotel. The secret code for George’s death was said to have been “Hyde Park Corner”.

Detailed plan for Queen’s death: who does what?

For more than 50 years, according to the Guardian, it has been planned who should do what and when in the event of the Queen’s death. It has been fine-tuned down to the last detail for around 20 years. The parties involved, including government representatives and the army, now meet two to three times a year, as the detailed report states. The Guardian does not name its sources, but it wants to know a lot of details: How will the Commonwealth countries be informed about the death of the Queen, what clothes does the servant wear who has to post the message at the gates of Buckingham Palace ? How does the Queen’s body get to London if she dies somewhere else?

Everything clarified – as the newspaper writes: The official mourning should last twelve days. Klamauk and satire of the broadcaster BBC are then undesirable. The people could say goodbye to the Queen in Westminster Hall, where the body will be laid out. The palace expects half a million people to patiently form a line several kilometers long. Probably the largest funeral in the world will then take place in the church of Westminster Abbey. According to the report, around 2,000 guests are expected, including many politicians.

The US portal “Politico” claims to have learned from leaked documents what has to happen in the event of the Queen’s death. The Queen’s death anniversary is referred to therein as “D-Day”; Based on the Allied landings in Normandy. Each additional day until the burial is referred to as “D-Day+1”, “D-Day+2” and so on.

The Queen is dead: Private secretary calls Prime Minister

The Prime Minister (currently Boris Johnson) is the first to be called by the Queen’s Private Secretary (currently Sir Edward Young) in the hours following the Queen’s death. He shares the code phrase “London Bridge is down”. The Cabinet Secretary (the UK’s most senior civil servant) and other senior ministers and civil servants then find out. Then the palace will issue an official notice to inform the people and the world public.

Within the next ten minutes the flags in Whitehall (government street) are to be lowered to half-staff. A memorial service is to be held at St. Paul’s Cathedral afterwards. It will be attended by the Prime Minister and a small number of senior ministers.

1st day after the death of the Queen

At 10am on the day after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, senior officials are expected at St James’s Palace to proclaim Prince Charles as the new ruler. According to “Politico” “hundreds of privy councilors” would come together. Dark ties are mandatory. The wearing of medals is not permitted.

The King’s Proclamation would be read, confirming Charles as King. Parliament adopts a message of condolence and suspends parliamentary work for ten days.

Where does the queen’s coffin go?

The Queen’s coffin is brought into Buckingham Palace on the second day after her death. When the Queen dies at Sandringham, her body is taken by royal train to St Pancras station in London, where it is received by the Prime Minister and Cabinet ministers. Should the Queen die in Balmoral, Scotland, “Operation UNICORN” will come into effect. The body will then be taken to London by train.

On the third day after the Queen’s death, Prince Charles embarks on a tour of the United Kingdom, beginning with a visit to the Scottish Parliament and a service at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh. Charles arrives in Northern Ireland on day four.

Day four after the death of the Queen

A rehearsal for the procession in London is also planned on day four: the Queen’s coffin will be taken from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Palace (seat of the British Parliament) on the fifth day (“Operation LION”). A service will follow in Westminster Hall.

The Queen is laid out for three days

The Queen is laid out in Westminster Palace for three days. The coffin will be open to the public 23 hours a day.

Procession, minute of silence and state funeral on day ten

Ten days after the death of the Queen, the state funeral will take place in Westminster Abbey. A two-minute silence is observed nationwide at lunchtime. There are said to be processions in London and Windsor.

Funeral of the Queen in the King George VI Memorial Chapel

Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband, was buried in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021. However, Philip’s remains will no longer remain in the crypt and will be reburied when the Queen dies. A tomb is planned for the Queen in the small King George VI memorial chapel. Philip and Elizabeth will then rest side by side forever. Also buried in the memorial chapel are the Queen’s father, Father George VI, her mother and her sister Margaret.

Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip

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Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, died on April 9 at the age of 99.

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Queen Elizabeth II has been a rock in the surf for decades

The state of shock into which the country is likely to fall in the event of death cannot be planned. Because the British love their queen more than anything. For decades, she has guided the country like a rock in the surf through all the ups and downs and also gives many people support in the Brexit turmoil. Only once did she fall out of favor with the people when she initially simply remained silent when her ex-daughter-in-law Diana died in an accident.

And how is the queen doing now? She took a step back after husband Philip died at Windsor Castle aged 99. Mobility is also restricted, and the 96-year-old can often be seen with a cane. The monarch had to cancel her speech at the opening of Parliament on May 10, 2022 for health reasons. Prince Charles had to step in.

Prince Charles with his wife Camilla

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Princess Diana in front of the Taj Mahal on February 11, 1992.

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Already in 2017, the Queen gave up some honorary posts – out of several hundred. Heir to the throne is Prince Charles (73). His coronation has long since been prepared down to the last detail. Many suspect that the human rights activist, organic farmer and climate protection activist will not find it as easy as his mother to keep his personal views behind bars as head of state. It should also be exciting to see whether Camilla, as the woman at his side, will really be recognized by the people as queen. Because with her he cheated on his wife, Princess Diana.

Queen’s abdication unlikely

Historian Hugo Vickers is of the firm opinion that the Queen saw her role as a lifelong task. “A key reason why the Queen will absolutely not abdicate is that, unlike other European monarchs, she is an anointed queen. And if you are an anointed queen, don’t abdicate,” he surmised, speaking to the Guardian in early 2021 “. The monarch already made a vow before God at her coronation on June 2, 1953, which she will be reluctant to break.

British politics professor Anthony Glees agrees. He told DW: “I think the Queen feels royalty very strongly as a duty imposed on her by God. Let’s not forget that she is also the head of the Church of England. She feels a religious duty, Head of State to be, and that’s until her death. She takes these things very, very seriously. She’s not a fanatic, of course, but she’s a deeply religious person.”

Prince William takes on more royal duties

Many Britons would prefer Charles’ son Prince William to succeed him to the throne. He has moved back to London with his wife Kate and their three children, also to relieve his elderly grandmother of her royal duties.

William has already felt how tedious life is as heir to the throne number two: because of a short vacation in Switzerland in 2017, with an exuberant après-ski party, some British media presented the then 34-year-old as unsuitable for the throne Even at official appearances with Kate, every facial expression of the couple is interpreted. One thing is clear: Should Queen Elizabeth II die, her successor will have to accept a very difficult inheritance.

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