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Operation London Bridge: How the Queen’s funeral will work

How 'Operation London Bridge' works

Operation London Bridge

Operation London Bridge, also known by the code phrase ‘London Bridge is Down’, is a British protocol to be followed when the long-reigning royal, Queen Elizabeth II, passes away.

Operation London Bridge has swung into action, dictating the U.K. government’s plan for what will happen in the days after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

According to the plans, the country’s royal family, now led by King Charles III, Prime Minister Liz Truss, the military and the media should handle a change of the guard that hasn’t taken place in seven decades.

The phrase ‘London Bridge is Down’ refers to communicating Queen’s death to the UK Prime Minister. 

The protocol has two parts – formalities, which include official announcements, and the impact on society.

A 10-day timetable has begun ― the day the queen dies is known as D-Day ― and will culminate in a state funeral and her burial alongside her husband, Prince Philip, at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.

When would the funeral take place?

In the first 24 hours following the Queen’s death, there will be 96 gun salutes that will go off across London. This is one round for every year of the Queen’s life.

The Queen’s funeral will occur ten days after her passing, which will be a public holiday. Should that happen at her Balmoral estate in Scotland, where the Queen is currently, her coffin will be transported down to London by royal train (dubbed Operation UNICORN) or by plane (Operation OVERSTUDY), where it will be received by the Prime Minister and other senior government figures.

Operation London Bridge
Westminster Abbey

The state funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey and will be considered a Day of National Mourning, with a two-minute period of silence to be observed across the nation at midday. After the funeral, the Queen will be buried at Windsor Castle next to her late husband, Prince Philip, and her father, King George VI.

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King Charles III begins his reign

The first thing that happened upon the death of Queen Elizabeth was that Prince Charles became King. He is now known as King Charles III and rules as head of state in the UK as well as 14 other Commonwealth realms.

He was proclaimed the new sovereign upon his mother’s death in a closed meeting that was attended by hundreds of dignitaries and members of the Privy Council, which is a panel of royal advisors.