Written by on September 9, 2022

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving monarch in British history died on Thursday at the age of  96.

Elizabeth II has served as Britain’s monarch for the better part of seven decades but there have been longstanding concerns in regard to her overall health ever since she contracted COVID-19 earlier this year.

In any case, the British government has put plans in place to handle the Monarch’s tragic passing when it comes to pass.


Operation London Bridge is the name given to the plan should the Queen pass in England but in this case, Britain will implement Operation Unicorn since it governs how to handle the Queen’s death should it occur in Scotland.

What is Operation London Bridge?

Once the Queen’s passing is confirmed, her private secretary, on the day of her death known as d-day, will call the Prime Minister and inform her that “London Bridge is down” to signify the Monarch’s passing.

The news will then be distributed to the 15 countries where the Queen happens to be the Head of State. They include: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Tuvalu.

The death announcement will also be relayed to all nations that make up the Commonwealth while an alert on the same will be sent out to the UK Press Association and media all over the world.

At the BBC for instance, an alarm for national emergencies, which is rarely ever used, will be activated while anchors will only be allowed to clad in black attire.

The BBC’s trademark red logo will also go black while its radio stations will only play inoffensive music.

At the same time, a footman in mourning clothes will hang a flyer outside Buckingham Palace notifying the public of the Queen’s passing.

The Royal family will also relay the same information on its official website. All the flags in England will be lowered to half-mast while all statesmen will be required to don a three-and-a-quarter-inch black armband on their left arm.

As soon as the Queen’s death is confirmed, her son Charles will unofficially become the King of England. He will also make an address as Head-of-State on the same day.

A day after the Queen’s passing, all flags in England will be raised again and at 11 am Charles will officially become King.

Once he ascends to the throne, Charles can choose to keep or change his name while his wife Camilla will automatically become Queen.

He will then do rounds across the UK and specifically in any events that honour his mother’s passing that are held in Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff.

As this goes on, Westminister Hall will be closed to allow for the Queen’s funeral preparations.

Four days after her death there will be a procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminister Hall, where she will lie in state for  a further four days

VIPs will be allowed to visit her first before other members of the public. At least 500,000 people are expected to pay the Queen respect as she lies in state.

The Queen’s funeral will take place exactly nine days after her death announcement. On the ninth day, at 9 am,  bells covered in leather pads will ring in muffled tones.

The coffin will then be carried to Westminister Abbey where the funeral will begin at 11 am. 2000 guests will attend the event in person while the rest of the world tune in via their TVs.

All proceedings from the funeral will be televised except for any shots that capture the Royal family members’ faces during prayer sessions that form part of the funeral service.

After the funeral, the Queen’s body will be transported to Windsor Castle where she will be buried next to her husband Prince Philip and her father King George VI

What is Operation Unicorn?

Should the Monarch meet her end in Scotland, her body will lie in state at Holyroodhouse, in Edinburgh before her body is moved to St. Giles cathedral for a reception service before it is loaded on the Royal Train at Waverly station for a slow procession down the east coast mainline.

Prior to this, members of the public will be given the opportunity to honour her death. Such persons will congregate in Edinburgh at St. Giles Cathedral, the Scottish Parliament and the Palace of Holyroodhouse to pay their last respects.

The Monarch’s remains will then be transported to London. Once her body arrives at Buckingham Palace in the Capital, steps governing the Queen’s sending-off will mirror those stipulated in the aforementioned “Operation London Bridge” plan.

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