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Operation London Bridge: Here’s what happens after Queen Elizabeth’s death

Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday, ending the longest reign of any British head of state.

Her death set in motion Operation London Bridge, plans for services and succession that have been put in place since the 1960s and revised regularly over decades.

Details about the plan have been revealed over the years, shedding light on how the planned 10 days between the queen’s death and her funeral will truly look.

The British Royal family tree.

The plan specifies the process for announcing the queen’s death, the period of official mourning in Britain and to other nations tied to the British throne and her funeral, according to documents seen by Politico last year.

The operation involves a variety of institutions, including the Church of England, Metropolitan Police Service, the British Armed Forces, the media, the Royal Parks, London boroughs, the Greater London Authority and Transport for London.

Elizabeth’s private secretary was designated to be the first to spread the news of her death, first to United Kingdom Prime Minister Liz Truss, according to the report.

Queen Elizabeth with Liz Truss

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, left, welcomes Liz Truss during an audience at Balmoral, Scotland, where she invited the newly elected leader of the Conservative party to become Prime Minister and form a new government, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022. (Jane Barlow/Pool Photo via AP)

The call from the secretary to the prime minister initiates a “call cascade” informing senior parties of the queen’s death.

Truss spoke publicly shortly after the death and other officials waited to comment until the prime minister had spoken.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s Global Response Centre will deliver the news to the Commonwealth countries where Elizabeth served as queen, according to the report.

Prince Charles has been preparing for the crown his entire life. Now, that moment has finally arrived. Charles, the oldest person to ever assume the British throne, became king on Thursday Sept. 8, 2022, following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, Pool, File)

The British Parliament, as well as the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish parliaments, will convene for emergency meetings shortly after Elizabeth’s death, and the prime minister would address the House of Commons.

Charles, Prince of Wales, immediately ascends to king and will have a ceremony in a separate operation called Operation Spring Tide.

Prince William will elevate to the Duke of Cornwall and becomes next in line to the throne, followed by his three children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

Britain’s Prince William is now second in line to the throne. ( (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali, Pool, File)

King Charles issued a statement shortly after the death and, according to the operation plans, will give a speech shortly after the death of his mother while government buildings will lower their flags to half-staff.

“There are really two things happening,” one of Charles’s advisers told The Guardian in 2017. “There is the demise of a sovereign and then there is the making of a king.”

The Union flag on Buckingham Palace in London is lowered after the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

The Accession Council will proclaim the new king the day following the queen’s death when they meet at St. James’s Palace, according to reports.

Parliament will swear allegiance to King Charles and other parliamentary activities are suspended for 10 days.

The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments will proclaim the new monarch within two days after the queen’s death, according to the reports.

King Charles would begin a tour of the United Kingdom three days after the queen’s death, visiting Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The queen’s funeral is expected to be held 10 days after her death, on a Sunday, a time that will be solidified in British history as a National Day of Mourning.

Tags Elizabeth II King Charles Liz Truss Operation London Bridge Prince Charles Prince William Queen Elizabeth
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