What Happens When Queen Elizabeth II Dies

With reports that doctors are concerned for her health, it's time to revisit the details of Operation London Bridge.

Queen Elizabeth is the longest-living, longest-reigning monarch in British history, with her reign extending over 70 years. Now, with reports that Queen Elizabeth's doctors are concerned for her health, it's unfortunately time to revisit what will happen if the monarch dies.

With a reign as long as Queen Elizabeth's, many Brits have not known any other King or Queen in their lifetime. She is a symbol of stability and endurance to many. When such a significant public figure is lost, it can be hard to grapple with what will come after. In Britain, there may be a 12-day period of national mourning to be expected. There are protocols in place once the monarch dies, one of which is named Operation London Bridge. This operation includes a detailed plan of action to be carried out as soon as the Queen dies, accounting for how the news of her death will be passed out. The first official person to be notified will be the Prime Minister, Liz Truss. From then on, the news will spread through the administration until it is ready to be shared with the public. Once the public is notified, the incumbent to the throne, Prince Charles, will give a televised speech. Then, there will be a national moment of silence held for the Queen.

On second day after the Queen's death, Prince Charles will be proclaimed the new official reigning monarch. The funeral is expected to be held 10 days after her death. Her coffin is expected to be sent to Buckingham Palace. If she dies in Balmoral, which is her Scottish home, Operation UNICORN will be enacted, which includes details of how to prepare for the Queen's death if she dies outside of England. In Operation UNICORN, Queen Elizabeth's coffin will be brought to London by royal train. The state funeral will be held on the tenth day of her death at Westminster Abbey. Mourners will be permitted to pay their respects at Westminster Hall for 23 hours a day while her body rests there. The funeral will honor her long extraordinary life as one of the most important monarch's British history. The events following the Queen's death will make a huge cultural and political impact. The queen will be laid to rest in the castle’s King George VI Memorial Chapel.

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The Queen, it's worth noting, just celebrated her Platinum Jubilee over the summer to celebrate her 70-year-anniversary on the throne. It was a joyous fete in the United Kingdom, with the public taking bank holidays to honor the Queen. In her message to the public on her Accession Day, which is the day that a monarch takes office, she pondered the future and reflected on her reign. "As I look ahead with a sense of hope and optimism to the year of my platinum jubilee, I am reminded of how much we can be thankful for," the Queen said. "These last seven decades have seen extraordinary progress socially, technologically and culturally that have benefitted us all; and I am confident that the future will offer similar opportunities to us and especially to the younger generations in the United Kingdom and throughout the Commonwealth."

Elsewhere in the address, the Queen said what she hopes will happen upon her death. "And when, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me; and it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service." she said.

FromEsquire US

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Sirena He
Sirena He is an editorial assistant and writer who focuses on media and culture. She is a lover of horror films and believes in the healing power of storytelling.
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