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Queen Elizabeth II: What is ‘Operation London Bridge,’ the elaborate plan that would follow the monarch’s death?

As concerns mount about the health of Queen Elizabeth II, attention is being focused on “Operation London Bridge,” the U.K.’s reported plans for what happens following the monarch’s death.

In 2017 The Guardian reported that plans for what happens after the death of the Queen are known by the code word “London Bridge.” The first plans date back to the 1960s and have been refined over the subsequent decades, it said.

Last year Politico obtained documents, which it said detail the “London Bridge” plans in granular detail. The day of the Queen’s death is known internally as “D-Day,” according to the report, with subsequent days leading up to the funeral know as “D+1,” “D+2,” “D+3,” and so forth. The Queen’s funeral is expected to be held 10 days after her death, according to the report.

The Accession Council, a group of privy counselors, or advisors to the sovereign, is usually convened within 24 hours of a monarch’s death. The Council “is customarily held at St James’s Palace to make formal Proclamation of the death of the Monarch and the accession of the successor to the throne,” according to its website.

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Politico reports that the Accession Council will meet at St. James’s Palace on the morning after the Queen’s death. The U.K. Parliament will also meet to agree on a message of condolence, according to the report, with parliamentary business then suspended for 10 days.

On D+2, the Queen’s coffin will return to Buckingham Palace, Politico reports. Also citing the London Bridge plan, the Guardian reported in 2017 that, in the event of the Queen’s death at Balmoral, her coffin would be transferred to Holyroodhouse Palace in Edinburgh before being transported back to London on the Royal Train. Politico reports that there is also a contingency plan in place to transport her coffin back to London by plane.

On the morning of D+3, King Charles will reportedly receive Parliament’s message of condolence at Parliament’s historic Westminster Hall, before embarking on a tour of the U.K.

On D+5 the Queen’s coffin will reportedly be taken from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall. She will then lie in state for three days, according to Politico. Dating back to the 11th century, the cavernous Westminster Hall is the oldest part of the Palace of Westminster, which houses the U.K. Parliament. In February 1952 the Queen’s father, King George VI, also lay in state at Westminster Hall.

Throughout this time, the U.K. will also be making plans to host heads of state and dignitaries from across the world for the queen’s funeral, as well as orchestrating plans for the throng of people expected to flood London for the historic event.

A state funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey on D+10, according to Politico, with two minutes’ silence being observed across the U.K. at midday. The Independent reports that the London Stock Exchange

will close on the day of the Queen’s funeral, along with most U.K. banks. The queen will be buried at Windsor Castle’s King George VI Memorial Chapel, according to Politico.



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