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What exactly is Operation London Bridge?

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Queen Elizabeth || died Thursday at the age of 96, surrounded by members of the royal family, after more than 70 years on the British throne. Her death triggered a detailed plan devised in the 1960s to play out in the event of the monarch’s death. The plan meticulously details the procedures that will take place immediately after her death and culminate in her funeral 10 days later.

Operation London Bridge 

The plan to deal with the death of the British head of state was dubbed Operation London Bridge, and it was first reported by The Guardian in 2017, and then by Politico in 2021.

According to The Guardian, the London Bridge plan took into account her death at Balmoral. Operation Unicorn was a part of the plan for her death at her favourite castle in Scotland.

These protocols are essentially a detailed script for key logistical issues and procedures, such as the funeral procession.

The day after her death is designated as D+1, and the day of her funeral is designated as D+10 (D-day plus 10 days). After relaying a condolence message, the British parliament will suspend business for 10 days.

Immediately after death 

According to the plan, after informing the British Prime Minister, information about the Queen’s death was already relayed to other governments where she was the head of state, and then to 38 other Commonwealth nations.

Furthermore, the death of the Queen means that Prince Charles immediately becomes King and head of state for 14 Commonwealth realms. However, no official proclamation will be issued until one day after the Queen’s death. According to the BBC, this will take place in front of a ceremonial body known as the Accession Council at St James’s Palace in London.

What happens over the next few days

According to the Guardian, the Queen’s coffin will be taken to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, with a ceremonial procession to St Giles’ Cathedral on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile also planned.

According to the same report, the coffin will then be flown to London.

According to the Politico report, the coffin could be transported to London by royal train.

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