48 things that happen in the UK when the monarch dies

48 things that happen in the UK when the monarch dies
Moment BBC News announces Queen Elizabeth II's death

Queen Elizabeth II has passed away after spending a day under medical supervision at Balmoral after doctors became concerned for her health.

A Palace spokesperson said earlier: “Following further evaluation this morning, the Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision. The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.”

While tributes are pouring in, concerns are focused onto the intense protocol that must be followed after the death of the Queen.

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There has been a pretty extensive plan in place ever since the 1960s.

It's called: 'London Bridge is down'

This will be communicated to the Prime Minister of the UK, and will kick start Operation London Bridge - possibly the most detailed funeral plan in modern UK history.

Here are just some of the plans in motion for when the Queen passes away...

  • The Queen's private secretary, Sir Edward Young, will be the first to know
  • Young will contact the Prime Minister with the code word "London Bridge is down"
  • The Foreign Office's Global Response Centre will notify the 15 governments outside the UK where the Queen is head of state, and 36 other nations of the Commonwealth
  • The Press Association will be informed, alerting the world's media
  • A footman dressed in mourning attire will pin a black-edged notice to the gates of Buckingham palace
  • The BBC will activate their 'Radio Alert Transmission System' (Rats) - sometimes known as 'royal about to snuff it' - which is reserved for the death of major royals
  • The media will release their pre-prepared stories, films and obituaries
  • Blue obituary lights will start flashing in commercial radio stations, and DJs will switch to the news in the next few minutes
  • Newsreaders will wear black suits and ties (which they keep at the ready at all times)
  • Some variation of the words "It is with the greatest sorrow that we make the following announcement" will be used
  • The royal standard will appear on screen and the national anthem will play
  • Comedy will be cancelled until after the funeral
  • Pilots will announce her death to passengers
  • The London Stock Exchange will close, potentially costing the economy billions
  • If she dies abroad, the Royal Flight (BAe 146 jet from the RAF's No. 32 squadron) will take off from Northolt with a coffin on board
  • If she dies in Sandringham, Norfolk, her body will come to London in a car after a day or two
  • If she dies in Balmoral, Scottish ritual will commence: her body will lie in Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, and then carried up the Royal Mile to St. Giles's Cathedral, then put on the Royal Train down the east coast
  • The body will go to the throne room in Buckingham Palace, guarded by four Grenadier Guards in bearskin hats
  • News crews will amass on Canada Gate, at the bottom of Green Park, with their instructions
  • A team will assemble at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, including government, police, security and armed forces
  • Bells will toll and flags will fly at half-mast all over the country - except the Royal Standard, which is never flown at half-mast
  • Both houses of parliament will be recalled and will sit within hours of her death, swearing allegiance to the new sovereign

The Succession

  • The new King Charles will address the nation on the evening of her death
  • Tickets will be printed for the proclamation of King Charles in 24 hours
  • All members of the Privy Council will be invited to the Accession Council, where Charles will be proclaimed King
  • Trumpeters will give three blasts outside Friary Court (the palace's eastern front) and a genealogist will proclaim King Charles III
  • During the nine days after her death, ritual proclamations and diplomatic assembling will take place
  • A four-nation tour will be undertaken by King Charles: England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland
  • Camilla Parker-Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall, will become Queen Camilla

The Funeral

  • Dignitaries and royal families from all over the world will come to London
  • Westminster Hall will be locked, cleaned and carpeted all over
  • The bollards on the Mall will be removed
  • There will be a great military parade from Buckingham Palace down the Mall and past the Cenotaph
  • The coffin will go to Westminster Hall and lie in state for four days
  • The doors will be open to the public for 23 hours a day, during which an expected half a million will come to see the Queen
  • Nine days after her death, the funeral will take place on a national bank holiday, following church services and memorial services across the UK
  • At 9 a.m., Big Ben will strike and the body will go from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey, arriving at 11 o'clock
  • The whole country will fall silent
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury will speak inside the Abbey

After the funeral

  • After the coffin emerges again, 138 sailors will pull it on a green gun carriage (a tradition which harks back to Queen Victoria)
  • The hearse will then go by road to Windsor Castle, and taken inside the chapel
  • The cameras will then stop broadcasting
  • The country will remain in mourning for at least three more days
  • The Queen may be buried at St. George's Chapel at Windsor, Sandringham or even Balmoral in Scotland
  • The coronation of King Charles will be another national holiday
  • The words of the national anthem will change
  • Some confusion exists as to who will become 'Head of the Commonwealth', as the title is not hereditary
  • Australia may seek to become a republic

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