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What happens after Queen Elizabeth II’s death? Commence ‘Operation London Bridge’

Since she first began her reign, England has planned how to handle her resounding loss

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Queen Elizabeth II watches as pallbearers carry the casket of the Duke of Edinburgh during his funeral.

Queen Elizabeth II watches as pallbearers carry the casket of the Duke of Edinburgh during his funeral at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99 after 73 years of marriage to Elizabeth, who died this week at age 96.

Dominic Lipinski, Associated Press

On June 2, 1953, the coronation of young Queen Elizabeth ll was anything but smooth.

To start with, it poured rain throughout the celebration. To add to it, her ceremonial clothing was caught and pulled against the wrongly placed carpet fibers. To top it all off, the traditional oil used to anoint her father, the king, was lost in World War II with more found just before the coronation.

She was determined for her people to share the occasion and so she decided this would be the first time that a coronation was televised.

The last 70 years have seen a lot of firsts.

Over that time, special plans were placed to make the death of this historic monarch run more smoothly than her coronation.

“From the moment the queen became monarch, Whitehall started the planning process about what would happen when she died,” Philip Murphy, a professor of British and Commonwealth history at the University of London, told The New York Times.

This plan is called “Operation London Bridge.” Just think “London Bridge Is Falling Down.”

It is strategic and detailed, planning everything from media coverage to funeral arrangements to placing the flag at half-staff for the next 10 days following the queen’s death.

Day Zero: The News

On Sept. 8, the world received word that Queen Elizabeth had died through The royal family Twitter account. Flags were placed at half-staff and the country — and the world — entered a stage of shock.

Her son, now King Charles III, is the monarch at 73 years old. His wife, Camilla, has the new title of queen consort, as reported by the Deseret News.

Day 1

Early Friday afternoon, Charles arrived at Buckingham Palace to the new national anthem of the country, “God Save the King,” per BBC1.

Today, Charles addressed the nation for the first time as king.

Ringing bells, dedicatory gunshots and tributes from Parliament and the public resound around the country.

At 11 a.m. MST, a live televised broadcast by BBC1 at St. Paul’s Cathedral displayed a unified moment of prayer and reflection for the queen.

Week 1

Saturday morning, The Ascension Council will declare a new era with King Charles lll ascending to the throne as monarch, as reported by NPR. Parliament members will also swear an oath of allegiance to the new king soon after.

Traditionally attired horseback riders will herald the news across the country, per The New York Times.

A more formal coronation will be postponed to allow proper mourning of the 70-year reign of Queen Elizabeth.

The queen’s body will be taken to Buckingham Palace in London from Scotland, where she passed away, and travel to Westminster Hall, where it will remain for three days. The public is welcome to grieve and say goodbye to the long-term monarch during this time, per BBC1.

Day 10

On the 10th day, a funeral service will commence at Westminster Abbey, NPR reported. A moment of silence will fall like a blanket out of respect for the beloved monarch.

Elizabeth will be laid to rest next to her husband, Prince Philip, who died one year ago, and other royal ancestors at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

“Her late majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, was one of the greatest leaders this world has ever known,” said Prime Minister Liz Truss, per BBC1. “She was the rock on which modern Britain was built.”