Queen Elizabeth II may be alive and well at the moment, but this hasn’t stop Buckingham Palace from laying out a plan for her death. And they even decided on the code word that will deliver the news to the highest tiers of the British government.
George VI’s death in 1952 was signalled by the codename “Hyde Park Corner” – in an effort to stop switchboard operators at the palace from learning the news – for Queen Elizabeth II is “London Bride is down”.
According to The Guardian, the first thing Buckingham Palace will do is to wake up the Prime Minister, if not already awake, and inform him that the monarch has passed away. This will kick off the entire operation – called Operation London Bridge – that will eventually lead to the Queen’s funeral. Here’s what will happen: (the article continues after the ad)
Inform other countries
The Foreign Office’s Global Response Centre, will inform the 15 governments outside the United Kingdom in which the Queen is also the head of state. After doing so, they will pass on the news to the 36 other nations of the Commonwealth as for those countries the Queen was a symbolic figurehead for many decades.
Announcement at the gates and on the website
Back at the Buckingham Palace, a footman in mourning clothes will pin a notice of the news at the gates, while the official website of the palace will be updated and will only feature one page, the announcement of the death on a dark background.
The rehearsals will be put into action
You may not know this but newspapers and other media outlets are doing rehearsals (substituting the Queen’s name for “Mrs Robinson”) and have already written lengthy obituaries and news stories about her death so that they are ready to publish them at a moment’s notice. Some channels such as Sky News and ITN have even signed contracts with royal experts so that they speak exclusively to them.
DJs will be informed to play inoffensive music
It is already agreed that the British commercial radio stations will switch their blue “obit lights” in order to alert DJs that they will very soon switch to the news which also means that they have to play inoffensive music in the lead-up.
When asked by the Independent, Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the matter.
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Sources: ‘London Bridge is down’: the secret plan for the days after the Queen’s death