The Royal protocol for when the Queen dies – Operation London Bridge ‘God save the King’

What happens when the Queen dies? the image shows a tribute to the Queen is displayed in Times Square, in New York by WTX News USA
What happens when the Queen dies? the image shows a tribute to the Queen is displayed in Times Square, in New York by WTX News USA
What happens when the Queen dies? a guide to what will happen next!

Operation London Bridge ‘God save the King’

It is a sad and tragic day, but an inevitable one when the Queen dies. At that moment forces behind the scenes begin an operation, an operation of continuity.

This is because of the importance and significance of the monarchy to the British state a series of events and protocols were triggered by the death of Her Majesty the Queen on Thursday 8th September.

A date forever etched into the memories of billions of people and registered in the history books.

The first and most important part of understanding the royal protocol is to understand that The Queen will have left specific instructions about her personal affairs to her team. These are more personal in nature and rarely will make public knowledge, except for the odd references in speeches by those who were close to her.

However, as the head of state, she also has specific duties to the country and there are host protocols that the Royals and the Queen’s team must follow in the wake of her death.

Jump to the sections

The Death of Her Majesty the Queen

On Thursday, 8th August 2022, The Royal family announced that Her Majesty Queen Elizebeth II had died peacefully in Balmoral.

Earlier in the day her children and grandchildren travelled to Scotland to be with the Queen in her dying moments.
Prince Andrew and the children of the Queen were all seen arriving at Balmoral.

After being taken seriously ill overnight the Royal doctors advised her children and grandchildren to travel to Scotland and be with the Queen.

She had lived a glorious life as a gracious and elegant monarch and was such a steadfast constant in an ever-changing world.

Her history as the Queen is truly remarkable and spectacular, she reigned for over 7 decades and has seen through World war, the ’70s, countless recessions, Margret Thatcher and the Millenium bug.

An unbelievable 14 Prime ministers have served under her and sometimes it is easy to forget that the majority of the United Kingdom will not have seen the change of monarchy.

Tributes for the Queen poured in globally to recognise the Queen’s achievements and to demonstrate what she meant to so many people around the world.

WTX News broadcasted a live coverage of her death and announcement on the website with a live News page and also on Youtube, Twitter and Facebook. Literally, thousands of well-wishing messages were sent to us on screen.

So what happens when the Queen dies

Amid the public mourning, the national grief and the lowering of flags will come a transition of power; known as Operation London Bridge. This will overtake the country’s agenda for days and plays out potentially for months before the coronation of a new monarch.

Latest Royal News

The Royal Protocol

The first step is continuity. Continuity for the Royal family, despite the sad and tragic loss, Continuity in government, continuity for lawmakers and continuity for financial markets. This change will affect and impact all marks of life, from a legal and social perspective.

https://twitter.com/WtxNews/status/1567945006127644675?s=20&t=Ylm7EkeLFhcR5uECK-RMJQ
Seven decades of Queen Elizabeth II in Pictures.

The death of Queen Elizabeth II launched Operation Unicorn which is a sub-protocol of Operation London Bridge that dictates a series of events in the aftermath of dealing with the death of the Queen in Scotland. A subsequent protocol within Operation London Bridge, the name given to a specific protocol for when the monarch.

The death of Her Majesty in Balmoral launched several codenames operations; Operation Spring Tide and Operation Unicorn, which is a sub-protocol of Operation London Bridge.

All in all Operation London Bridge is the name of a series of events that take place between her death and the funeral plan for Queen Elizabeth II. The plan includes the announcement of her death, the period of official mourning, and the details of her state funeral. The plan was first created in the 1960s and revised many times in the years before her death in 2022.

The Queen's death marks 10 days of national mourning, but some will mourn for longer, as she meant so much to so many people.
The Queen’s death marks a period of national mourning
The Queen was loved by millions

Operation London Bridge

The London Bridge protocol is a series of events and institutional changes that take place after the Queen dies.  Named after the London landmark that was forever “falling down,” 

Operation London Bridge was the code word attributed to a formally choreographed sequence of events that would occur after the death of the British monarch.

The queen’s death would be communicated with one coded phrase — “London Bridge is down”.

Operation Spring Tide

The first step is for King Charles III becomes the reigning monarch of the UK. Continuity in the monarchy is of paramount importance.

The official coronation of King Charles III may take place several weeks later but the reign of the monarchy has been passed on him. Under common law, the moment of the sovereign’s death marks the moment the heir becomes the monarch.

The moment Her Majesty the Queen died, her eldest son and next in line to the throne, Charles became the sovereign, a transformation that is marked ceremonially and legally the next day. The code name for Charles’s accession to the throne is Operation Spring Tide.

Operation Unicorn

According to protocol, within 24 hours of the queen’s death, lawmakers in Parliament will take oaths of allegiance to the new king. The Accession Council, a ceremonial body, will be summoned to St. James’s Palace, a Tudor royal residence near Buckingham Palace, to officially proclaim the new sovereign.

  • Lawmakers in Parliament will take oaths of allegiance to the new king
  • The Accession Council, a ceremonial body, will be summoned to St. James’s Palace to officially proclaim the new sovereign
  • King Charles III will make four traditional public statements as he enters his new role
  • News of the Queen’s death is sent through the newswires by the British Press Association to publications like ours.
  • The country now enters an official period of mourning that continues until after the queen’s funeral
  • At 11 a.m. on the day after the queen’s death, a proclamation will be read that officially declares the reign of the new king

You can view our series of FAQs for a quick summary of the Queen’s death.

Operation Unicorn, the codename for the plans in Scotland indicates that it is likely Her Majesty’s coffin will temporarily rest at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, having been taken there by road two days after her death.

Usually, the queen’s coffin was expected to rest in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace for four days after her death, before being moved in a formal parade to Westminster Hall, where it will lie in state until the funeral. The coffin will be placed on a raised platform draped in regal purple

The increase in security

The moment the Queen dies, the Royal forces and the army are automatically put on high alert. historically, this transition is perceived as a time of weakness for the monarchy, thus a heightened level of security must be enacted to protect the grieving royal and country.

The national anthem will change

The national anthem will have to be changed it will again shift back to “God Save the King”.

The Foreign Office must formally inform world leaders

Then the Foreign Office was responsible for relaying the message to Commonwealth leaders, and then world leaders, formally. Despite the news breaking live on TV and online by WTX News on the live broadcast on YouTube, the Foreign Office must relay this information formation, to world leaders.

The Flag is lowered to half-staff

The flag at Buckingham Palace was soon lowered to half-staff. In the tradition of decades of royal announcements, a notice was placed on a sign at the gates of the monarch’s official residence, Buckingham Palace.

Flags across the country are to be lowered to half-staff and stay that way until the morning after the queen’s funeral, with one exception. On Proclamation Day, flags will be raised until the next afternoon, and then revert to half-staff.

The Queens funeral

The Queen’s funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey. International dignitaries are expected to descend on London in the coming days to pay their respects.

The Queen’s funeral is expected to take place 10 days after her death and be a public holiday. The country is in an official period of mourning that continues until after the queen’s funeral.

“No one has sort of dealt with something like this for 70 years, during which time Britain has changed immeasurably and Britain’s place in the world has changed immeasurably,”

Said Professor Murphy, the historian.

The proclamation of the new King

At 11 a.m. on the day after the queen’s death, a proclamation will be read that officially declares the reign of the new king. It is first read by the Heralds who will read the news in Trafalgar Square and then the Royal Exchange in London.

Two days later it is then passed around the United Kingdom and read out in ceremonial fashion in the capitals across the UK. First in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

In ceremonial fashion, the high sheriffs in traditional garb will declare the news in towns and villages across the country.

The BBC and state broadcasters changed their attire

Shortly before the announcement of the Queen’s death, BBC presenters changed their attire from what they were wearing to all black. ITV News, WTX News UK and Sky News presenters all did the same to present the imminent news of Her Majesty’s death.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybZpJrfDn-w
A look back at Her Majesty the Queen’s life – Iconic moments in history.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about what happens next

The London Bridge protocol is a series of events and institutional changes that take place after the Queen dies, Named after London Bridge which was forever ‘falling down’ as in the nursery rhymes.

Operation Unicorn is a sub-protocol of Operation London Bridge that dictates a series of events in the aftermath of dealing with the death of the Queen in Scotland.

The first step is for King Charles III becomes the reigning monarch of the UK. Continuity in the monarchy is of paramount importance.

The Queen’s funeral will be in 10 days’ time which will the official mourning period for the country. It will take place on Monday, September 19 2022.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II funeral will take place at Westminister Abbey

The coronation of King Charles III will be planned a few months after the funeral, Although the ascension council will proclaim him as king within 24 hours of the Queen’s death.

After a final service in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, the queen is buried on the castle grounds next to her husband, Prince Philip, who died in April 2021

Yes, BBC News presenters and other state broadcasters all took a short break before 6:00 pm (BST) om Thursday to change their attire into all black.

Yes, It was confirmed today; Monday 19th September will be the National Bank holiday.

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