Operation London Bridge: What happens now that the Queen is dead?

15 September 2022
By Sarah Angela Almaden

Unsplash: Max Kratzer

“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” a statement released by Buckingham Palace on Thursday night at 6:30pm.

Her Majesty was under medical supervision by doctors at Balmoral Castle. However, after a closer examination, the doctors became concerned about her health. Later that day, on September 8, 2022, Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of the United Kingdom, passed away at the age of 96. She was the longest-lived British monarch and her reign exceeded Queen Victoria's rule of 63 years and 216 days. Her Majesty also surpassed Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej to become the monarch with the second-longest reign in history, reigning for 70 years and 127 days.

The Queen’s death marks the end of the Elizabethan era and a change for many people. For instance, the majority of us are seeing this transition in the British monarchy for the first time. Perhaps, this new age marks the start of the Carolean period. But with Her Majesty’s passing, do we know what else happens next?

The 10 Days of Events After The Death Of Queen Elizabeth II
Day of Death – Thursday, September 8

D - Day is the name given to the day the Queen died. The days after her death will be identified as D - Day + (1 through 10) until the funeral day, which will be D - Day + 10.

Her private secretary phones the Prime Minister to break the news that London Bridge is down as soon as the Queen's passing is announced. The news will then be communicated with an alert on the Press Association wire and the royal household will release a formal statement informing the staff and the public.

D-Day + 0, Friday September 09
  • King Charles III and the Queen Consort came back to London after spending the night at Balmoral Castle.
  • Charles met with the Earl Marshal to discuss the Queen's funeral arrangements for the upcoming days.
  • The Union flags were flown at half-mast.
  • All the bells in Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Windsor Castle were tolled.
  • A total of 96 gun salutes, one for every year of the Queen's life, were fired in Hyde Park and other locations.
  • At 6 o'clock in the evening, King Charles III addressed the country in a tribute to the Queen and a promise to do his job as the new king.
D-Day + 1, Saturday September 10
  • Charles was formally announced as King Charles III.
  • In accordance with the declarations, the flags were flown at full mast at 1pm; they stayed there for 24 hours, after which they were lowered to half-mast again.
  • The Prince and Princess of Wales, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made a Windsor Walkabout to check out the Queen's floral tributes.
  • A salute with guns was fired at Hyde Park.
D-Day + 2, Sunday September 11
  • The Queen's coffin left Balmoral Castle and traveled across the Scottish countryside to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.
  • The coffin stayed in the Throne Room at Holyroodhouse overnight, giving staff members a chance to pay their final respects.
D-Day + 3, Monday September 12
  • Motion of Condolence: The House of Commons and the House of Lords gathered in Westminster to offer their condolences to the King and the Queen Consort.
  • Camilla and King Charles III took a flight back to Scotland for the Ceremony of the Keys.
  • The procession of the royal family was headed by King Charles III as the coffin was brought to St. Giles' Cathedral for a thanksgiving service. There, the public was able to view the Queen's coffin for 24 hours.
  • Senior members of the British royal family gathered at the cathedral in the evening for a vigil.
D-Day + 4, Tuesday September 13
  • The Princess Royal traveled with the Queen's coffin on an RAF flight to London, where it was laid to rest in the Bow Room of Buckingham Palace.
  • There was a rehearsal coffin procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Palace.
D-Day + 5, Wednesday September 14
  • Operation Marquee: A ceremonial procession through London was followed by the Queen's lying in state, which was scheduled to begin in Westminster Hall and last for four days. Following the coffin's arrival, the Archbishop of Canterbury conducted a brief service.
  • Operation Feather: People passed by the casket on its catafalque to pay their final respects.
  • Vigil of the Princes: Senior royal family members showed their respect by standing guard at the platform around the coffin.
D-Day + 6, Thursday September 15
  • A rehearsal for the state funeral procession takes place.
  • Queen Elizabeth II’s lying in state continues.
D-Day + 7, Friday September 16
  • The Queen’s lying in state continues.
D-Day + 8, Saturday September 17
  • The Queen’s lying in state continues.
D-Day + 9, Sunday September 18
  • The Queen’s lying in state continues.
D-Day + 10, Monday September 19
  • State Funeral: The state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II will be held in Westminster Abbey. The service will be televised, and there will be a nationwide moment of silence.
  • The Queen's coffin will be transported to the Abbey upon a gun carriage that will be dragged by sailors from the navy with ropes. Senior royal family members are intended to follow behind.
  • In the Abbey, presidents, prime ministers, European royals, and other public leaders will come together.
  • A televised committal service will be held at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle with the Queen's casket.
  • Later in the evening, senior members of the royal family will attend a private interment service.
  • The King George VI memorial chapel, where her mother, father, and sister are buried, will serve as the Queen's last resting place. The Royal Vault will be opened, and Prince Philip's coffin will be brought from there to the memorial chapel to join the Queen's.
How old is Queen Elizabeth II?

Queen Elizabeth II was born as Princess Elizabeth of York on the 21st of April 1926. She died at the age of 96 in Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

What religion was Queen Elizabeth?

HRH Queen Elizabeth II was a Protestant and was the head of the Church of England.

How long has Queen Elizabeth II reigned?

After her father, King George VI, passed away in February 1952, Queen Elizabeth II succeeded to the throne at the age of 25. But she wasn't formally crowned until the next year. Queen Elizabeth II was Queen of the United Kingdom for 70 years and 7 months.

What is Operation London Bridge?

Operation London Bridge, aka London Bridge is down, is the planned protocol for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. The plan was made in the 60s and has been updated in the years before her death on September 8, 2022.

What is Operation Unicorn?

Operation Unicorn is the arrangement for handling the Queen’s death in Scotland. The agenda includes visits to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, St. Giles’ Cathedral, and the Scottish Parliament.

When will the Queen’s funeral take place?

The state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II will take place on Monday, September 19, 2022 at 11:00 BST. The Queen’s funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey and she will be laid to rest at St. George's Chapel.

This day will be a bank holiday in the UK and many businesses will close as well.

Who is next in line to the throne?

Prince Charles, eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, immediately succeeded her as King Charles III. Camilla Parker Bowles is now Queen Consort.

  1. Prince William, 40 years old
  2. Prince George, 9 years old
  3. Princess Charlotte, 7 years old
  4. Prince Louis, 4 years old
  5. Prince Harry, 37 years old
  6. Prince Archie, 3 years old
  7. Princess Lilibet, 1 year old
  8. Prince Andrew, 62, years old
  9. Princess Beatrice, 34 years old
Will Prince Charles be called King?

Yes, Prince Charles will now be called King Charles III. He will also receive the additional title of head of the Church of England and of the Commonwealth. His wife Camilla, previously known as Duchess of Cornwall, will now be known as Queen Consort.

What happens to the Queen’s corgis?

Two of the Queen’s beloved corgis, Muick and Sandy, will be living with Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson at the Royal Lodge in Windsor. But it's still not clear who will look after Candy the dorgi (dachshund-corgi mix) and Lissy the cocker spaniel.

What happens after the death of the Queen?
  • The Union Jack will be lowered at half-mast until after the funeral, but not the Royal Standard.
  • The BBC will suspend all programming to cover the event.
  • On the day of the funeral, the London Stock Exchange will be closed.
  • There will be an immediate printing of new money that will feature a portrait of King Charles III.
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