What happens when the Queen dies? Protocol following Elizabeth II’s death, what is Operation London Bridge?

The Queen has died aged 96, Buckingham Palace said.

Buckingham Palace has released a statement announcing the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

In a statement, the Palace said: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

Carefully constructed plans regarding what happens following Queen Elizabeth II‘s death have been in place since the 1960s, in a process dubbed ‘Operation London Bridge’.

What plans are in place and what protocols must be followed now?

Here’s what you need to know.

What plans are in place following the Queen’s death?

Although plans have been in place for decades in a process dubbed “Operation London Bridge”, a series of documents obtained by political news outlet Politico details the specifics of the protocols when the monarch dies.

The security plan is outlined in full, detailing everything from how news of the monarch’s death will be shared to the public to how quickly Prince Charles will ascend the throne.

It also includes details on what happens during the 10 days following the Queen’s death, including where her coffin will go, how Prince Charles will spend his first few days as King and how the prime minister will publicly address the news.

(left to right) The Duchess of Cornwall, the Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Louis, the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince George and the Duke of Cambridge on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, central London, after the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as the Queen celebrates her official birthday on day one of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Picture date: Thursday June 2, 2022.

The day that the Queen dies is referred to as D-Day, with every day afterwards referred to as D-Day+1 and D-Day+2 and so on, going up to and including D-Day+10.

The report claimed that a “call cascade” will take place hours after the monarch’s death in order to inform the prime minister, the cabinet secretary, and several senior ministers and government officials of the news.

The prime minister will be told by the Queen’s private secretary, as will the Privy Council Office, with permanent departmental secretaries to be given a script in order to inform other government ministers.

This will reportedly read: “We have just been informed of the death of Her Majesty The Queen,” and ministers will also be told that “discretion is required.”

The cabinet secretary will then send an email to senior civil servants.

The public will be told by an “official notification” which will be delivered by the royal household, according to the documents.

What will the Government do?

The UK parliament will adjourn, as will devolved legislatures in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

The prime minister will make a statement, but no other members of the UK government will be permitted to make any kind of statement until after this.

They will then have an audience with the new monarch, King Charles.

MPs will offer tributes to the Queen in the House of Commons the day after the Queen’s death, but parliamentary business will be suspended for 10 days.

All government departmental social media pages will also show a black banner in the wake of the Queen’s death and change their profile pictures to their departmental crest.

The royal family’s website will also update with a black holding page complete with a short statement confirming the monarch’s death. The Government website will have a black banner at the top.

The website of the Royal Family has switched to a tribute to the Queen

When will the funeral take place?

The royal family will announce plans for the funeral, which will most likely take place 10 days after the Queen’s death.

The funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey and there will be a national two-minute silence on the day at midday.

There will be processions both in London and Windsor, with a committal service taking place at St George’s Chapel.

The Queen will be buried at the King George VI Memorial Chapel in Windsor.

What else will happen?

A national minute’s silence will also take place on D-Day, according to POLITICO, with gun salutes taking place at all saluting stations as organised by the Ministry of Defence.

The day after the Queen’s death, known as D-Day+1, the Accession Council will meet at St James’ Palace to proclaim Prince Charles the new sovereign, with hundreds of people in attendance, including the prime minister and senior government ministers.

Will businesses be affected?

On the day of the funeral itself, the London Stock Exchange and most UK banks will close.

The day of the funeral and the subsequent coronation will also become national holidays.

It’s thought that the Government will not order employers to give employees the day off, leaving this as a matter between employees and their staff.

If the funeral takes place on the weekend or an existing bank holiday, an extra public day off will reportedly not be granted.