Operation London Bridge explained: Carefully crafted plans that lead up to Her Majesty The Queen’s funeral
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After Her Majesty The Queen’s death on 8 September at the age of 96, a carefully crafted farewell plan – Operation London Bridge – is now underway.
Operation London bridge is the codename for a meticulously detailed set of plans that are to take place after the Queen’s death. These include preparations for the announcement of the Queen’s death, an official period of mourning, and releasing details of her state funeral.
The exact description what was to happen was not known earlier, but in a series of documents obtained by POLITICO in 2021, the security plan was detailed in full.
Friday, September 9
8 September was supposed to be traditionally the D-Day or D+0 in the plans for the events to take place after the Queen’s death.
But, the announcement was delayed and came at 6.31pm on Thursday, September which means that the plans have been shifted a day to allow the complex arrangements to be put in place, meaning D+0 will be considered Friday.
Charles, now the King, will take on his duties and meet the Earl Marshal – the Duke of Norfolk to approve the carefully choreographed funeral schedule for the coming days.
In Scotland, Operation Unicorn will be set in motion which includes contingency plans for the death of the Queen in Scotland.
The Government will confirm the length of national mourning, which is said to be around 12 to 13 days.
The funeral day will be announced and that will also be a public holiday in the form of a Day of National Mourning.
Union flags on royal buildings will fly at half-mast.
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Saturday, September 10
The Accession Council at 10 am will meet at St. James’ Palace to proclaim King Charles the new sovereign, senior government officials will be in attendance.
Proclamations will be made around the city and across the country. Union flags will then go back up to full-mast at 1pm and remain there for 24 hours to coincide with the proclamations before returning to half-mast.
All parliamentary meetings and business will be suspended for 10 days. A message of condolence will be released by the Parliament
Sunday, September 11
The Queen’s coffin will be taken by road to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.
Proclamations will be read in the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland at each of the country’s parliaments.
Monday, September 12
A grand procession will take place along Royal Mile to St Giles’ Cathedral.
The public may get the chance to see the Queen’s coffin at a mini lying in state in St Giles’.
The House of Commons and the House of Lords are expected to come together in Westminster for a Motion of Condolence, which the King is supposed to attend.
King Charles will visit Scotland and then travel to the other two countries of the UK, known as Operation Spring Tide.
Tuesday , September 13
Queen’s coffin will likely be flown to London on this day and will be taken directly to the Buckingham Palace.
A rehearsal for the procession of the coffin from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster will be organised.
Wednesday September 14
The Queen’s lying in state is expected to begin in Westminster Hall under Operation Marquee, after a ceremonial procession through London. It will last four full days.
The Archbishop of Canterbury will conduct a short service following the coffin’s arrival.
People will be able to pay their respects as they get to file past the coffin.
Senior royals will pay personal tribute, standing guard at a designated time around the coffin. This is a tradition known as the Vigil of the Princes.
Monday, September 19
The Queen’s state funeral is set to take place at Westminster Abbey in central London.
Senior members of the family will follow behind.
The military will join in and be present everywhere as well as join the procession.
The service will be televised across the country and the world, and a national silence of two minutes will be observed.
The Queen’s coffin will then be taken to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle for a committal service.
The Queen will be laid to rest at the King George VI memorial chapel, where her mother and father were buried, along with the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret.
Philip’s coffin will be moved from the current resting place at Royal Vault to the memorial chapel next to the Queen.