These are the code names used for when each member of the Royal Family dies

Their funerals are already planned


Yesterday there were strange reports that the Queen had died. It has now pretty much been confirmed as a hoax, but now everyone’s thinking about what actually happens when the Queen dies and what plans are in place for it. It turns out, there are a whole load of special code names that will be used upon the death of Royal Family members.

Last year, Prince Philip sadly died and Operation Forth Bridge (the code name for the strict set of official procedures put in place for after the his death) began. But it’s not just Operation Forth Bridge for Prince Philip – other members of the Royal Family have code names that will be used on the event of their deaths, too. In The Crown series four, the Queen’s private secretary says: “We have contingency plans in place for all members of the royal family.” The Queen then tells Prince Philip some of the other code names for the death of Royal Family members.

She says: “We’re all bridges, the choice of name was to suggest a link between this life and the next.” But how true is this to real life, and what are the actual code names that will be used for the death of members of the Royal Family?

These are the code names used for when each Royal Family member dies:

The Queen: London Bridge

When the Queen dies, it is thought the code words “London Bridge is down” will be used.

One of the first people outside of the Royal Family to be informed of her passing will be the Prime Minister, who will be told by the Queen’s private secretary. There will be a formal announcement of the death will out to global news agency, Press Association, and a footman in mourning clothes will walk out of Buckingham Palace and pin a black-edged notice to the gates.

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The Queen – London Bridge (image from The Crown)

All major TV channels will cancel their scheduled programmes and instead run tributes and videos of her life. TV channels and radio stations are said to have rehearsed sets for what will be aired on the day of the Queen’s death, and newspapers apparently all have their obituaries ready to go.

There will then be a 12-day mourning period before her funeral, and then Prince Charles will become King.

Prince Philip: Forth Bridge

The code name used upon the death of Prince Philip is Forth Bridge, and Operation Forth Bridge is the name of the official set of procedures that were planned to take place after his death. Last year, Prince Philip sadly died at the age of 99, and Operation Forth Bridge, one of the code names for a Royal Family death, began.

The plans for Operation Forth Bridge had been in place for years, and are said to have been regularly updated by Prince Philip, the Queen, and Palace staff. The first part was the announcement of Prince Philip’s death was the official statement made by Buckingham Palace to the BBC and Press Association. Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a speech at Downing Street to pay tribute.

The country then went into a period of national mourning – flags have been lowered to half-mast, and newsreaders and other TV presenters wear black.

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Prince Philip – Forth Bridge (image from The Crown)

Before his death, Prince Philip was believed to have requested a private funeral service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, in the style of a military funeral. It is said he did not want a grand state funeral and would not lie in state, his body was at rest in a private chapel in Windsor Castle. Due to coronavirus restrictions, only 30 people were allowed to attend the funeral in person. There were be no public processions and due to coronavirus people were asked not to go to the Royal residences.

Prince Philip was the Duke of Edinburgh, and Forth Bridge is a bridge in Scotland, near Edinburgh.

Prince Charles: Menai Bridge

In The Crown it is said by the Queen’s private secretary that the code name for the death of Prince Charles is Menai Bridge, and apparently this is true.

Charles is the Prince of Wales, and the Menai Suspension Bridge is a Welsh bridge, connecting the island of Anglesey with the Welsh mainland.

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Prince Charles – Menai Bridge (image from The Crown)

The Queen Mother: Tay Bridge

In The Crown, the Queen says the code name for her mother’s death is Tay Bridge. The Queen Mother died in 2002, and “Operation Tay Bridge” was the code name for her funeral. Almost one million people lined the streets during her funeral.

Her coffin was carried on a gun carriage draped in her personal standard and supported by 1,600 members of the armed forces, with all the male members of the Royal Family following immediately after the coffin.

Operation Tay Bridge was reportedly “regularly rehearsed” for 22 years before her death. The Queen Mother was still alive at the time of Diana’s death, and because it was so sudden the Royal Family had to use Operation Tay Bridge for Diana, as it had already been rehearsed for years and they needed to get the funeral together quickly.

William, Kate, Harry and Meghan don’t have code names for their death, but they do have Royal code names

According to the Daily Star, Prince William and Kate Middleton’s codenames are “Danny Collins” and “Daphne Clark”, whilst Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s are “David Stevens” and “Davina Scott”. These initials, DC and DS, are a nod to their respective official titles, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and of Sussex.

Apparently their aides and bodyguards use these code names when they talk about them, and their phone numbers are saved under these code names too. A Royal source told the Star: “If anyone got hold of a phone belonging to a royal aide or security team member, they won’t find Harry Windsor and Meghan’s names in it.

“It is far too risky in the wrong hands. They get given code names but they are changed regularly for obvious reasons.”

The Crown is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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Ok but what actually does happen if the Queen dies?