These are the code names used for when each member of the Royal Family dies
Their funerals are already planned
Last week, Prince Philip sadly died at the age of 99, and Operation Forth Bridge, one of the Royal Family code names began. Operation Forth Bridge is the code name for the strict set of official procedures that are put in place for after the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
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:
Prince Philip: Forth Bridge
The code name used upon the death of Prince Philip is Forth Bridge, and Operation Forth Bridge is the set of procedures planned to take place after his death.
The plans for Operation Forth Bridge have 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 is now in a period of national mourning – flags have been lowered to half-mast, and newsreaders and other TV presenters wear black.
Plans are being made for the funeral of Prince Philip, which will be this Saturday 17th April and will have to take place in line with coronavirus measures, meaning only 30 people will be allowed to attend in person. There will be no public processions and due to coronavirus people are being asked not to go to the Royal residences.
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 will not lie in state, his body is at rest in a private chapel in Windsor Castle.
Prince Philip was the Duke of Edinburgh, and Forth Bridge is a bridge in Scotland, near Edinburgh.
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.
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 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.
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.”
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