London Bridge is down: This is exactly what’s about to happen now the Queen has died

Her coffin will be available for public viewing for 23 hours-a-day

Yesterday, Buckingham Palace announced that HRH Queen Elizabeth II had died peacefully in her sleep at Balmoral Castle. The country is now in a state of national mourning and Prince Charles will soon take his place as the new King of England. But many are now questioning what happens after the Queen dies? Whilst many hoped this day would never come, the media and governing officials have been prepared for the death of the Queen for years with a plan in place for when the day did come, known as Operation London Bridge.

So, what exactly happens after the Queen dies?

Operation London Bridge is a 10 day plan for the period of time in-between the Queen’s passing and her funeral, which will be held on the 10th day after her death on Monday 19th September. This is exactly what happens during Operation London Bridge after the Queen dies and each of the 10 days before her funeral:

The day of the Queen’s death – D-Day

On the day of the Queen’s death yesterday, known as D-Day, the Queen’s private secretary, Edward Young, was the first official to convey the news of her passing, setting Operation London Bridge into motion. On a secure line, Edward Young rang the prime minister Liz Truss and informed her “London Bridge is down”, the code phrase for the Queen’s death.

The news was then distributed to heads of state of the 15 Commonwealth nations where the Queen is still considered the head of state, before the news was announced to the public. All flags on state buildings nationwide were flown at half mast and parliament in England, Scotland and Wales was suspended in honour of her majesty. Everyday after the death of the Queen and before her funeral will now be known as D-Day +1, D-Day +2 and so on.

what happens after the queen dies

via SWNS

D-Day + 1

Today, the day after Queen Elizabeth’s death, Prince Charles will travel back to London from Scotland and hold an audience with the new prime minister and her cabinet. He will be known as King Charles III however upon swearing his oath, Charles does have the option to change his name to one of his middle names so could become either King Philip, Arthur or George instead.

At 1pm today, a 96-round gun salute will take place in Hyde Park to commemorate every year of the Queen’s life whilst a memorial service will be held this evening at St Paul’s Cathedral. King Charles will address the nation later on today in what is expected to be a pre-recorded video.

D-Day + 2

Tomorrow, the Accession Council, a ceremonial body of governing officials that gathers after the death of a monarch, will meet at St James’ Palace in London to formally proclaim Charles as King. It is suspected that Camilla will take on the title of Queen Consort after the Queen gave Camilla her blessing to do so. The new prime minister and MPs will take an oath of allegiance to the new monarch.

what happens after the queen dies

via SWNS

D-Day + 3

On the third day after her passing, the Queen’s coffin will be taken to her smallest castle in Scotland, Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, where family members can pay their respects.

D-Day + 4

A royal procession is expected to take place on Monday along the royal mile to St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh and a service will be held by members of the royal family. It is currently uncertain whether members of the public will be allowed to pay their respects. The new King is anticipated to begin a tour of the UK, known as Operation Springtide.

what happens after the queen dies

The public mourning the death of her majesty, via SWNS

D-Day + 5

As the Queen died in Scotland, on Tuesday her coffin will be transported to London via the Royal Train and rest at Buckingham Palace. A rehearsal for the procession of the coffin will take place in Westminster.

D-Day + 6

From Wednesday, the Queen’s coffin will make a procession to Westminster Hall where lying-in-state will begin, lasting for four days. Lying-in-state means the Queen’s coffin will be available for public viewing for 23 hours-a-day. After the death of Prince Philip in 2021, he did not lie-in-state as per his wishes, meaning the last time a royal lay-in-state was the Queen Mother in 2002.

The Queen Mother lying-in-state in 2002, via BBC

D-Day + 7 – 9

The lying-in-state will continue as heads of state from countries worldwide are expected to arrive for the Queen’s funeral.

D-Day + 10

On Monday 19th September, the Queen’s funeral will take place and will be televised. The Queen’s coffin will be taken to Westminster Abbey in a gun carriage pulled by sailors using ropes whilst her family members follow behind on foot, similar to the funerals of Princess Diana and the Duke of Edinburgh. A national two minute silence is expected to be held at midday.

The Queen will be laid to rest in the King George VI memorial chapel where her mother, father and sister are all already buried. Prince Philip’s coffin will be moved from the Royal Vault to join that of his wife’s.

The period of national mourning will continue for a further seven days after the Queen is laid to rest, with the public anticipated to get a bank holiday on the day of her funeral.

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

Featured image via SWNS.