Operation London Bridge is the code name given to the days and weeks after Queen Elizabeth II’s passing. Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning monarch in British history as she has been sitting on the royal throne since 1952, surpassing her great, great-grandmother’s reign (Queen Victoria) of 63years and 7months.
London Bridge (Queen Elizabeth II) has seen over a dozen UK Prime Ministers, almost 20 summer Olympics and more than half a dozen popes. She’s the Head of the Commonwealth, the patron to almost 600 organisations and charities and plays a crucial role of UK’s alliance with many countries.
Interestingly, Queen Elizabeth II is Nigeria’s oldest living former Head of State and her passing will bring a lot of changes in the UK and the world.
The Queen’s private secretary, Rt. Hon. Edward Young CVO will pass a message to the acting Prime Minister at that time. The message will read “London Bridge is down”.
The Prime Minister will then set ‘Operation London Bridge’ into action. Momentarily, the 15 governments outside the UK where the Queen is the Head of State will be informed over a secure line and that will be followed by the 36 Commonwealth nations and leaders around the world.
A black-edged notice of the news will be adorned at the gates of Buckingham Palace and a news flash will alert the media around the world. All BBC’s shows will stop and proceed to run a feed dedicated to the news and the traditional red BBC branding will turn black.
Prince Charles will immediately become King on the same day of her death and will give his first official speech as King on the following day after the Queen’s passing as stock exchange, shops across the UK have already been closed out of respect on the day of the Queen’s passing. This will be followed with a 41-gun salute at Hyde Park, London.
King Charles will then set off on a UK tour of the four capitals of each country: Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and returning to London. Many media outlets will play many documentaries prepared in honour of the Queen as the BBC will refrain from playing comedy shows as a sign of respect until after the funeral.
The Queen’s coffin will be led on a military procession four days after her death from the Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, where she will lie in state for four days. During the time, King Charles, family and dignitaries will pay their respects and after, hundreds of thousands of people will follow suit.
The funeral is projected to take place 10 to 12 days after the Queen’s death and the day of the funeral will be an official Bank Holiday for the UK. Stock exchange, businesses will close for a second time in two weeks. At 11am, the country will fall silent and the coffin brought into Westminster Abbey where about 2000 specially invited guests will bow their heads in prayer. After the service, the coffin will be moved to Windsor Castle and finally to St. George’s Chapel, where she will be laid to rest next to her father, King George VI.
A year after the funeral, an official coronation of King Charles will happen on another Bank Holiday. As a result, the Queen’s passing is estimated to cost the UK economy billions of pounds. New British currency will be printed with the King’s portrait and the Queen’s currency will be slowly removed from circulation. Same changes will be made for stamps, passports, portraits, police and military uniforms. The National Anthem will be changed to ‘God Save the King’.
The Queen’s death could heighten the growing support in Australia for the country to become a republic and this could lead other countries to follow suit. This is one of the many big changes expected to happen after the Queen’s passing that could alter the British Royal Family forever.
“This scenario will one day be upon us. ‘Operation London Bridge’ will be triggered, and arguably the biggest funeral of our lifetime will be witnessed around the world. This will be an end of an era” – Charlie Floyd