"London bridge": what will the protocol be like the day Elizabeth II dies

At 95 years old, the health of Elizabeth II worries doctors. For the first time she has been seen in public with a cane, has been asked to eliminate alcohol from her diet and has recently canceled official activities.

The longest-lived monarch in British history lost her husband Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in April at the age of 99, after nearly three-quarters of a century of marriage.

On the day that Elizabeth II dies, the British crown must comply with a very strict protocol, called “London Bridge”, already approved by the Queen herself and that will be activated as soon as her death is confirmed.

When his death is confirmed by the Queen’s official physician, Elizabeth II’s private secretary will inform the Prime Minister. Then the news will be spread among the highest ranking officials with a key phrase: “London Brodge is down”, (“London Bridge fell”), which will circulate through encrypted calls and messages.

The first countries to be informed of the news will be the 54 members of the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth of Nations that recognizes the monarch as head of state. Those countries include Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the former African and Caribbean colonies.

Then it will be time to make the announcement public, which will mean a fact of global relevance. The news will be communicated to the heads of the main British media so that they can spread it. In the case of radios, you will be asked to play “serene” music to prepare the audience.

Elizabeth II will be buried in Westminster Abbey. AFP

The mourning will be official. There will be black badges in Buckingham, in addition to a notice of death at the main entrance door to the Palace, which will be flanked by an official dressed in mourning.

The ad will have a black frame, unlike the gold frame used to announce births at the House of Windsor. In turn, the officials will wear a black armband on their left arm.

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On the day of his death, a national mourning will be declared throughout the day., and a massive adherence to grief is discounted.

The plan also contemplates the eventuality that the death of the Queen happen abroad. If this happens, a Royal Flight British Aerospace plane will take off from Northolt, outside London, with the coffin in which his remains will be repatriated.

It is stipulated that the remains of the queen be veiled at Buckingham Palace, in whose main hall there will be an altar, a royal standard and four Grenadiers of the Guard.

The body will remain there for four days before being transferred to Westminster Palace, seat of Parliament. The procession will be accompanied by a military parade.

The coffin will remain in Parliament for another four days.

The queen will be buried nine days after her death in the Westminster Abbey, where kings are crowned and buried.

That day there will be no commercial activity. In principle, the London Stock Exchange will not operate either.

At 11 in the morning the day after death, the Prince of Wales will become his mother’s successor. He could reign as Carlos III, though you can choose another name.

Although today’s Prince Charles becomes king in the hours after his mother’s death, will not be crowned immediately but probably a year later.

When the queen’s grandfather, George V, died, his son Edward VIII acted as king without being crowned but abdicated eleven months after the death of his predecessor, to marry a divorced woman.

After the death of George VI (son of George V and brother of Edward VIII), in February 1952, he was succeeded by his daughter, who in 1953 adopted the name of Elizabeth II.


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