Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's Longest-Ruling Monarch Hannah McKay - WPA Pool/Getty Images

No one wants to live in a world without Queen Elizabeth II. But in true British fashion, the Palace has a clear-cut protocol in place when this unfortunate event comes to pass — and it's called Operation London Bridge.

If there is one part about the British royal family that is so much like the movies (it isn't the lavish lifestyle), it's speaking in code.

Who gets to know about the Queen’s passing first outside of the royal family?

At the unfortunate moment the Queen is no more, her private secretary will confirm the word from her doctor and will then inform the Prime Minister by saying, “London Bridge is down.” What will follow is a strict and coordinated effort to get the word out, one that’s worthy of the legacy of the longest-running British monarch.

The Britain’s Foreign Office will inform the governments, Commonwealth nations and other entities where the Queen serves as head of state. That's no less than 51 phone calls. Press outlets around the globe will receive an official news release so the whole world will slowly learn of the sad development.

How will the British people learn of the news?

The sad news will be relayed to the people of the United Kingdom in the most traditional way. A footman in mourner’s clothing will hang a black-edged notice at the gates of Buckingham Palace. The British press will handle the wider coverage as all official media channels of the royal family make the announcement.

Westminster Abbey will be filled with the sound of the tenor bell, which royal followers have heard before during the passing of a royal family member. Bells in the churches of London will toll while the flags will be lowered to half-mast.

Where does the Queen's body go?

The Queen's coffin will lie in Westminster Hall for four days, during which the public can pay their respects. After this, the body will likely be buried next to the Queen Mother’s and King George VI’s graves in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

How is the funeral held?

The whole nation basically goes to a halt. On the day of the funeral, workers will be sent home early. Businesses will be closed, and sporting events will be postponed as the country prepares for a 12-day mourning period.

The London Stock Exchange and UK banks will also be closed. The funeral will become a national holiday, so will the coronation of Prince Charles.

It is believed that the two week-long shutdown will cost the UK billions in lost earnings. It is estimated that the country is looking at a loss of £1.2-£6 billion.

When does the heir to the throne assume power?

Prince Charles will immediately become king as all members of parliament come together to swear their allegiance to his monarchy. He will speak as the new sovereign for the first time in public later that night to address the Queen's passing. His coronation will take place a few months after the funeral.

The Prince of Wales can choose the name in which he will be officially addressed when he is king. If he keeps Charles, his complete designation will be King Charles III. He can also go by his other names — Arthur, Philip or George.

Other changes in position includes that of Duchess of Cornwall. However, her official title will reportedly be queen consort, as what a wife of a reigning king is customarily addressed as.

What happens to Prince William and Kate Middleton?

Prince William will assume his father’s title as Prince of Wales. Kate Middleton, on the other hand, can officially be called Princess of Wales, a title that was once held by Princess Diana. The two will also become Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge.

The two will also receive the net worth that comes with these titles. Prince William will inherit the 135,000 acres of land in Southern England plus an investment portfolio that includes commercial and residential properties, as well as farms and even forests and coastal areas.

Their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Princess Louis, also get to take a step closer to the crown.

What can be expected of Prince Charles as King?

Many have imagined what his reign will be like. Prince Charles is not shy in expressing his opinions in political matters that the Queen would otherwise be neutral about.

He has ruffled some feathers with his controversial stances on sensitive subjects. He has always appeared to be the reformist monarch, very keen about becoming more involved in the government by promoting ecology and organic farming.

However, speaking about his ascension to the throne in an hour-long documentary released for his 70th birthday, Prince Charles said that he intends to respect the neutrality of the head of state as he gives up his reputation as a political dissident. “The idea somehow that I’m going to go on exactly the same way, if I have to succeed, is complete nonsense,” he said.

As the longest-serving heir to the throne, he’s had his whole life to prepare for this transition. He has already served as his mother’s representative in many events.

At 92, the Queen remains fit as a fiddle. Her Majesty has no plans to abdicate her throne.

© 2023 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.