Although the Queen is very much alive, there is a code word in preparation for when the worst happens.
As you would imagine for such a significant event, a plan has already been meticulously laid out for what will happen after the monarch passes away.
And the code word forms a central part as it will be used to inform the prime minister of the news.
According to the Guardian, the leader of the time will be woken from their sleep if necessary and told by civil servants that ‘London Bridge is down’.
The prime minister will know this means Queen Elizabeth II has passed away and that a series of events will follow in what has been called Operation London Bridge.
Notifying foreign governments will form a key part of the first tasks and will be handled by the Foreign Office – who will tell 15 governments outside the UK. The message will then be passed to the 36 other nations in the Commonwealth for who the Queen is still a figurehead.
The media will then inform the general public of the news to commence a period of mourning. It is highly likely in the age of social media that many may find out through platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
A newsflash will be posted by the Press Association to inform the world’s media simultaneously. Meanwhile, blue lights will begin flashing at commercial radio stations which will alert the DJ to switch to the news and play ‘inoffensive music’ in the meantime.
Newscasters on TV screens will also wear black attire with news likely to dominate most channels for weeks. Many news channels already have royal experts signed up to speak to them exclusively about the news. Officially, Britain would enter a period of mourning for 12 days. Prince Charles would become King Charles.
The words to the National Anthem and new postage stamps and currency will be minted and printed to reflect his ascension to the throne.
Prince William would become the Prince of Wales once his father took the crown, giving Kate the title of Princess of Wales, once held by Diana. Before being buried, the Queen’s body will ‘lie in state’ in public viewing in Westminster Hall open for 23 hours a day until the funeral.
When the coffin arrives there will be a short ceremony, before people will be able to pay their respects. The funeral will take place 12 days after the Queen’s death.
The state funeral will begin by her coffin being taken to Westminster Abbey by gun carriage, where it will be led by Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
Leaders and heads of state from across the world will attend, and it’s likely that members of the public will line the route of the funeral cortege. Following the funeral, the Queen’s body could be laid to rest in a number of places.
Many speculate she could be buried at her properties in either Balmoral or Sandringham. While other reports suggest she would be buried in a plot next to her father King George VI at the St. George’s Chapel in Windsor.