Elizabeth II: what is “London Bridge”, the protocol put in place at her death

The operation after news of the Queen’s death is called London Bridge. (©Dmitry Naumov / Adobe Stock)

It is a plan which is extremely well established, British rigor obliges. Except that it leaked and therefore we already know the protocol that will ensue in the event of the death of Queen Elizabeth II, 96.

The media Politico caused an earthquake across the Channel in September 2021, revealing the entire operation called “London Bridge”.

This Thursday, September 8, the Royal Family announced that “the Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended that she remain under medical supervision. »

However, Elizabeth would continue to “feel comfortable” at her summer home in Balmoral, Scotland. His children and grandchildren are at his bedside or on their way to the Scottish castle.

While royal family commentators seem particularly worried, actu.fr explains how these 10 days of mourning would unfold.


In the hours following the death of the Queen, many calls will take place. The Prime Minister will be the first to be informed by the Queen’s Private Secretary by the secret code “London Bridge is down”.

After this first phone call, the protocol provides that 15 governments outside the United Kingdom and where the Queen is also the head of state will be alerted, as well as the nations of the Commonwealth.

Many ministers and officials will then be informed with a message already written.

“We have just been informed of the death of Her Majesty The Queen. Discretion is required”

The message transmitted in the event of the Queen’s death.

The flags of Whitehall, the seat of the British government, will be flown at half-mast.

It is then the public who will be made aware with an official statement from Buckingham Palace. The proceedings of the British Parliament will be adjourned. In 2017, The Guardian indicated that it was the press agency AP who would have first hand information.

At the same time a valet will hang a black sign on the gates of Buckingham Palace.

Finally, the royal family will announce the plans for the funeral of Elizabeth II which will take place ten days later.

The Prime Minister will be the first to make a statement. All other ministers are prohibited from speaking before Liz Truss. She will then hold a meeting with the new king, and at 6 p.m. King Charles will address the nation.

The day after the death

The monarchy does not stop: the day after the death of the queen, at 10 a.m., her son, Prince Charles should be proclaimed new sovereign. The proclamation will then be read at St. James’s Palace and the Royal Exchange in London.

Two days after death

48 hours after the announcement of the Queen’s death, her coffin will return to Buckingham Palace.

As of this writing, Elizabeth is in Scotland at her summer home in Balmoral. In this context, his remains would be transported by royal train if possible. Otherwise, it will be by air.

Days 3-4-5

Three days later, King Charles will undertake a tour of the United Kingdom: in order: Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales.

Days 5 to 9

Five days after the death, a procession will take place from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster on a route through London.

The Queen’s remains will then be displayed at the Palace of Westminster for three days, 23 hours a day.

Six days after the death of the queen will take place the rehearsals for the state funeral.

Day of the funeral, day 10

Elizabeth II’s funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey. Previously, there will have been a procession from the palace.

There will be two minutes of silence across the UK at midday, shops will be largely closed and the London Stock Exchange will not open. Most Britons will be entitled to a day off.

The Queen will be buried in the King George VI Memorial Chapel at Windsor Castle.

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