Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom’s longest-reigning monarch, died on Thursday at the age of 96 at Balmoral, after reigning for 70 years.
Following her passing and the proclamation of Prince Charles as the new King, the UK will see lots of changes.
Documents have emerged that detail the plan for when Queen Elizabeth eventually passes away
While some information has been leaked in the past pertaining to the process, this is the most comprehensive and detailed account of the plans that are in place for when operation ‘London Bridge’ will be carried out.
In the hours that follow the Queen’s death, wheels will immediately start turning and what will be referred to as ‘D-Day‘ will commence.
A “call cascade” will take place informing the prime minister, the cabinet secretary (Britain’s highest-ranking civil servant) and a number of the most senior ministers and officials. The PM will be informed by the queen’s private secretary, who will also tell the Privy Council Office, which coordinates government work on behalf of the monarch.
The royal household will issue an “official notification” delivering the news to the public. Ministers and senior civil servants will be informed, while flags at Whitehall will be flown at half-mast.
The U.K. parliament and the devolved legislatures in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will also adjourn. If parliament is not sitting, it will be recalled.
The Royal Family’s social media pages will be amended to reflect on the event that has occurred and plans will be put in place for a funeral to be held within 10 days.
No politician or public representative will speak publicly until the Prime Minister has made an official statement to the press. Following this, the Ministry of Defence will arrange for gun salutes to take place at all saluting stations. A national minute’s silence will be announced. The PM will then meet with the new King, and at 6 pm that day, the new King will make an address to the nation.
The day after the Queen’s death will see Charles officially coronated as King in St. James’s Palace. The next day, the Queen’s coffin will be transported to Buckingham Palace.
After 3 days of Royal traditions, on the 5th day following Queen Elizabeth’s death, the procession from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster will take place along a ceremonial route through London. There will be a service in Westminster Hall following the coffin’s arrival.
The queen will lie in state at the Palace of Westminster for three days, in an operation codenamed FEATHER. Her coffin will lie on a raised box known as a catafalque in the middle of Westminster Hall, which will be open to the public for 23 hours per day. Tickets will be issued for VIPs so they can have a time slot.
During this period thousands of people will be expected to flock to London to pay their respects. For this, the Home Office will be in charge of all security concerns and safety in the capital.
On the 10th day, the funeral will be held. What will be considered a “Day of National Mourning” will effectively be a bank holiday in the United Kingdom.
The state funeral itself will be held at Westminster Abbey. Processions will take place in London and Windsor. There will be a committal service in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, and the queen will be buried in the castle’s King George VI Memorial Chapel.
Cash and coins
In the UK, all cash notes and coins depict the face of the Queen – but now following her death, new coins and cash will be created with the face of the King.
Plans have been in place for this for a long time and the new cash will be produced and distributed into general circulation, with the old money gradually being phased out.
It is thought money with the Queen’s face will remain legal tender for a while yet – with a date eventually being set for the future when they can no longer be used.
However, it’s not just in the UK, where the Queen’s face is used on the currency. It is also used in countries, such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand – and they too will eventually phase out cash with her image on.
Stamps – similar to cash – also depict an image of the Queen and again new ones will have to be created with the face of the King.
Ones that have a picture of the Queen will be phased out very gradually.
The Queen’s cypher EIIR stood for Elizabeth II Regina – with Regina the Latin for Queen. Rex is the Latin for King.
Across the UK, apart from in Scotland, most postboxes have this cypher across them.
And although after a monarch passes away, postboxes aren’t replaced – any new ones made are likely to feature the cypher chosen by the new King.
The Queen’s cypher appears on many uniforms in the UK including those worn by police officers and the military.
These uniforms will likely be updated over time with the new King’s cypher.
If you’ve ever checked a UK passport, it will state: “Her Britannic Majesty’s Secretary of State requests and requires in the name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary.”
Therefore new passports issued will be tweaked to reflect the male pronouns of the new King.
However, it’s likely that passports will only need to be updated once they have expired.
Now the Queen has died, the national anthem will no longer be God Save the Queen.