Queen’s funeral plans laid out in secret operation called ‘London Bridge is down’
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The Queen, 94, has been on the throne for the past 68 years – surpassing the reign of 63 years, seven months and two days set by Queen Victoria. Princess Elizabeth became Queen on February 6, 1952, with the coronation taking place on June 2, 1953.
The Queen ascended to the throne following the passing of her father King George VI and contingency plans for her own death have been in place ever since the 1960s.
An operation known as “London Bridge is down” will be activated around the world when the sad day arrives.
Messages will immediately be sent out to the Prime Minister as well as the Commonwealth nations where the Queen is head of state.
Buckingham Palace does not comment on arrangements for the funerals of members of the Royal Family, but over the years more and more details of plans have emerged.
The Government, civil servants and royal aides meet around three times per year to update plans.
The death of a head of state is set to lead to a 12-day period of national mourning across the UK.
Every eventuality, including what to do in any possible location where the Queen passes away, has been meticulously thought out.
However, in every scenario it is understood the Queen will be brought back to the throne room in Buckingham Palace.
Her Majesty’s coffin is expected lie in state in Westminster Hall for a number of days to allow the public to pay their respects.
When the Queen mother passed away in 2002 more than 200,000 people paid their respects when he body was laid in state for three days.
Union Jag flags around the country will be flown a half-mast with books of condolences placed at a number of locations – including international embassies.
The funeral is set to place 12 days after the death at either Westminster Abbey or St Paul’s Cathedral.
The service will be led by Archbishop of Canterbury – the most senior bishop of the Church of England.
The day of the funeral will be a public holiday to allow the country to pay their respects.
The date of the Coronation for the next monarch will also be a bank holiday but there was 16-month between the Queen’s Coronation in 1953.
Prince Charles is next-in-line to the throne and if he becomes King the national anthem would be altered to “God Save The King,” and new stamps, banknotes and coins would be issued into circulation.
In recent months, there has been reports the Queen could step down when she turns 95-years-old in 2021.
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But, on her 21st birthday in 1947, Princess Elizabeth vowed to dedicate her “whole life” to serving her country.
Meanwhile, earlier this week ministers announced plans to mark the Queen’s 70th year as head of state in 2022.
The Platinum Jubilee celebrations will see Britons granted an extra bank holiday as part of a four-day weekend from June 2.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said it will be “a truly historic moment, and one that deserves a celebration to remember”.
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