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It Turns Out There Is A Secret Code Word For When The Queen Dies

It Turns Out There Is A Secret Code Word For When The Queen Dies

Firstly, as far as we are aware, the Queen is very much alive and well.

It's almost unthinkable, after a record-breaking 65 years on the throne, that one day Queen Elizabeth II will no longer reign.


Of course, it's difficult to say how she will pass away (and there are various protocols in place for each event) but how will the news reach us and the rest of the world?

Whatever happens, the news will break a lot quicker than it did when King George VI passed away in 1952.

Back then, although he died at 7:30am, the news was not broadcast until 11:15am by the BBC. Check this out...

The death of King George V. Credit: British Pathe


The first, after family, to be informed will be the Prime Minister. Whether woken up, or asleep, they will be told that 'London Bridge is down' (Repeat, London Bridge is down).

It's part of a wider operation called Operation London Bridge. Incidentally, back in 1952, the death of King George followed protocol of 'Hyde Park Corner'.

After the PM is told, the wider Commonwealth (the countries where the Queen is still a figurehead) are then notified.

The Queen has provided great memories - including this. Credit: Olympic Channel

It's then to the media...

The Press Association will fire out a message to the world's media - the tweets and Facebook posts are likely to be the first to break it to you. The on-air media will then pick it up almost immediately, too.

The BBC has the 'Radio Alert Transmission System' (RATS). It's something the broadcaster has had since the Cold War - although many don't know about it, or what it sounds like.

Commercial radio stations have a blue flashing light for the situation and will immediately play 'inoffensive music' before jumping to the news.

Newsreaders will put on black clothes while experts, already contracted to them, will speak exclusively about the sad news.

So, what happens next?

The Royals will all move up one. Charles as King (King Charles III), Prince William (currently, the Duke of Cambridge) will be the new Prince of Wales, while Kate will become the Princess of Wales, a title once held by Diana.

The Queen will then 'lie in state' for 23 hours a day until the funeral. Her body will be in Westminster Hall, open to the public for 12 days.

The last British monarch to die was King George VI in 1952. Credit: PA

Amidst all of this, Operation London Bridge has documents labelled 'D-day', 'D+1' etc. for events taking place in between.

These include a tour by the new king, television programming, and a diplomatic assembling in London - something not seen since the death of Winston Churchill in 1965.

For the funeral, the Queen's coffin will be taken to Westminster Abbey by gun carriage with the following service held by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

As to where she will be laid to rest, that's open for debate. She has properties in Balmoral (Scotland) or Sandringham (Norfolk). She may join her father at St George's Chapel in Windsor.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Royal, Funeral, The Queen

Michael Minay

Mike Minay is a trending journalist at LADbible. He’s co-ordinated interviews with some of the big names from the world of news and sport including ITV’s Robert Peston, Sky Sports’ Jeff Stelling and darts champion Michael van Gerwen. His reporting days began on University radio in Birmingham, before moving to BBC Sport Online – creating content for large events such as Wimbledon and the FA Cup final. Mike still commentates on Football League matches at the weekend. A Manchester LAD at heart.


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