For years, a meticulous script for the minutes, hours, and days following Queen Elizabeth II’s death has been in place, covering a wide range of procedures in minute detail.
The plan, which was first reported in snippets by The Guardian in 2017 and later by Politico in 2021, includes guidance on major logistical issues such as how the death announcement will be communicated, what happens to the body, and procedures for the funeral procession 10 days later.
According to Politico, it also covers granular details such as ensuring that flags are lowered to half staff within 10 minutes of government officials being notified and prohibiting retweets among some government Twitter accounts unless cleared by the communications chief.
According to The Guardian, the “London Bridge” plan will alert the prime minister to the queen’s death by civil servants saying on secure lines that “London Bridge is down.”
When the death is announced, a notice will be posted on a board outside the gates of the monarch’s official residence, Buckingham Palace, as well as on the royal family’s website and social media accounts.
Some details of the plan will be revealed only after the queen’s death.
However, reports suggest that the plan coordinates actions among a complex web of officials and entities, guiding them through a period of mourning and the transition to the reign of the new king, Charles, Queen Elizabeth’s son.
The plan has been discussed twice a year by government and palace officials, police, the army, and broadcasters.
Reports of the queen’s health concerns sparked renewed interest in the plan on Thursday, as old news stories were shared again on social media.