Following the news of Queen Elizabeth II‘s death at age 96 on Sept. 8, the royal family has a special plan in place that dates back to the 1960s.
Titled Operation London Bridge, the plan reportedly lists what will happen in the United Kingdom following the monarch’s death.
Now that the news of her death has been made public, the plan states that the UK will go into a period of mourning over the next 10 days as her funeral arrangements are made.
Per Politico, the state funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey, before she is moved to her final resting place Windsor Castle’s King George VI Memorial Chapel.
Here’s everything to know about Operation London Bridge.
When did Operation London Bridge start?
The code phrase for a royal death dates back to the death of Queen Elizabeth II’s father King George VI in 1952. At the time, his code phrase was “Hyde Park Corner,” which alerted key government officials of his death.
Since then, other code phrases have been put in place for prominent members of the royal family, including Operation Tay Bridge for The Queen Mother, and Operation Forth Bridge for Prince Philip.
Queen Elizabeth’s code phrase is Operation London Bridge, while her son Prince Charles’ is reportedly Operation Menai Bridge.
How is Operation London Bridge enacted?
Following Queen Elizabeth’s death, the plan states that her private secretary, Sir Edward Young, will be the first official to convey the news (apart from her relatives and medical team), per The Guardian.
From there, Young will contact the prime minister, Elizabeth Truss, giving the code phrase “London Bridge is down” to signal her death.
Who else is informed of Queen Elizabeth’s death through Operation London Bridge?
From the Foreign Office’s Global Response Centre, the news of the queen’s death will go out to “the 15 governments outside the UK where the Queen is also the head of state, and the 36 other nations of the Commonwealth for whom she has served as a symbolic figurehead,” The Guardian reports. World leaders, ambassadors, governors general, and more heads of state will also be notified.
How will the general public learn about Queen Elizabeth’s death?
After selected officials have been informed of Queen Elizabeth’s death through Operation London Bridge, the official announcement for the general public will go out through a newsflash to the Press Association and global media outlets.
Simultaneously, the announcement of her death will be posted outside of Buckingham Palace by a footman. The palace website will also display the notice.
On Sept. 8, The Royal Family made an official announcement about her death on Twitter which read: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
The prime minister will be the first government official to make a statement. The prime minister will then meet with the new monarch, Prince Charles, and the royal would deliver a speech to the nation at 6 p.m. on the evening following Queen Elizabeth’s death.
When will Queen Elizabeth’s funeral take place?
Following Prince Charles’ speech, there will be 10 days of mourning leading up to Queen Elizabeth’s official funeral. Based on where the queen dies, there are several different actions put in place.
If she were to die in Scotland, which is where she is currently residing at Balmoral Castle, Operation Unicorn would reportedly be enacted. Per The Independent, the plan outlines that if the Queen dies at her residence in Scotland, the Scottish Parliament will be immediately suspended and authorities will be “given 36 hours to prepare for a motion of condolence in the chamber.”
From there, she will be transported to Holyroodhouse, then St Giles’ Cathedral, before her coffin is ultimately taken to Waverley Station and transported on the Royal Train to London.
Where will Queen Elizabeth’s funeral take place?
Per Politico, the state funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey, which will be followed by a committal service in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. The queen will then be buried at Windsor Castle’s King George VI Memorial Chapel.
Queen Elizabeth Dead at 96: A Nation Mourns and Remembers Britain’s Longest-Reigning Monarch
1. The Queen Is Dead
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” the royal family announced. “The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
The gates to Buckingham Palace in London have since served as a memorial to Queen Elizabeth II, with many leaving flowers and other tributes to Her Majesty throughout the day.
2. Long Live the King
Thousands of mourners gathered outside Buckingham Palace on Thursday to pay their respects for the Queen’s 70-year reign, many climbing the Queen Victoria Memorial to see over the crowds.
Queen Elizabeth’s death follows her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, who died at age 99 in June 2021. She is succeeded immediately by her eldest son, King Charles III, 73, who is now the monarch.
3. Outside the Palace
Although Buckingham Palace has served as her official London residence, at the time of her death, Queen Elizabeth was at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where she spends her summers.
4. The Queen’s Home
Other mourners gathered outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire, which has served as the Queen’s main residence since Prince Philip died last year. The home is about 20 miles west of Buckingham Palace.
5. Paying Respects
Another makeshift memorial was arranged outside Windsor Castle as more people left flowers and other tributes.
6. Beautiful Tributes
Mourners also placed tributes at the base of Queen Victoria’s statue, which sits outside Windsor Castle.
7. Summers in Scotland
Others paid their respects outside Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where Queen Elizabeth died Thursday.
Buckingham Palace previously announced that the Queen was “under medical supervision” and doctors were “concerned” about her health, as members of the royal family rushed to her side at Balmoral.
8. For the Queen
In a display of solidarity, West Ham United and Romania’s FCSB lined up on the field at London Stadium to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth ahead of their UEFA Europa Conference League match.
9. Collective Grief
David Kessler, a grief specialist and founder of Grief.com, told PEOPLE that the Queen’s death has been felt so deeply by so many as “it is truly like a matriarch dying.”
“When we talk about collective grief, we often mistakenly think we need to know the person,” said Kessler. “What people often don’t understand is, that person was a part of our lives without ever meeting them.”
10. Operation London Bridge
The royal family has had a plan in place since the 1960s, in the event of the Queen’s death. According to Operation London Bridge, the U.K. will go into a period of mourning over the next 10 days as her funeral arrangements are made.
Her state funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey, before she is moved to her final resting place Windsor Castle’s King George VI Memorial Chapel.
11. A Son in Mourning
King Charles III paid tribute to his mother in a statement: “The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family.”
“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother,” the King continued. “I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”
12. Crowning a New King
Although King Charles III has already assumed the throne, his coronation will take place after several formalities are met.
“The coronation ceremony usually takes a year because it’s seen as unseemly, really, to have a coronation ceremony straight after someone’s death. It’s a long period of mourning,” Kate Williams, history professor at England’s Reading University and author of Young Elizabeth: The Making of the Queen, told PEOPLE.
13. Royal Bloodline
Charles’ firstborn son, Prince William, 40, is now next in line to the world’s most famous throne, followed by William’s firstborn son, Prince George, 9.
William and wife Kate Middleton have since taken on the titles of “Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge.” The Duke of Cornwall is traditionally held by the eldest son of the reigning British monarch, with his wife taking the Duchess title.
Megan Hilty Breaks Silence on the Death of Her Sister, Brother-In-Law and Nephew: ‘No Words’
Megan Hilty has confirmed the death of her sister, brother-in-law and nephew after a plane crash.
On Wednesday evening, the Smash star, 41, shared a heartbreaking post in which she mourned her family who died earlier this week.
Posting a photo of her sister Lauren Hilty, brother-in-law Ross Mickel, and their son Remy, Hilton spoke for the first time about their unexpected deaths.
“On Sunday afternoon, a small float plane crashed into Puget Sound off the coast of Whidbey Island. My beloved sister Lauren, brother-in-law Ross and baby nephew Remy were on that plane,” she began.
“To make this news even more devastating, my sister was eight months pregnant and we were expecting to welcome baby boy Luca into the world next month.”
She continued, “The last three days have been the worst of our lives. There are truly no words to appropriately convey the depth of our grief.”
Megan said that she didn’t plan on publicly addressing the losses, however, she felt she needed to after her “sweet nephew” was “misgendered” in the news and “some haven’t even mentioned baby Luca.”
She added that Ross and Lauren are survived by their daughter, “who we are all holding in our hearts.”
“Thankfully, she was not on the plane and we ask that her name and personal information be kept private as she is a minor,” said Megan.
The Broadway star added, “It is important these details be corrected to respectfully honor everyone we’ve lost and the loved ones they’ve left behind.”
She went on to acknowledge and express gratitude for the “outpouring of love and support.”
“It has been so comforting to know just how loved Lauren, Ross, Remy and Luca truly are,” Megan concluded.
After a float plane carrying 10 people crashed in Washington’s Puget Sound on Sunday, Megan’s three family members were among the passengers. The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed the passengers’ names in a press release on Tuesday, though they have recovered only one body, and the remaining nine people on board are still missing but presumed dead.
Ross was a well-known winemaker and owner of Ross Andrew Wineries. His family offered a comment on the loss to NBC affiliate KING 5 and confirmed Lauren was pregnant at the time of the crash.
“We are deeply saddened and beyond devastated at the loss of our beloved Ross Mickel, Lauren Hilty, Remy and their unborn baby boy, Luca,” the statement read.
“Our collective grief is unimaginable. They were a bright and shining light in the lives of everyone who knew them. Although their time with us was too short, we will carry their legacy forward.”
In addition to thanking first responders for the search, the family added, “The enormous outpouring and support we have received from our friends, family, and the public has been overwhelming. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who also lost loved ones on-board. At this difficult time, we are requesting that our privacy be respected as we grieve the loss of our family members.”
Doctor Strange 2’s Captain Marvel Actor Fondly Recalls MCU Return
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, aka Doctor Strange 2 star Lashana Lynch recently recalled learning about her return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Lynch made her debut in the MCU with the 2019 superhero blockbuster, Captain Marvel, as the titular hero’s best friend and colleague, Maria Rambeau. However, she made waves with her surprise return to the MCU in the Doctor Strange sequel as an alternate universe’s Captain Marvel.
Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and America Chavez (Xóchitl Gomez) bounced from universe to universe to escape Wanda Maximoff/Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). The two eventually landed on Earth-838, a world without the Avengers.
Instead, the superhero team was replaced by the Illuminati, another group consisting of popular characters such as Mr. Fantastic (John Krasinski), Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell), and Professor X (Patrick Stewart).
However, among its members was Maria, taking the mantle of Captain Marvel instead of Carol Danvers (Brie Larson). Lynch’s return surprised many as Marvel Studios managed to keep her appearance under wraps.
Speaking with Variety, Lynch fondly recalled her dramatic return to the MCU as Captain Marvel in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
The actor admitted that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige informed her long “before the world knew” that she would return in that capacity and called the experience “fantastic.” Read what Lynch said below.
“It was amazing. Kevin Feige told me a long time ago, way before the world knew what was happening with her, which was sad because I really enjoyed Captain Marvel and working with Brie and everyone.”
“But that nice to have this moment for us, actually, for the culture; that was a twist and turn that we never expected. And we were watching ‘WandaVision’ really happy that we get to see Monica’s backstory, but then this twist, these twists that Marvel puts on us without warning, my heart was like, ‘The world’s not gonna know what to do with themselves after this.’ It was fantastic.”
Lynch appears to have been overjoyed at the twist of her character’s return but also called it “sad” as she admits that she loved her time working on Captain Marvel with Larson. But, like many fans, she did not expect Maria to have a continuing presence within the MCU.
Her character first appeared in Captain Marvel, a film set over a decade before Iron Man, but then WandaVision revealed that Maria’s death occurred during the Blip. The character’s off-screen demise made it seem likely that Lynch would not return to a Marvel film, let alone as a superhero.
It was a surprise to many that not only did Maria make an appearance in the Doctor Strange sequel, but she was also Earth-838’s Captain Marvel.
Lynch calling the moment a “nice” one for the “culture,” likely referencing Black-American culture, shows her pride in a moment where a woman of color takes the mantle of a character as iconic as Captain Marvel.
But the moment also appears to reference that in the comics, Maria’s daughter, Monica Rambeau, was the first woman to take the name of Captain Marvel before later relinquishing the title and becoming Photon.
Although Earth-838 Maria was killed during her battle with the Scarlet Witch in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, due to the nature of the Multiverse and the breadth of the planned multi-year Multiverse saga, there may be a chance for Lynch to return as Maria one more time.
sneak peek here:
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