Leaked documents reveal the huge operation that will be launched in the hours and days after the death of Queen Elizabeth II of England.
Government departments have been instructed to have flags at half-mast within 10 minutes of the announcement, with Cabinet members set to be called with the sad news and urged to show “discretion”.
Prince Charles – who will become King upon his mother’s passing – will address the nation on the day of her death, while the Prime Minister will be the first government member to issue a statement.
The Queen will be buried 10 days after she dies, it is expected, and Charles will embark on a tour of the UK before the burial is held.
The sovereign’s coffin will lie in state for three days at the Houses of Parliament, with authorities anticipating hundreds of thousands of people to descend on London – sparking fears over gridlock, policing and even food shortages.
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Any other Parliamentary business is set to be suspended for 10 days, it is reported.
Details of what will happen, named Operation London Bridge, have been leaked to Politico, which reports that officials will refer to the day the Queen dies as ‘D Day’.
The Queen, who has reigned since February 1952, is now 95. There is no indication that she is in poor health, and plans for her funeral have not been urgently revised recently, Politico reports.
The Prime Minister will be one of the first to be informed of the monarch’s passing, with the news set to be delivered in a call by the Queen’s private secretary.
Members of the Privy Council Office will also be informed.
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Ministers will receive a call while an email will be sent out to senior politicians and civil servants stating: “Dear colleagues, It is with sadness that I write to inform you of the death of Her Majesty The Queen.”
A notification will be released by the royal household informing the public of the monarch’s death, while the news will also be shared on social media.
Details for her funeral will be announced, and the new King Charles will deliver a televised broadcast at 6pm.
The PM will hold an audience with the monarch.
Ministers will be instructed not to comment until the Prime Minister has made a statement, while the Ministry of Defence will organise gun salutes.
A minute of silence will be held across the country.
D Day plus two
At 10am the following day, Politico reports, members of the Accession Council – an official body which includes senior government figures and members of the Privy Council – will proclaim Charles the new king.
A proclamation will be read at St James’ Palace and the Royal Exchange, while MPs will meet to give tributes in the House of Commons.
The PM and cabinet members – who will not be allowed to bring their partners – will meet with Charles at 3.30pm.
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D Day plus 2
This is the day that the Queen’s coffin will be returned to Buckingham Palace.
How this is done depends on where she is when she dies – if she is at Sandringham her body will be taken by royal train to St Pancras, where the Prime Minister and cabinet members will be waiting.
However, if she is at Balmoral it is possible that she may be flown back to London, Politico reports.
D Day plus 3 and 4
Day three is the day that Charles will begin his tour of the UK.
According to the leaked documents, he will visit the Scottish Parliament and attend a service at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh.
The following day he will receive a motion of condolence at Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland and will attend another service, this time at St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast.
Meanwhile in London rehearsals will be taking place for the funeral.
D Day plus 5
A procession will take place between Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament, with a service set to take place in Westminster Hall.
Following this the Queen will lie in state for three days, with members of the public allowed to view her coffins.
Dignitaries will be issued with tickets giving them a time slot.
Day plus 6 to 9
Rehearsals for the funeral will be held on the sixth day after the monarch’s death.
The following day Charles will visit the Welsh Parliament and a service will be held at Cardiff’s Liandaff Cathedral.
The government will be wrestling with logistical concerns ahead of the huge event, with hundreds of thousands of people expected to descend on the capital.
This has sparked fears of gridlock and even food shortages, as well as strain on police and health services.
The day of the Queen’s funeral
This will be a Day of National Mourning, but employers will not be compelled to give staff a day off.
The funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey, and a two-minute silence will be held across the UK at noon.
A committal service will be held at St George’s Chapel, which is at Windsor Castle, where the Queen will be buried at King George VI Memorial Chapel.