Inside the 10-day plan after Queen Elizabeth II’s death: NPR
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Queen Elizabeth II is mourned by her family, fans and admirers. In Britain, her death at 96 set in motion a state apparatus that has been dormant for 70 years – since Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, died in 1952.
The UK government dubbed the complex protocol for dealing with Elizabeth’s death “Operation London Bridge”. This ranges from rules of succession to the process of transporting the Queen’s coffin from Balmoral Castle in Scotland to London.
Plans for London Bridge were leaked to Politico last fall. Some details may have changed since then – but using them as a guide, here’s a quick look at what the documents say will happen in the first 10 days after the Queen’s record-breaking reign ends:
The royal house inform the public of the queen’s death. Prince Charles immediately succeeds to the throne upon the death of his mother. He will be known as King Charles III. His wife, Camilla, becomes queen consort. The couple spend the night at Balmoral.
Flags fly at half mast across the British government. Charles issues a brief statementin the same way British Prime Minister Liz Truss.
Many commemorations are planned, from moments of silence to military salutes and commemorations in honor of Elizabeth.
Charles returns to London. The Membership Council – a gathering traditionally held at St. James’s Palace – meets, usually within 24 hours of a monarch’s death. It formally declares the death of Elizabeth and the accession of the new king to the throne.
Parliament formulates a message of condolence and suspends its normal activities until after Elizabeth’s funeral.
Elizabeth’s body is transported from Scotland to Buckingham Palace in London. A ceremonial procession carries his coffin to Westminster. She rests in state at Westminster Hall for three days, during which the public can visit for 23 hours each day.
As final funeral preparations are underway in London, Charles travels to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, visiting leaders in the UK.
A state funeral service is held at Westminster Abbey, triggering the observation of two minutes of silence in the UK
After a final service in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, the Queen is buried on the castle grounds next to her husband, Prince Philip, who died in April 2021.