Operation London Bridge: Leaked document reveals how public will be told when the Queen dies

Queen Elizabeth II during an inspection of the Balaklava Company, 5 Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland at the gates at Balmoral, as she takes up summer residence at the castle. Picture date: Monday August 9, 2021.
Detailed plans of what will happen in the event of the Queen's death have been revealed for the first time. (Getty)

Details of plans for what will happen when the Queen dies have been revealed for the first time in leaked documents. 

The Queen, who was 95 in April, continues to carry out a healthy diary of public engagements.

There has been widespread speculation about what will happen in the event of her death for a number of years. In 2017, it was revealed that the code name that would be used in the event of passing was 'Operation London Bridge'.

Now, documents obtained by the POLITICO news website have revealed step-by-step what will happen following the Queen's death when it happens.

According to the plans, the day of Her Majesty's death will be dubbed 'D-Day' with each day afterwards leading up to her funeral known as 'D+1', 'D+2' etc.

A "call cascade" will inform the Prime Minister, the cabinet secretary and a number of the most senior ministers and officials. Senior civil servants will inform ministers using the phrase: "We have just been informed of the death of Her Majesty The Queen.” They will then urge discretion.

The public will find out for the first time when an "official notification" is released by the royal household, the plans say.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23:  A general view of number 10 Downing Street on February 23, 2010 in London, England. As the UK gears up for one of the most hotly contested general elections in recent history it is expected that that the economy, immigration, the NHS and education are likely to form the basis of many of the debates.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
A 'call cascade' will inform the Prime Minister of the Queen's death, according to plans obtained by POLITICO. (Getty)

On the same day, the new King Charles will meet with the Prime Minister and then will deliver a broadcast to the nation at 6pm.

The Queen's funeral will take place 10 days after her death, according to the plans which warn of concerns over the number of people who will travel to the capital in the aftermath of the Monarch's death 

One memo reportedly warns that London could become "full" for the first time ever, stretching services like public transport, healthcare, accommodation and policing to breaking point. 

Unexpected details within the plans include a ban on 'retweets' by government departments' social media pages. 

Queen Elizabeth II smiles during a visit to Manchester Cathedral to hear about the support they have given to the local community during the last 18 months. Picture date: Thursday July 8, 2021.
The day of the Queen's death will be referred to as 'D-Day', according to the documents. (Getty)

According to POLITICO, all departmental social media pages will show a black banner and change their profile pictures to their department crest. It also notes that the plans say non-urgent content must not be published, and "retweets are explicitly banned".

While the day of the Queen's funeral will be a 'Day of National Mourning', making it effectively a bank holiday, it will not be called by that name, the documents suggest, and if the funeral falls on a weekend or existing bank holiday, an extra bank holiday won't be granted. 

The plans also suggest that the government doesn't plan to order employers to give employees the day off if the funeral falls on a weekday - and instead will leave that to them to decide. 

Previous reports have revealed that a footman in mourning clothes will be sent out of a door at Buckingham Palace to pin a notice of the news to the gates, while the official palace website will feature just one page, displaying the news on a dark background.

Television news, including Sky and ITN, have already signed up royalty experts to speak to them exclusively, while rehearsals on delivering the news that have taken place for years will be put into action.

Newsreaders will be wearing black suits and outfits, while regular television coverage will be cancelled to switch to the news.

Commercial radio stations have blue lights that begin flashing in the wake of a national tragedy – these will alert DJs to switch to the news and play “inoffensive music” in the lead up to the announcement to millions listening in cars and trains across the country.

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