“London Bridge is down” is the phrase that has likely been echoing in government communications across the UK and the Commonwealth for the past few hours.
In collaboration with the palace, the government drew up a contingency plan called Operation London Bridge decades ago, and has periodically reassessed it. Though it includes planning for scenarios unlike what has unfolded today, the operation provides a guide for what the world can expect over the next few weeks as the news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death continues to sink in.
According to plans leaked by Politico Europe last year, the funeral will take place in 10 days. The queen’s body will travel by train from Balmoral Castle to Buckingham Palace. A national moment of silence will be observed, and a service of remembrance will take place at St. Paul’s Cathedral, where the queen was honored in a national service of thanksgiving in June.
Her eldest son is now King Charles III, though his coronation will not take place until well after a mourning period has concluded. He will first meet with the new prime minister, Liz Truss, and at 6 pm he will deliver a televised address to the nation. For the next 10 days, he will travel by train around the UK to mourn with various communities, first visiting the Scottish Parliament and St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh.