Politico published the detailed, banal plans for the ten days after the Queen’s death

Queen Elizabeth II watches her horses compete on the second day of the Royal Windsor Horse Show

Late last week, Politico published a piece called “Britain’s plan for when Queen Elizabeth II dies.” It’s not new information that there are detailed plans in place for when QEII passes, nor is any of it much of a secret. The Queen herself organized some or most of the plans, especially with regards to her state funeral. The detailed plans have always gone by the code name Operation London Bridge, and in 2017, the Guardian published what was then the most extensive look at the minute-by-minute plans for what will happen literally the second the Queen dies. Politico basically just has even more information, based on the updates which happen during each prime minister. Plus, Politico got information about Operation Spring Tide, the plan for King Charles’ accession. You can read the full piece here. Here are a few details I found interesting:

Banal to ridiculous: The details of the schedule for the 10 days between the queen’s death and her funeral range from the banal to the ridiculous. In one document, Downing Street raises concerns it would face a wave of public anger if it cannot lower its flags to half-mast within 10 minutes of activation and may have to rely on an external contractor. In another, it’s decided retweets will be banned across Whitehall departments unless cleared by the government’s communications chief.

The day the Queen dies will be called D-Day: Internally, the day will be referred to as “D-Day.” Each following day leading up to the funeral will be referred to as “D+1,” “D+2” and so on.

Government ceases to function: The U.K. parliament and the devolved legislatures in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will adjourn. If parliament is not sitting, it will be recalled.

Social media. The royal family’s website will change to a black holding page with a short statement confirming the queen’s death. The U.K. government website — GOV.UK — will display a black banner at the top. All government departmental social media pages will also show a black banner and change their profile pictures to their departmental crest. Non-urgent content must not be published. Retweets are explicitly banned unless cleared by the central government head of communications.

Charles will address the nation: The prime minister will then hold an audience with the new king, and at 6 p.m., King Charles will deliver a broadcast to the nation.

Where the Queen dies: If the queen dies at Sandringham, her residence in Norfolk, eastern England, her body will be carried by royal train to St. Pancras station in London, where her coffin will be met by the prime minister and cabinet ministers. If she dies at Balmoral in Scotland, Operation UNICORN will be activated, meaning her body will be carried down to London by royal train if possible. If not, Operation OVERSTUDY will be triggered, meaning the coffin will be transferred by plane. The PM and ministers will attend a reception to welcome the coffin.

[From Politico]

There’s so much more, and I get why so much of it is being planned out, if only for the funeral arrangements and the British government trying to coordinate travel plans and visiting heads of state coming in for the funeral and wanting an audience with the new king. Something notable: while they have twenty million code names and plans for everything, there will be no immediate plan to invest Prince William as the Prince of Wales. Granted, that will likely be sorted out concurrently with the plans for Charles’ formal coronation, but I think it’s interesting that from the looks of it, Charles’ heir is not included in all of the immediate D-Day and D-Day+10 planning.

Anyway, apparently Buckingham Palace is really mad that an American outlet published the detailed D-Day plans. There’s a lot of breast-beating in the royal-commentariat too. Oh well.

State Opening of Parliament

Royal Portrait

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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50 Responses to “Politico published the detailed, banal plans for the ten days after the Queen’s death”

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  1. Nina says:

    I find it very interesting that this was published now, in US outlet

  2. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    I think I’ll go on holiday out of the country for those ten days. Just throw the old bag into a hole in the ground while I’m gone.

    • ArtHistorian says:

      Government ceasing to function because the death of the monarch is ridiculous! The moment the monarch dies, a new monarch is a fact! Plus, England is a constitutional monarchy so there’s no real reason for this to happen. It is just rank obsequiousness.

      I really hope that things won’t be this ridiculous in Denmark when Daisy leaves this mortal coil.

      • Eurydice says:

        Parliament adjourning doesn’t mean the government ceases to function, otherwise nothing would get done anywhere when Parliament is on summer holiday. And half of “constitutional monarchy” is “monarchy.” So, there will be some national days of mourning and a great big funeral, because she’s been Queen for as long as 4 generations can remember.

      • equality says:

        @Eurydice Shutting down their websites when there might be people needing to access for services is shutting down, isn’t it? I’m sure nobody is worried about what politicians are doing those days but what about lower levels of government such as human services?

      • Eurydice says:

        @equality – I don’t see where the government will shut down its websites. All it says is that there will be black banners on the sites and that they won’t be posting non-urgent content on their social media, meaning they will post urgent content. A day of mourning shouldn’t be any different than a bank holiday.

      • Krystina says:

        The government sites are not shut down. The public can still access the services provided. Government sites will put up a black banner on their site. Not shut it down.

  3. JEM says:

    It’s morally reprehensible that there is a monarchy at this point. It needs to be over already. It’s all excess and secrets and stupid rules and it’s embarrassing. Eat the rich and start with monarchies, then move on to Jeff Bezos.

  4. Seraphina says:

    ROFL——Yeah, we got Henry and Meghan and the plans of when Liz dies. To kick it up a notch, we aired the dirty laundry via Oprah and published the plans. Stew in your salty juices BRF.
    Brings a quote from the movie 300 to mind, but I’ll change it: THIS IS THE US!!! Sorry but not sorry. Can’t stand the BRF. I hope they get their walking papers after Liz dies.

  5. BayTampaBay says:

    “The PM and ministers will attend a reception to welcome the coffin.”

    This is a joke right??? A reception to welcome a coffin? What will they be serving at this reception?

    • Lady D says:

      Gotta admit, that’s the first time I’ve ever heard of a reception to greet a coffin. I’m assuming the RR’s will also have a front row seat if they want.

    • Eurydice says:

      Yes, I wonder what the catering menu will be. But perhaps they mean a group will receive the coffin.

    • Mac says:

      I think they should model her funeral on Philip’s. Hold it as Windsor and limit it to 30 family members. Save the pageantry for Charles’ coronation. At least he will be alive to enjoy it.

  6. Snuffles says:

    Man, it feels like some people are ready to kill off Betty.

    • JT says:

      Seriously. The Keens are about ready to take over Windsor castle right now and Charles is getting ready to toss everyone on their asses. Betty better be sleeping with one eye open. No wonder she still communicates with Harry; he’s probably the only one who isn’t making plans upon her death.

    • Becks1 says:

      It does feel that way, doesn’t it? Maybe she is a lot sicker than the public realizes, and that’s why we’ve been getting the aggressive pro-Kate stories, the whole “William and Kate are moving to Windsor” narrative, and the pushback against Charles right now (because some want to hamstring his reign from the start?)

      I dunno, but these stories are a little weird by this point.

      • JT says:

        I think I’d be afraid if I were the queen. It’s a complete vipers nest in there with everyone watching her every move to try and control her. The courtiers control who and when she can see anybody and people wonder why she physically drove herself to see Harry immediately upon his arrival. She even has to hide her communications with Harry in order to speak to him in private. She isn’t saint by any means and she’s done some awful things, but I don’t envy her life one bit. It’s like everyone is waiting for her to die so they can can get their piece of the pie.

  7. (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

    Truly, NONE of this is “new” news. It’s been played out before, with the deaths of her predecessors, incl. her mother and father. Frankly, it’s a waste of 10s of millions of £££££s at a time when the money could be actually used to feed people and fund the NHS, which they keep saying is on the verge of collapse (to the point of starting to charge people more in their taxes; I think it was over £200/year more per person).

    And if she dies w/in the time range of this pandemic, can you imaging what a humongous super-spreader event it will turn into, with people crowding to see the train, the laying in state, funeral, etc???

    It should just be televised for anyone who *wants* to see it, and save the money to be better spent.

    • terra says:

      That the NHS is on the verge of collapse when Nigel Farage traveled around the country in a tour bus telling people to vote yes on leaving the EU so that the dues could go to the NHS instead is infuriating – and I’m an uninsured American in a state that didn’t expand Medicaid under the ACA!

      People who vote against their own interests (and screw things up for everyone else in the process) will never make any sense to me, despite already knowing that people tend to vote more in support of their own worldviews rather than based on a rational understanding of the facts.

  8. iconoclast59 says:

    I love to read all these details; I find them fascinating. To me, they all make sense. It’s good to have a plan in place, so everybody knows exactly what to do and there’s no quibbling over the details. I imagine a great many people in the UK will feel unmoored when QEII dies; she’s been a fixture in their life for generations. So it’s good that there’s a detailed plan to follow.

    On an unrelated note, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen that photo of George standing on the books. William still looks good there; it’s before he evolved into a PWT.

  9. Well Wisher says:

    Just disgusting. Remember dirty water always find to the lowest point. Yuck.

  10. Case says:

    The monarchy will be over when the Queen dies. How are they planning to handle that?

  11. Leanne says:

    Didn’t it take a while for Charles to be crowned Prince of Wales?

    • Becks1 says:

      He was named Prince of Wales pretty young – I forget how young, I looked it up a while ago. He was not officially invested via a ceremony until he was 18 or 20ish. But he has been the prince of wales for most of his life.

      ETA just looked it up again, lol – he received the title in 1958, the official ceremony was in 1969.

      • Merricat says:

        What are the chances Charles will just keep it? Maybe he wants ALL the titles, from DoE to PoW to King to whatever else he can pick up. If he has all the titles, does he think it means he wins?

      • Becks1 says:

        @Merricat – LOL maybe! I do think he will hold off making William PoW for a while, at that point it will be the only thing he has left to use as leverage to make William work. (or pretend to work.)

      • equality says:

        I am in hopes that the Welsh will protest like they did when Charles got the title.

  12. Eurydice says:

    I saw this in a bunch of outlets last week, but
    I didn’t see anything about BP outrage. Maybe I was too focused on Piers Morgan rushing out of the GQ event and running into a glass door with his big fat head.

  13. Woke says:

    The only thing that will make Charles acceptable as a monarch is for him to drastically reduce the cost of the monarchy in a meaningful way and make it more like the others Europeans houses. But I’m not sure their empire mentality will allow it. From this they really are gonna go extra on the pomp and pageantry I’m not sure it will go well with the public.

  14. Kiddo says:

    The death of a monarch as well as the ascend of the next monarch is hardly banal as that is the time when political coups or putschs mostly happen mostly.

  15. Melly says:

    Who cares. Black Brit here of Jamaican, Cuban and Grenadian descent. I want my reparations from that evil institution.

  16. Chill says:

    Sorry, this is NOT A WAR. My dad was in D Day +3. It was not good. Have some respect.

  17. LittlePenguin says:

    Is any of this really a surprise? I’m Canadian and because she is technically our head of state, I know that newspapers have published ( looks like for at least the last 5 years) plans for what happens in the UK and here when she dies. Everyone is ready for it and I am betting they just hope it doesn’t happen during a federal election.

  18. Amy Bee says:

    I saw the Daily Mirror and royalists being outraged about this but I think it better for the public to know what will happen when the Queen dies.

  19. Lizzie says:

    It’s not surprising that William’s investiture as POW is not listed. That might not happen for years. It’s probably one of the few things Charles has to hold over his head to keep him in line.

  20. Julia K says:

    And yet the queen looks happier and more relaxed since Philip died. No funeral anytime soon.

    • booboocita says:

      Oh, good — it’s not just me. She looks decidedly more chipper than she did before Phil’s passing. Hmmmm …