The death of Queen Elizabeth II triggered the Operation London Bridge protocols. It set in motion a series of planned events, accompanied simultaneously by Operation Spring Tide, the codename for Queen Elizabeth II’s son and heir, Charles, succeeding her on the throne as King Charles III.
The Prime Minister will be the first member of the government to make a statement on the death. Then, the PM will hold an audience with Prince Charles, who will deliver a broadcast to the nation.
The royal family’s website will then be changed to a black background, with a small message confirming the Queen’s death, and the UK government website will display a black banner, as will all government departmental social media pages.
Internally, the day of the queen’s passing will be referred to as D-Day, and each day after, until the funeral, which will take place on Day 10, will be referred to as D+1, D+2, and so on.
D-Day+1: The morning after Queen Elizabeth’s death, Charles will be sworn in as the new sovereign by the Accession Council.
D-Day+2: The queen’s coffin will be carried to Buckingham Palace.
According to rules, if she dies at Balmoral Castle, in Scotland, where she currently is, Operation Unicorn will be activated, per Politico, meaning her coffin will be transported to London via royal train. If that is not possible, Operation Overstudy will come into effect, and the coffin will instead be transported by plane. The prime minister and ministers will welcome it upon arrival.
There is an entirely different plan if she were to pass away at Sandringham.
D-Day+3 to D-Day+5: Charles will receive the motion of condolence at Westminster Hall and later start his tour of the United Kingdom as its new monarch.
When he arrives in Northern Ireland, he will attend a service at St. Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast. Meanwhile, a rehearsal will take place ahead of Operation Lion, when the queen’s coffin will be carried from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster.
A service will be held in Westminster Hall upon the coffin’s arrival.
D-Day+6 to D-Day+9: Queen Elizabeth II will lie in state at Westminster Hall in the Palace of Westminster for three days in what is being called Operation Feather. For 23 hours per day, visitors will be able to pay their respects. Tickets will be issued to VIPs for designated time slots.
Charles will travel to Wales to receive another motion of condolence and attend a service at Liandaff Cathedral in Cardiff ahead of the queen’s funeral, which will take place the following day.