The news of the Queen's death will be 'official' only after a note confirming the same is pinned onto the palace gates.
The British Royal family is an institution that continues to fascinate the world, and Queen Elizabeth II is much revered. She ascended the throne at the age of 26 in 1952 after the death of her father, King George VI, and is England's longest-reigning monarch. The Queen, 95, has recently been having health issues and has also missed a couple of planned events, leading to speculation that she could be seriously ill. All those who have followed the lives of the British Royal family closely are wondering what the eventual death of the Queen will mean and how it will change the dynamics of the institution. The country and the world will mourn the loss of the Queen but the British Royal family has long had detailed, meticulous protocols that will be followed in cases when a monarch passes away, and here are the events that'll follow the Queen's death.
1. The Queen's Private Secretary will break the news of her death
As per protocol, it will be Sir Christopher Geidt, Elizabeth II's private secretary, who will break the news, and he will first inform the Prime Minister, who will then pass on the news to 15 other countries of which Elizabeth II is head of state, reports Ranker. Following this, the 36 other nations in the Commonwealth, including Canada, New Zealand, and Australia will be informed. Only after official communication is passed on to these countries will the Queen's death be made public. The news of her death will be 'official' only after a note confirming the same is pinned onto the palace gates.
2. New King
When Queen Elizabeth II dies, her son, Prince Charles will immediately become king. Prince Charles will take the coronation oath and be anointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, but the ceremony will take place only a year later. Prince Charles could be in for a name change, becoming King Charles III, but he could also choose a new name or choose from their middle or Christian names, reported Parade.
3. London Bridge protocol
The Queen's death will activate a protocol codenamed "London Bridge," which will call for 12 days of mourning ending in the installation of a new monarch. The phrase "London Bridge is down" will confirm she has passed away. The palace website will be changed to a single black page confirming the news of the monarch's death and a statement will be given to the press.
4. Alternative plans if she doesn't die in London
If the Queen passes away during her travels, outside of London, her body will be brought to London in a royal jet with a royal coffin and royal undertakers. If she dies in Scotland, where she usually spends a few months a year, then a full Scottish ritual will take place at the Scottish royal palace, Holyroodhouse, before her body is transported to London via train.
5. Media have prepared for her death
Television and radio presenters have already written the script for the eventuality. Those working in TV will wear black and many channels are believed to have a week's worth of coverage ready for when the Queen dies. While it may seem strange to many, it's common in Britain to iron out the details for such events. Queen Victoria even detailed the contents of her own coffin as early as 1875.
6. Will the Queen's body lie in state?
Yes, the Queen's body will be kept in the throne room at Buckingham Palace, before being moved to Westminster Hall. Her coffin will be filled with glittering crown jewels. Her body will be available for the whole country to see and it will be a huge event. There have been rumors that her beloved corgis could lead the funeral procession.
7. Will Camilla become queen?
While there is no definite answer on this, the Duchess of Cornwall could become Queen Camilla, with an official role as Queen Consort. Some say she’ll only become Princess Consort and not the queen.
8. Will Queen's funeral be televised?
Yes, the funeral will be televised in full but it is forbidden to film royal family members during the service.
9. Prince Charles' first duties as King
The Queen's funeral will be held 10 days after her death and during that period, Prince Charles, the new king, will take a four-day tour of Britain to greet his new subjects and receive pledges of allegiance from members of their respective governments, to meet members of the public, and to attend memorial services for the queen.
10. Coins and stamps containing Queen's image will be phased out
Once the Queen passes away, there will be no more coins or stamps produced with her image on it, and eventually, it will be phased out. Her images will be replaced by the new monarch, which in this case would be that of Prince Charles. Rumor has it that Prince Charles has already posed for pictures for the same.
It was once considered treason to speak of a monarch's potential death, a crime punishable by death but, well, times change.
Cover image source:
Left: Getty Images | Photo by Victoria Jones - WPA Pool
Right: Getty Images | Photo by Arthur Edwards-WPA Pool