The palace has a plan for exactly what will go down when their beloved monarch passes on.
1. Operation “London Bridge” will go into effect
Queen Elizabeth II has been around for most everybody’s entire lifetime.
At 92 years old, she is the longest-reigning British monarch, having taken the throne at the young age of 25 in 1952.
So understandably, it’s hard to imagine what will happen when she is no longer with us.
Although her father died at the young age of 56, her mother lived to the ripe old age of 101, so longevity is in her blood.
But death is undefeated, and – as is the English way – there are careful plans for Elizabeth’s passing to assure the situation is handled gracefully, respectfully, and full of the tradition, pomp, and ceremony the Queen deserves.
This plan, the Guardian reports, is called “London Bridge.”
In 1952, upon the death of her father, the young Elizabeth Alexandra May Windsor became Queen Elizabeth II.
Sixteen months of intricate preparations led to her coronation – an event of supreme pomp and ceremony that heralded the beginning of a new Elizabethan Age, as citizens across the world emerged from the shadows of war into an era of confidence and prosperity.
Now travel back to the pages of Reader’s Digest 1952, when we gave readers a glimpse of the ultimate royal party planners in full flight.
2. Code words will be spoken
According to the Guardian‘s in-depth investigation, after receiving the news from the Queen’s doctor, the Queen’s private secretary – currently Edward Young – will call the Prime Minister, currently Theresa May, and say “London Bridge is down.”
Then Britain’s Foreign Office will call the 15 governments where the Queen is head of state and the 36 nations in the Commonwealth, an association of independent former colonies where she remains a symbolic figurehead, to let them know the sad news.
On April 21, 2016, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 90th birthday. As the longest-reigning British monarch, mother of four, grandmother of eight and great-grandmother of five, her life has been devoted to service – and doing it with flair.
3. People will find out in ways both modern and ancient
Once all the really important people know, everyone else across the United Kingdom and the world will find out – you’ll probably remember for the rest of your life where you were when you heard the news.
All press outlets will be informed at once, the Guardian reports, with a news release.
At the same exact moment and in keeping with tradition, a footman in mourning clothing will post a black-edged notice to the gates of Buckingham Palace.
Also at the same time, the royal family’s official website will show the announcement on its homepage.
All of this needs to fall into place precisely so that no false info gets out – as happened when the press passed around a rumor the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, had died (nope, he was just retiring and is still going strong at 97 years old).
Prince Philip was born on June 10, 1921, in Corfu, Greece. His life story is far more interesting than the caricature.