The Commonwealth realm’s longest-serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, has died, kicking off a period of mourning as well as a series of carefully crafted and detailed plans.
Plans for the next few days, dubbed “Operation London Bridge”, will include transporting the body of the late Queen to London, the ascension of the new King, as well as preparations for the Queen’s funeral.
Here’s what should happen over the next 10 days:
Because the Queen died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, a more complex set of protocols known as “Operation Unicorn” (named after Scotland’s national animal) involving Scottish rituals come into effect.
The Queen’s body will remain at the castle overnight and could be moved the following day to Crathie Kirk, a nearby church frequented by the late monarch. Two days after his death, his body is expected to be moved to Holyrood Palace in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh.
A ceremonial procession from Holyrood to St. Giles Cathedral along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is expected, followed by a service attended by members of the Royal Family. After the service, the queen will rest in repose for a period of 24 hours.
On the third day after his death, his remains will travel by royal train to London. When his remains arrive in London, his coffin will be carried to the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace.
CHARLES BECOMES KING
Charles became the new king immediately after his mother’s death, even before he was officially crowned or sworn in.
The day after the Queen’s death, an Accession Council made up of members of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom will meet at St. James’s Palace to officially proclaim Charles as King. The Privy Council is made up of 670 members, including senior politicians, judges and Church of England clergy, but only around 150 members are expected to meet given space constraints.
In keeping with tradition dating back to the 15th century, the Garter King of Arms – who is responsible for the governance of royal heraldry in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – will step out onto the balcony of St. James’s Palace and proclaim officially Charles as the new king. A 41-gun salute in London’s Hyde Park will follow.
At 6pm UK time on Friday, Charles is due to make his first public address as king. In the days that follow, the new King will attend a joint session involving both Houses of the British Parliament and embark on a tour of the United Kingdom, visiting Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
THE QUEEN’S FUNERAL
Five days after her death, a procession will take the Queen’s body from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the UK’s parliamentary estate.
Upon her arrival at Westminster Hall, the late Queen will be on public display for the next five days until her funeral. His coffin will be draped with a purple royal standard and soldiers will stand guard, alongside the Imperial Crown, Orb and Sceptre. Thousands and thousands of mourners, as well as members of the royal family, are expected to line up to pay their respects over the five-day period.
Ten days after the Queen’s death, the Queen’s state funeral, dubbed “Operation Scarlett”, is due to take place. While the monarchs’ recent funerals took place at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral is scheduled to take place at Westminster Abbey.
After the end of the service, a procession will bring her coffin to Windsor Castle, where she is expected to be buried.
With files from Reuters.