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What Is Operation London Bridge?

Ever Hear of Operation London Bridge? It's Code For a Major Royal Event

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II visits the Royal Academy of Arts in London on March 20, 2018.The Royal Academy of Arts has completed a major redevelopment of its galleries for the academy's 250th anniversary year. During the course of the visit, Her Majesty will also have an opportunity to view the Royal Academy's current exhibition 'Charles I: King and Collector'. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Alastair Grant        (Photo credit should read ALASTAIR GRANT/AFP/Getty Images)

If you've ever wondered what happens when Queen Elizabeth II dies, then you're not alone. Although it is a morbid thought, and many believe in the "long live the Queen" chant, one day the current Monarch will pass away, and when she does, Operation London Bridge goes into full effect.

We know what you're thinking, what on earth is Operation London Bridge? The good news is, we actually know what this relatively-secret operation is and what happens when it is put into motion, and of course we're giving you the breakdown to help you keep calm and carry on.

When George VI died, he had a code phrase to signal that he was gone, but not to alert the public right away. It was "Hyde Park Corner," and the current Monarch, aka the Queen, will have one of her own when the time comes. According to The Guardian it is "London Bridge is down," and the first person of political clout to be called and told the code phrase will be the Prime Minister, after the Queen's private secretary, Sir Christopher Geidt.

The words, although simple and seemingly harmless, will signify that the Queen has passed away and will then launch the rest of the Royal Family and the powers in politics to put into action Operation London Bridge, The Independent reported last year. This operation will eventually lead to the Queen's funeral, and even though it'll be a sad day, it's one that everyone in the Queen's circle is prepared for . . . at least when it comes to the plan of execution.

After the Prime Minister is notified, the Foreign Office's Global Response Centre (which is in an undisclosed area of London) will tell the 15 governments that the Queen also rules as to what has happened. It will then spread to 36 other nations of the Commonwealth in which Her Majesty has been a symbolic figurehead.

The world leaders, ambassadors, governors general, and more are then notified. Only then does the news spread to the general public through a newsflash to the Press Association and global media outlets. It will hit the presses first via the BBC, because it is always the first to learn of royal deaths. At the same moment that it hits the presses, the announcement will be posted outside of Buckingham Palace — on the gates — keeping with tradition.

According to reports, there are numerous publications that already have stories about the Queen's death ready to go, and even have royal experts on contract to speak about the occasion. Once all of these things take place, Britain will go into mourning, and Prince Charles will become King beginning the next morning at 11 a.m.

"It will be 10 days of sorrow and spectacle in which, rather like the dazzling mirror of the monarchy itself, we will revel in who we were and avoid the question of what we have become," The Guardian reported.

What's even more interesting is that before the Queen is officially laid to rest and buried, her coffin will "lie in state" for four full days. The funeral is set for 12 days after her death, and will take place at Westminster Abbey. Talk about a whirlwind!

While Operation London Bridge is most likely the plan of action when Her Majesty passes, Buckingham Palace hasn't commented on The Guardian's story, nor have they laid out funeral plans for when it happens . . . at least not publicly.

Image Source: Getty / Alastair Grant / AFP
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