This is not a drill. We repeat. This is not a drill.
Queen Elizabeth has been doing her job for 67 years – the longest reigning monarch we’ve ever had, and considering the Queen Mother lived to the impressive age of 102, we are sure that Liz isn’t going anywhere soon.
But with the Queen taking a step back from particular duties in recent years, allowing her son and heir Prince Charles to shine, people have been speculating around her health, and what would happen if she were to pass away.
According to The Guardian, there is a procedure in place for when the tragic time comes, known as ‘Operation London Bridge’, including the secret alert to the Prime Minister ‘London Bridge is down’ and how the 36 other countries in the Commonwealth will be notified.
The reported procedure also covers the mourning period after the news has been broken by a footman in mourning clothes, prompting an official period of mourning that will apparently last 12 days, between Queen Elizabeth’s death and her funeral.
Programming schedules will be interrupted and newsreaders will wear black as a mark of respect during the mourning period, with the BBC said to be cancelling all comedy shows for the 12 days after her death.
This is customary for the passing of a monarch, with the BBC stopping all comedy shows for a period of mourning after the death of the Queen’s father, King George VI in 1952, with the BBC stopping all comedy shows in the period of mourning.
This also occurred in June 2016, when comedy shows were cancelled for one day following the announcement of MP Jo Cox’s murder.
Marking the end of the official period of mourning following the Queen’s death, Prince Charles will reportedly become the King at 11am, with Prince William and Kate Middleton being officially made Prince and Princess of Wales.
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
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