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The Secret Plan That Will Follow After Queen Elizabeth's Death

Here's what we know about the plan known as "London Bridge is down."
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Earlier this year, we reported on exactly what will happen when the Queen dies. And now, further details about the royal preparations have been made public. The Guardian published a deep dive into the secret plan for the days after the Queen's death. Here's what we now know about "London Bridge is down."

The plan dates back to the 1960s.

All the major players meet two to three times a year to refine the details and to inform the various non-permanent government officers, police, amd broadcasters of any updates or changes.

The Queen's private secretary, Sir Christopher Geidt, will then be the one to share the news with the prime minister.

A coded phrase, in this case "London Bridge is down," will be used so switchboard operators and civil servants won't be aware of the monarch's death until the news is publicly announced. However, now that the secret phrase is public, it's unclear if it will be changed.

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News outlets have done extensive preparation, and many have multiple days' worth of coverage already in the bank, but commercial radio stations have a plan as well.

In the event of a national emergency—in this case, the death of a monarch—the stations will commence with "obit procedure." A blue light will begin to flash, prompting DJs to play somber, inoffensive music until they can share the news coverage. “If you ever hear Haunted Dancehall (Nursery Remix) by Sabres of Paradise on daytime Radio 1, turn the TV on,” wrote Chris Price, a BBC radio producer, for the Huffington Post in 2011. “Something terrible has just happened.”

When the news is shared publicly, a footman will also pin a message to the gates of Buckingham Palace.

"While he does this," reports The Guardian, "the palace website will be transformed into a sombre, single page, showing the same text on a dark background.

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There are additional provisions if she dies abroad.

The Royal undertakers always have a coffin at the ready to be flown via jet to wherever she passes away. Should she die in Scotland, that "will trigger an initial wave of Scottish ritual," which includes additional places where her body will lie at rest, including Holyroodhouse and St. Giles's cathedral reports The Guardian.

Prince Charles will make a public speech on the evening of his mother's death.

His first address as head of state is already scheduled.

The 18th Duke of Norfolk, the Earl Marshal, will oversee the royal funeral.

Norfolks have been in charge of the process for centuries.

The Queen's Beloved Corgis could be involved.

According to The Guardian, there is precedent for a monarch's favorite animals to be involved in the mourning process. In 1910, the publication points out, "mourners for Edward VII were led by his fox terrier, Caesar."

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The coffin will have a "false lid."

To hold the crown jewels, which will be removed and cleaned on the day of the funeral. It will also be lead-lined.

Members of other European royal families who come to London for the Queen's funeral will stay at Buckingham Palace.

Other royals will stay at Claridge’s hotel.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.

* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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Caroline Hallemann
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