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Britain and World Mourn the Death of Queen Elizabeth II

The United Kingdom and the world remember Britain's longest-serving monarch who died at the age of 96 after a 70-year reign.
Britain and World Mourn the Death of Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II, the UK's longest-serving monarch, has died at Balmoral aged 96, after reigning for 70 years. She died peacefully on Thursday afternoon at her Scottish estate, where she had spent much of the summer, reports BBC News.  

Queen Elizabeth II has died (BBC News)

Excerpt from BBC News: The Queen came to the throne in 1952 and witnessed enormous social change. Her son King Charles III said the death of his beloved mother was a "moment of great sadness" for him and his family and that her loss would be "deeply felt" around the world. He said: "We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother. "I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world." During the coming period of mourning, he said he and his family would be "comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which the Queen was so widely held". Senior royals had gathered at Balmoral after the Queen's doctors became concerned about her health earlier in the day. All the Queen's children travelled to Balmoral after doctors placed the Queen under medical supervision.
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According to the Washington Post, It’s not every day a serving British monarch dies. There has to be a plan. And so, with the death of Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 96 on Thursday, the long-awaited "Operation London Bridge" swung into action.

Operation London Bridge: The plan for after Queen Elizabeth’s death (Washington Post)

Excerpt from the Washington Post: Named after a former London landmark that was forever "falling down," Operation London Bridge was the code word attributed to a formally choreographed sequence of events that would occur after the death of the British monarch. The not-so-secret plan has never officially been released, though versions of it have been leaked several times over the years. It is designed to ensure not only that the news of the queen’s death was broken in a dignified manner and her memory commemorated, but also to ensure the continuation of the royal throne as Britain’s head of state. According to one account of the procedure published by the Guardian after a 2017 investigation, the news of the queen’s passing would be privately announced by the queen’s private secretary with a coded phrase: "London Bridge is down."
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According to the Guardian, here is the chronology of mourning events, which will include ceremonial processions, a period of lying in state, and the King’s formal proclamation.

D+0 (Friday 9 September)
Charles III and the Queen Consort arrive in London from Balmoral. The King holds his first audience with the prime minister, Liz Truss. He is also expected to meet the Earl Marshal, the position held by the Duke of Norfolk, who is in charge of the accession and of the state funeral. The carefully choreographed plans include Operation Unicorn, the contingency in the event of the Queen dying in Scotland.

The King will make a televised address to the nation and the Commonwealth, which he will have pre-recorded earlier in the day.

The prime minister and senior government will attend a public service of remembrance at St Paul’s Cathedral.

The King declares that royal mourning, observed by the royal family, their households, and ceremonial troops, will last until seven days after the funeral, which is expected, but not yet confirmed, to be on Monday 19 September. The government is expected to announce that the day of the funeral will be a public holiday and a day of national mourning.

Under the official plans – codenamed London Bridge – Thursday, the day of the Queen’s death, would have been D-day or D+0, but this changed due to the announcement being late in the day.

UPDATE: King Charles III, in his first address to the nation as sovereign, made clear his intention to carry on his mother’s legacy while honoring her service, telling the nation in a televised speech, "Our values have remained and must remain constant." (New York Times)

D+1 (Saturday 10 September)
The accession council meets at St James’s Palace to formally proclaim Charles as the new sovereign. The privy council gathers first without the King to proclaim him the new monarch. The King then holds his first privy council, accompanied by Camilla, the new Queen, and William, who are also privy counsellors, and makes his personal declaration and oath. Proclamations are made at the City of London. Charles will hold an audience with the prime minister and the cabinet.

The Queen’s coffin remains at Balmoral.

D+2 (Sunday 11 September)
Proclamations in the devolved nations are expected to be made simultaneously at noon in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. The Queen’s coffin is expected to be moved by hearse from Balmoral to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh by road to rest until the following day.

D+3 (Monday 12 September)
A ceremonial procession is expected along the Royal Mile to St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh.

A ceremonial procession is expected along the Royal Mile to St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh.

It is thought there will be a motion of condolence at Westminster. The King will begin visits over coming days to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as part of Operation Spring Tide.

D+4 (Tuesday 13 September)
The Queen’s coffin is expected to be flown to London and to lie at rest at Buckingham Palace. A rehearsal for the ceremonial procession will be held in London.

D+5 (Wednesday 14 September)
This will see the first big ceremonial in London as the Queen’s coffin is borne on a gun carriage from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall for her lying in state. A short service inside Westminster Hall is expected to be attended by members of the royal family. The lying in state begins, with hundreds of thousands of people expected to file past the coffin to pay their respects over the next five days. At some stage, senior members of the royal family are expected to stand guard around the coffin, the tradition known as the Vigil of the Princes.

D+6 (Thursday 15 September)
The Queen’s lying in state continues.

D+7 and D+8 (Friday 16 and Saturday 17 September)
The King continues with visits to the UK nations and meetings in London. The Queen’s lying in state continues, and is expected to end on the morning of her funeral.

D+9 (Sunday 18 September)
Heads of state and members of foreign royal families are expected to start arriving in London for the state funeral.

D+10 (Monday 19 September)
The Queen’s state funeral is expected to take place at Westminster Abbey. Her coffin is expected to be transported on a gun carriage pulled by naval ratings from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey, with members of her family processing on foot behind. The service will be televised, and a national two minutes of silence held.

After the funeral, the Queen’s coffin will be taken to Windsor Castle for a televised committal service. The coffin will be lowered into the royal vault, and her final resting place will be the King George VI memorial chapel at St George’s chapel, Windsor. A private burial interment service will be attended by senior members of the royal family.

What happens now? The 10 days of events after death of Queen Elizabeth II (Guardian)

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Continuing coverage from the Guardian can be found here.

Read more about Queen Elizabeth from our June 4th Edition:

Special Report: Queen Elizabeth II
A retrospective on the 96-year-old queen and longest-reigning monarch in British history.

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