17 Things That Will Follow Once Queen Elizabeth Passes Away
There is a question that nobody wants to ask, but it is an imminent one: What will happen when Queen Elizabeth II dies? It is hard to imagine the UK without her long-lasting monarch, but we have to remember that she started ruling in the early 50s, meaning that she has been sitting on the throne for 66 years, so nobody can live forever.
One day, the Queen will leave this world. Now, if you thought that after her demise, the palace would just play it by ear, you are totally wrong. There is already a number of plans in place when the dreadful day comes. You will be astounded at the level of preciseness of the program for the days following the Queen's death. Take a look!
1. Contacting the Prime Minister
Sir Christopher Geidt, the Queen's private secretary, would have to inform the Prime Minister about the death immediately. Then, apparently using the code phrase "London Bridge is down," the 15 governments where Elizabeth is the head of the state and the 36 nations of the Commonwealth will be informed.
2. A new king
The British throne cannot be left unattended, so in the event of the Queen's demise, her son will automatically be proclaimed King Charles III in a ceremony held at St. James's Palace. Even his siblings will have to kiss his hand. Although many will not be pleased, it is very likely that Camilla takes the title of Queen Consort.
3. Notifying the world
The British Press Association and the rest of the media will be informed as well. Meanwhile, a footman donning mourning clothes will pin the demise announcement to Buckingham Palace's gates, just as they do with royal births. The official palace website will shut down, and the same message will appear.
In the interim, news organizations will be printing and airing pre-produced memorial montages and eulogies, whereas radio stations will transmit prepared playlists of songs appropriate for the mood. According to Chris Price, a BBC radio producer, something terrible occurred if you listen to If you ever hear by Sabres of Paradise.
4. Passing away abroad
If the unfortunate event happens outside the UK, her body will be transported back home in an emergency coffin that is kept ready in a BAE 146 jet from the Royal Air Force's No. 32 Squadron. If it happens at Balmoral, her remains will be guarded at Holyroodhouse until a service at St. Giles Cathedral.
After that, her body will be taken to London by the Royal Train, while crews throw flowers to the cortege. Once in the capital, her body will lie in state in the throne room of Buckingham Palace, whereas journalists and news will start to gather next to the Canada Gate in Green Park in previously-arranged areas.
5. Printing tickets
The first part of the preparation of the funeral and the new monarch's proclamation is to print around 10,000 tickets for guests. The government team will meet to organize armed forces, transportation, police, and security at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
6. A speech
It can be safely assumed that Charles will be the king, but anything can happen while that day comes. But if that is the case, his first address as a monarch will take place in the evening of his mother's death to give some prepared words that will be broadcast on worldwide TV, radio, and the Internet.
7. The Parliament
The supreme legislative body will be recalled within hours of the ruler's decease. If they are on recess or abroad, they will be expected to return as a matter of urgency. Then, members will start swearing oaths of allegiance to the new head of state, and the two thrones will be changed for a chair with a cushion with a crown outline.
8. National condolence
Town halls, museums, and libraries will have condolence books featuring loose-leaf pages. Provincial cities will erect big screens to follow the events, mayors will cover public decorations, and all flags in the United Kingdom, including those at beaches, will be placed at half-mast.
9. The day after
The day following the Queen's death, Charles will be proclaimed king in a gathering of the "Lords Spiritual and Temporal of this Realm," held by The Accession Council. During the assemblage, a clerk will read the formal declaration, and Charles will swear to protect the Church in Scotland.
10. A ritual proclamation
The Life Guards' trumpeters will step onto the roof viewing the Friary Court and play their instruments three times, and the Garter King of Arms will begin the ritual proclamation of the king, restating the news at the statue of Charles I in Trafalgar Square. At Hyde Park, a 41-gun salute will be fired off.
A red string will hang across the road marking the boundary of the old City of London Outside the Royal Courts of Justice. The City Marshall will be waiting to receive the Garter King of Arms and his heralds to make more formal statements of Charles' accession to the throne.
11. A royal tour
As a king, Charles will head off on an immediate four-day trip around the country, visiting the public in Edinburgh, Belfast, and Cardiff, attending the remembrance services for his late mother, and meeting with the leaders of developed governments.
Many people will attend the funeral that should take place after nine days of mourning. Therefore, several receptions will be held at the palace in order to receive the myriad heads of state and diplomats coming to London. These gatherings should not be considered entertainment but serious business instead.
13. Funeral preparation
Westminster Hall's floor will be covered with 1,500 meters of carpet, and hundreds of candles will be taken from the Abbey. Public ceremonial spaces will also suffer a transformation, erecting bleachers in zones like the Horse Guards Parade and Carlton House Terrace. Ten pallbearers will start practicing to carry the coffin.
14. Moving the body
The ruler's remains will be relocated to Westminster Hall, where they will lie in state for four days, but the transportation won't be simple. There will be a grand military parade for the half-a-mile procession from Buckingham Palace, similar to the Queen Mother's, with a plan for crowds control based on the 2012 Olympics.
It is very likely that her corgis lead the procession since that was what happened in 1910 with Edward VII's death; his fox terriers led the mourners. At precisely 9:00 am, hour announced by Big Ben, the parade with the funeral carriage will arrive at the front of the hall.
During 23 hours every day, mourners will be allowed to pay their respect, and it is expected that around half a million citizens line up during the four days that her body will lie in state. For the Queen Mother, 220,000 visited in person. Four soldiers will stand vigil in 20-minute shifts.
15. The funeral
For the funeral day, the stock market will be closed, and perhaps for more days during the twelve-day mourning period. Stores and other institutions will shut their doors for the day. Moreover, the ceremony will become a national holiday in many Commonwealth countries.
16. The funeral part II
It will take place at precisely 11 am at Westminster Abbey, and around 2,000 guests will be inside. The coffin will be moved from the hall, a few meters away, to the Abbey. When it starts, the entire country will be in silence. The service will be broadcast on TV, but cameras will be studiously placed to avoid the faces of royals.
17. Once the service is over
The monarch will be located on the same green gun carriage that carried her father's casket to start another procession to the mall. After that, she will be carried to Windsor Castle by hearse for 23 miles. The broadcasting will stop as the cloister gates shut.
She will be buried at a royal vault in the family chapel of Windsor Castle. A private ceremony with the royal household will be held. While her coffin descends to the crypt, Charles will drop red earth from a silver bowl onto the coffin.