'Deep Frustration' at Buckingham Palace as 'Full' Details of Queen's Death Plan Get Leaked - Report
06:55 GMT 04.09.2021 (Updated: 15:15 GMT 28.05.2023)
© AP Photo / Joel RyanBritain's Queen Elizabeth II arrives for the funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher outside St. Paul's Cathedral, central London, Wednesday, 17 April 2013.
© AP Photo / Joel Ryan
Operation London Bridge that details the protocol surrounding Queen Elizabeth’s death and funeral was first created back in the 1960s and is frequently updated. As such, a new version of the plan that has just been leaked to the media includes an adjustment for the new reality of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Buckingham Palace is not at ease after “full” details of what will happen after the Queen dies were published by the media on Friday, leading to an inquiry into the leak, according to the Daily Mail.
Operation London Bridge has been long in the making. The arrangements for the monarch’s passing, mourning period and the state funeral were previously published by The Guardian in 2017.
However, the updated version of the plan, that will see a call to the British prime minister, a public message, gun salutes and a “spontaneous” service at St. Paul’s Cathedral, has been now revealed to a “full extent” by POLITICO.
This outrageous confidentiality breach has reportedly caused a “deep frustration” at Buckingham Palace.
“It is deeply troubling to have confidential documents of this nature leaked in their entirety. The [royal] household is understood to be deeply unhappy about what has happened,” one source familiar with the situation told the Daily Mail.
Buckingham Palace has declined to comment on the matter, but civil servants are said to have been digging deeper into the leak, while trying to understand if the media truly got hold of all the details around the highly sensitive arrangements.
© REUTERS / POOLBritain's Queen Elizabeth II arrives for the funeral of Britain's Prince Philip, who died at the age of 99, at St George's Chapel, in Windsor, Britain, April 17, 2021.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II arrives for the funeral of Britain's Prince Philip, who died at the age of 99, at St George's Chapel, in Windsor, Britain, April 17, 2021.
© REUTERS / POOL
The Daily Mail claims that the Cabinet Office will likely to launch a formal probe if it finds out that the fuller version of the plan with much more secretive specifics has now been made public. It is expected to review security around the documents.
While revealing the new version of Operation London Bridge, POLITICO noted that the 95-year-old Queen is “in good health by all accounts and there is no suggestion these plans have been revisited with any urgency”.
The Monarch is currently in Balmoral, her private Scottish estate, where she is holidaying for the first time since Prince Philip’s death in April.
What Will Follow the Queen’s Death?
According to the published plan, the British Prime Minister will be the first one outside of Buckingham Palace to learn about the Queen’s death. The news will be then passed to the Cabinet Secretary, the Privy Council, and government officials with a “call cascade”.
Only after that, an “official notification” will be sent out to the public through the media, as flags across Whitehall will be lowered to half-mast and gun salutes from the Ministry of Defence will be heard to mark the so-called ‘D-Day’.
During the ten days that will follow Her Majesty’s passing, her son Prince Charles will be proclaimed King by the Accession Council and will begin his tour around the UK, while the Queen’s body will be returned back to London and displayed at Westminster Palace for public visits.
The Queen is expected to be buried in the King George VI Memorial Chapel at Windsor Castle 10 days after her death, next to her late husband Prince Philip.