Operation Unicorn: Here's What Happens Now That Queen Elizabeth Has Passed Away
16:59 GMT 08.09.2022 (Updated: 15:21 GMT 28.05.2023)
© Jane BarlowQueen Elizabeth II, left, welcomes Liz Truss during an audience at Balmoral, Scotland
© Jane Barlow
The details of 'Operation London Bridge' — the plan for national mourning and the funeral ceremony for the queen — have previously been reported in the media. But a supplementary plan for her death while visiting Scotland also exists, dubbed 'Operation Unicorn' after the Scottish national animal that adorns the royal coat of arms.
With Buckingham Palace confirming Queen Elizabeth II’s passing on Thursday, this is what will happen now.
The British monarch was under "medical supervision" at her Scottish residence on Thursday after her doctors became "concerned" over her condition. Four members of the royal family — heir Prince Charles, Princes Andrew and William, as well as Princess Anne — had rushed to her side by the afternoon.
Later in the day, the royal family confirmed that the Queen had died "peacefully" at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
The details of “Operation London Bridge” — the plan for national mourning and the funeral ceremony for the Queen — were widely discussed in the media in February, when a US celebrity website prematurely announced her death.
But a supplementary plan for her death while visiting Scotland also exists, dubbed “Operation Unicorn” after the Scottish national animal that adorns the royal coat of arms.
According to the scheme, first revealed in 2019, Holyrood Palace, St Giles' Cathedral, and the Scottish parliament building in Edinburgh will be centers of public gatherings and mourning.
Business in the devolved assembly will be suspended for six sitting days to allow the authorities to prepare for her state funeral.
23 February 2022, 16:17 GMT
The Queen's coffin would lie in state at Holyrood before being carried along the Royal Mile to St Giles for mourners to pay their respects. Her remains would then be taken to Edinburgh's Waverly railway station to be carried to London on the Royal Train — to be met by the prime minister, the cabinet and other dignitaries.
Similar plans have been drawn up by the governments of Commonwealth nations Australia, New Zealand and Canada in event of the Queen passing away while on a visit to their territories. Even online TV streaming service Netflix has a plan to halt production on its royal drama The Crown for a week in the event of her death.
The Scottish Daily Record reported that representatives of the government, police and media are believed to meet three times a year to update the plans for the Queen's death and funeral.