October 9th, 2017 | Updated on February 14th, 2020
When the Queen dies a highly detailed plan of how the nation will be told and what happens in the next days and hours will swing into action.
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It includes a special codeword for the Queen and a detailed plan with everything from her undertakers name to the number of pall bearers and the length of gunfire salute in her honour.
Her last hours are likely to be overseen by her senior doctor, gastroenterologist Professor Huw Thomas, who will control access to her room and help decide what information should be made public.
According to a report when she dies it will be Sir Christopher Geidt, the Queen’s private secretary, who will spread the news, first contacting the prime minister.
The Queen will be known by the codeword “London Bridge” and civil servants will say “London Bridge is down” on secure lines.
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When the Queen Mother passed away on the afternoon of Easter Saturday, in 2002, at the Royal Lodge in Windsor, she had time to telephone friends to say goodbye, and to give away some of her horses.
This time, a gastroenterologist named Professor Huw Thomas, will be in charge.He will look after his patient, control access to her room and consider what information should be made public. And then… the Sovereign’s eyes will be closed, and Charles will be King.
The first official to deal with the news will be Sir Christopher Geidt, the Queen’s private secretary and a former diplomat, who will contact the Prime Minister.
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Extensive plans for managing the immediate aftermath of the death of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch have been revealed.The death of Queen, who has reigned for more than 63 years, will be reported to the public much faster than it took to announce the death of George VI. The King was found dead at 7:30am on February 6, 1952, but the BBC did not announce his passing until 11:15am.
The news of the Queen’s death will dominate the headlines for days and months, with news organisations already stacking up stories to run in the aftermath.
The Times, for example, has already racked up stories for 11 days worth of coverage. Broadcasters ITN and Sky News have reportedly been rehearsing the announcement of the Queen’s death, referring to her with the pseudonym ‘Mrs Robinson,’ and signed contracts with royal experts to speak exclusively on their channels.
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Footage of King George VI’s funeral procession in Windsor
The Queen Mother being carried to London Westminster Abbey