Secret documents reveal plans for the Queen’s funeral and anxieties about whether the UK has the resources to execute them
- There will be social media blackouts and retweets will be banned.
- The the royal family’s website will be changed to a black holding page with a short statement confirming the Queen’s death.
- The gov.uk website and all governmental social media pages will display a black banner.
- The state funeral will be held 10 days after her death.
- Her coffin will be taken on a procession from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster.
Secret document reveals UK government’s scale of strategy for the Queen’s death, British news and media website theguardian.com reports.
Per the report the secret documents as seen by Politico and codenamed Operation London Bridge, reveals the scale of the plans for the funeral and also state the government’s anxieties about whether the UK has the resources to execute them.
Security strategies for the funeral, with emphasis on the prominent roles social media will play, include social media blackouts and a ban on retweets, unless cleared by the government’s head of communications. Non-urgent contents will not be published.
There are also plans to change the royal family’s website to a black holding page with a short statement confirming the Queen’s death, while the gov.uk website and all governmental social media pages will display a black banner.
The documents again reveal plans for the Queen’s coffin to be taken on a procession from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster, where it will lie on a raised box known as a catafalque, which will be open to the public for 23 hours a day for three days. Tickets with a time slot will be issued for VIPs.
The state funeral will be held 10 days after her death and heralded as a “day of national mourning”, but it will not be an official bank holiday. If it falls on a weekday it will be left to the discretion of employers to give their staff the day off, and there will be no substitute day off if it falls on a weekend.
While the documents give the fullest picture of the government’s plans so far, some details have emerged over the years, including that the prime minister will be informed by a civil servant that “London Bridge is down”, while the death will be announced via a newsflash on the PA Media wire.
The emergence of the documents is not thought to reflect any deterioration in the health of the Queen, who is 95 years old.
The plans for Operation London Bridge and Operation Spring Tide, which sets out how Charles will accede to the throne, contain granular detail such as the potential for public anger if Downing Street cannot lower its flags to half-mast within 10 minutes of the announcement since there is no “flag officer”.
The documents also showed concerns from the Foreign Office over how to arrange entry for significant numbers of tourists, from the Home Office on how to handle potential terror alerts, and from the Department for Transport on overcrowding in the capital.
Internally, the day will be referred to as “D-day”, with each subsequent day leading up to the funeral referred to as “D+1,” “D+2” and so on. The UK parliament and the devolved legislatures in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will adjourn and parliament will be recalled if it is not sitting.
The Ministry of Defence will arrange for gun salutes to take place at all saluting stations and a national two-minutes’ silence will be announced.
Queen Elizabeth II, born 12th April, 1925 has been the Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms from February 1952 to present.
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