Queen Elizabeth II has worn the crown for a good 65 years now. But we all know that that’s not going to last forever. Of course, Buckingham Palace and every major news outlet in the world is aware of that as well. Perhaps, that’s why they’ve all got plans in place for when the Queen finally croaks.
These specific plans have recently been shared by the Palace. And the way the details have already been meticulously prepared, each protocol arranged, seems a little creepy. Impressive, certainly, but unnerving as well, given that we’re talking about someone kicking the bucket.
Operation London Bridge
The expectation is that Queen Elizabeth’s death will occur shortly after a sickness. In her passing moments, her family and doctors are expected to be present. Professor Huw Thomas, who is her senior doctor, will be the gatekeeper – controlling both the persons and the news that come in and out of the room.
Queen Elizabeth’s death will pass the monarchy into the hands of Charles, but before anyone celebrates the rise of the new King of England, the world must mourn the Queen’s passing. Sir Christopher Geidt, her private secretary, will contact the Prime Minister with the phrase: “London Bridge is down.”
The news will travel first to the governments where Elizabeth II was head of state, and the nations of the Commonwealth. Memos released from the palace will inform the public of the news; the Palace’s website will be turned into a simple black page with a statement.
These kinds of preparations have mostly been in place for decades.
"I often draw strength from meeting ordinary people doing extraordinary things: volunteers, carers, community organisers and good neighbours; unsung heroes whose quiet dedication makes them special. They are an inspiration to those who know them" – The Queen. Her Majesty reflects on 'Inspiration' in her annual Christmas broadcast to the Nation and Commonwealth, from Olympic and Paralympic athletes to unsung heroes in the community. You can watch the #QueensSpeech on The Royal Family's YouTube channel. Click link in bio.
And that’s when the floodgates will open: BBC, Time, and every other major news organization will race to strike first online. Obituaries will be posted, videos in memoriam (probably already pre-edited) will be shared. Twitter and Facebook will flood with pieces that, many of which are probably already half-cooked up. Queen Elizabeth’s death will be the earthquake that everybody has been waiting for in a long – and they’re all ready to respond with a few easy buttons to push.
Bigger And Faster Than Ever
The way internet has evolved has tugged journalism along with it. When the last British monarch died – George VI in 1952 – the world found out through the printing press and radio. Now, news of Queen Elizabeth’s death will be blasted over social media and news websites, spreading like wildfire across the globe in a matter of seconds.
News organizations have therefore armed themselves to go bigger, to draw more eyes. Time is said to have 11 days worth of coverage prepped. Sky News and ITN have contracts with royal experts to get exclusive interviews for when the time arrives.
For many other celebrities – especially for those whose deaths were unexpected – it would take time to scramble the appropriate material for posting and airing. Just think last year to the likes of David Bowie and Prince.
Queen Elizabeth II is not just a celebrity, though. She’s a figurehead, an icon, a symbol, and for most of us, the only Queen that we’ve ever really known. In life, all eyes were on her. And apparently, so will they be in death.