No Laughter and Other Strange Rules Queen Elizabeth Has Planned for After Her Death

queen elizabeth at buckingham palace
Queen Elizabeth II has some detailed plans for her death. | Chris Jackson/WPA Pool/Getty Images

When it comes to events, Queen Elizabeth II loves to plan — so much so that she’s even planned her own death. And while some things are obvious (i.e., her successor will become monarch), other details are quite strange. From her cause of death predictions to her strict “no laughter” policy to how it will affect the royal family, find out what will happen when the queen dies.

1. The queen will die after a short illness

Now, no one really knows how the queen will die. (Even the queen can’t predict the future.) But according to The Guardian, the palace envisions her dying of a short illness, surrounded by her family and doctors. So that’s the scenario for which the royal family has prepared.

Next: The royal family won’t be in charge of this moment. 

2. Her royal family members will not have control during her final moments

(L-R) Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince George of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Harry and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (R) watch the fly-past from the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the Trooping The Colour ceremony on June 13, 2015 in London, England.
Her doctor will be in charge. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

While the palace’s predictions may be inaccurate, one thing is for certain: Queen Elizabeth II’s senior doctor, Huw Thomas, will be in charge. The gastroenterologist will have full control over her room as he looks after her during her final moments. He will even be in charge of what information goes public and what stays within the family.

Next: The queen has already designated a code word. 

3. Her death has a special code word

Queen Elizabeth in fur
The code is “London Bridge is down.” | Eddie Mulholland/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II has given her death a secret code: London Bridge. And upon her death, her private secretary, Sir Christopher Geidt, will contact the prime minister with the message, “London Bridge is down.” Following their conversation, the news will spread to the governments where the queen is head of state and the Commonwealth countries — then onto the rest of the world.

Next: She has specified a period of mourning. 

4. There will be 12 days of mourning

Kate Middleton wearing black
Government officials and the public will pay their respects. | Eddie Mulholland-WPA Pool/Getty Images

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, there will be 12 days of official mourning. The official mourning period will give both government officials and the British public enough time to pay their respects as the royal family makes funeral arrangements for the monarch.

Next: Her coffin will go on display. 

5. She will lie in state

British Parliament
Members of Parliament will be allowed in before the public. | Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

During the 12 days of mourning, the queen’s coffin will be put on display — or in official terms, lie in state — for those who wish to pay their respects. That said before the public is allowed in, both houses of Parliament will sit to say their farewells to the queen.

Next: Buckingham Palace will post a notice. 

6. Buckingham Palace (and its website) will mourn her death

Buckingham Palace
A notice will hang on Buckingham Palace’s gates. | Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

As soon as the news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death goes to press, a mourning footman will place a black-edged notice on Buckingham Palace’s gates. And, since we live in a digital world, the Buckingham Palace website will also go dark and transform into a single page featuring the same notice.

Next: Londoners will hear this alarm. 

7. The BBC’s special royal alarm will sound

Queen Elizabeth II
The BBC has an alert system for any major royal’s death. | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

While the press may be contacted in a more modern way, BBC has a special alert system that is designed to withstand an attack and also notify journalists of the queen’s — or other major royals’ — death. According to The New York Post, most BBC staff have only heard the Cold War-era “radio alert transmission system” used in tests.

Next: Even after her death, everyone has to follow these rules set by the queen.

8. Funeral attire only

Britain's Prince Charles (R) Prince Andrew (L) and Prince William (C) walk behind the Gun Carriage bearing the coffin of the Queen Mother April 9, 2002 as it makes its way to Westminster Abbey during her state funeral April 9, 2002 in London.
A black suit and tie are a must. | Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

Speaking of BBC, the queen has strict rules for their announcement attire. When the queen dies, news anchors are expected to immediately change into a black suit with a black tie — which they have waiting on deck — to announce the queen’s death to their audiences.

Next: People can’t do this on TV.

9. No laughter

queen elizabeth in a blue suit
Public channels will have to avoid humorous programming. | Chris J Ratcliffe/AFP/Getty Images

The queen also wants control over what is aired on public television, and she has established strict rules against on-air laughter following her death. For the 12 days between her death and her funeral, BBC and other public channels are strictly forbidden from airing any humorous programming.

Next: She’s also chosen some of the specific shows that will air. 

10. She has special documentaries picked out

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip
Documentaries about her life will air. | AFP/Getty Images

If no humorous programs will air, what will? Queen Elizabeth II has already thought this one out. Instead of regular programming, Elizabeth has picked out specific documentaries about her life. These documentaries have been pre-recorded and will air on TV following her death.

In addition to her funeral arrangements and 12 days of mourning, some other logistics — such as anointing a new king — will also have to take place. Keep reading to find out what Prince Charles’ official title will be and why Prince William and Kate Middleton will no longer share a name.

Next: What about Prince Charles?

11. Prince Charles may never become the ‘official’ king

Prince Charles of Wales
Prince Charles might not get the official title. | Carl Court/Getty Images

While Prince Charles will effectively become the new monarch after the queen’s death, the council is not required to make him official. That said, he will become king from the moment Queen Elizabeth dies, with or without the official title.

Next: Here are the rules about flags. 

12. The Union Jack flag will fly at half-staff, but the Royal Standard will not

A Union Flag is seen with Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben)
The Union Jack will be at half-staff. | Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Another rule that the royal family has established? When the queen dies, the Union Jack flag will fly at half-staff, but the Royal Standard will not. That’s because the throne is never without a ruler, as her successor becomes a monarch from the moment she dies.

Next: Prince Charles will have to do this.

13. Prince Charles would swear loyalty to Parliament and the Church of England

Prince Charles will take on the role of supreme governor of the Church of England. | Abdelhak Senna/AFP/Getty Images

Though he automatically becomes king when Queen Elizabeth II dies, Prince Charles will have to make a few promises. As the new monarch, Charles will swear loyalty to Parliament and the Church of England. Also, he will take on another new role as supreme governor of the church.

Next: He also gets this privilege. 

14. He will also be allowed to change his name

Prince Charles and Kate Middleton
He can choose either his Christian name or one of his middle names. | Justin Tallis/Getty Images

When Prince Charles becomes king, he may or may not become “King Charles.” When ascending to the throne, royals have the option to choose either their Christian name or one of their middle names as their “regnal” name. That said, Prince Charles Philip Arthur George could become King Charles, or he could become King Arthur, King Philip, or King George.

Next: What about Prince William?

15. Prince William will become the new Prince of Wales

Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton are standing next to each other holding beers and smiling.
Prince William will assume his father’s role. | Richard Pohle/AFP/Getty Images

When Prince Charles assumes his new role as king, Prince William will also take on a new role and become the Prince of Wales (his father’s current role). But because of this change in titles, Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, may no longer share a title.

Next: Does Kate Middleton get a new title?

16. Kate Middleton most likely won’t become Princess of Wales

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton likely won’t take the title that belonged to Princess Diana. | Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images

When royals marry, the bride takes her husband’s official title. That said, when Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, married Charles, Prince of Wales, she did not become Princess of Wales out of respect for Princess Diana. Once Prince William ascends to his father’s current role and becomes Prince of Wales, it is likely that Kate Middleton will not take her late mother-in-law’s title.

Read more: Strange Etiquette Rules Members of the Royal Family Must Follow at All Times

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!