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. But according to The Guardian, the palace envisions her dying of a short illness, surrounded by her family and doctors.
2. Her royal family members will not have control during her final moments
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.
3. Her death has a special code word
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 “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.
4. There will be 12 days of mourning
Following her death, there will be 12 days of mourning. This will allow both government officials and the public to pay their respects as funeral arrangements are prepared for.
5. She will lie in state
During the 12 days of mourning, the queen’s coffin will be put on display — 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.
6. Buckingham Palace (and its website) will mourn her death
As soon as the news 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 website will also go dark and transform into a single page featuring the same notice.
7. The BBC’s special royal alarm will sound
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.
8. Funeral attire only
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 on deck — for the announcement.
9. No laughter
The queen also wants control over what is aired on public television and has strict rules against 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.
10. She has special documentaries picked out
If no humorous programs will air, what will? The queen has already thought this one out. Instead of regular programming, Elizabeth has picked out select 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.
11. Prince Charles may never become the ‘official’ king
While Prince Charles will become the monarch, the council is not required to make him official. That said, he will become king from the moment Queen Elizabeth dies.
12. The Union Jack flag will be flown at half-staff, but the Royal Standard will not
When the queen dies, the Union Jack flag will be flown 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.
13. Prince Charles would swear loyalty to Parliament and the Church of England
As the new monarch, Prince Charles will swear loyalty to Parliament and the Church of England. In addition, he will take on another new role as supreme governor of the church.
14. He will also be allowed to change his name
When Prince Charles becomes king, he 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.
15. Prince William will become the new Prince of Wales
With his father’s new role as king, Prince William will also take on a new role and become the new Prince of Wales (his father’s current role).
16. Kate Middleton most likely won’t become Princess of Wales
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 his father’s role and becomes Prince of Wales, it is likely that Kate Middleton will not take her late mother-in-law’s title.
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