Laughter is Forbidden for 12 Days After Queen Elizabeth Dies

It could be tomorrow or it could be ten years from now. But there’s no escaping the sad fact that eventually, Queen Elizabeth will pass away and her record-breaking reign — the longest in British history — will end.

When Her Majesty dies, a perfectly orchestrated sequence of events will go into effect. The Palace has already anticipated a variety of different scenarios and has a distinct protocol for what could happen if the queen passes at home, at her summer residence in Balmoral, or elsewhere. One thing that doesn’t change? There will be 12 days of mourning following Queen Elizabeth’s passing. This grieving period is so serious that the public will be discouraged from laughter.

Here are some of the more surprising things that will occur when the queen dies.

Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth | Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Getty Images

The mourning period for Queen Elizabeth will be quite serious

It may seem morbid for most people to think about, but planning for her death is in perfect accordance with Queen Elizabeth’s highly organized and methodical nature. And now we know exactly what to expect when it does happen.

Her Majesty’s death will kick off a 12-day period when the whole nation will remain respectful and somber. During this time, a black-edged notice will appear on Buckingham Palace gates announcing the sad news. The Palace website will also be transformed into a black single page with the same words displayed.

Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace | Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

During this time, the BBC will refrain from airing any comedies or humorous television content. This is done as a sign of respect for the queen to discourage people from laughing. News anchors are required to change into dark, mournful apparel before making the announcement about the queen’s death on TV.

Prince Charles will finally step into his new role

Though plenty of royal fans advocate for altering the line of succession to favor Prince William, there’s almost zero chance of that happening in a family so steeped in tradition. Not to mention Prince Charles has been waiting literally 70 years for his shot at the throne. His time will be here soon.

After Queen Elizabeth passes, Prince Charles will automatically become the king even though the official coronation won’t happen right away, and certainly not during the mourning period. Charles will swear his loyalty to Parliament and the Church of England. At this point, he may also decide on a new name or could just keep it simple as “King Charles.”

Prince William will become the new heir apparent and Prince of Wales, but don’t expect Kate Middleton to be called Princess of Wales even if that’s technically what she’ll be. It’s likely no one will ever use Princess Diana’s title again.

The world will always remember Queen Elizabeth

Though it’s sad when anyone dies, there’s no denying that Queen Elizabeth had a long, fruitful life and her legacy will last forever. She’s overseen so many changes in the monarchy and the world. Because of her role, Her Majesty is universally loved and helped make the monarchy as popular as it is today.

Queen Elizabeth’s successor has some pretty big shoes to fill, but Prince Charles has had plenty of time to prepare. Hopefully, he’s ready to carry on her good work and keep her vision for the British monarchy alive!