Will Queen Elizabeth Be Evacuated From London If Brexit Causes Riots?

The safety of the British royal family is taken very seriously. And now that there are rumors of riots or other social unrest in the wake of the Brexit controversies in London, their top safety officials are reviewing the plan for what will happen if things get out of control. If the turmoil escalates, there’s a possibility that Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and other senior members of the British royal family will need to be evacuated.

As Dai Davies, a former police officer in charge of royal protection explained,  “If there were problems in London, clearly, you would remove the royal family away from those key sites.”

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II | Bruno Vincent/Getty Images

What is Brexit?

Brexit is the shortened form for “British exit” and refers to the United Kingdom’s intention of leaving the European Union (EU). The EU is a collective of 28 countries who have trade deals together and allow citizens to travel easily between member countries. The U.K. signed up to be part of this group in 1973.

When it comes to staying or leaving, the group is pretty split – the side that voted to leave the EU only won with a 52% majority, meaning 48% wanted to stay. That’s why experts fear the riots could become violent as tensions run high.

What does Queen Elizabeth think of Brexit?

Brexit
Brexit | Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

As with other political issues, Queen Elizabeth and the entire royal family has not publicly voiced their opinions on Brexit. She is politically neutral and refrains from commenting on current affairs, though she did plead for both sides to find “common ground” and “never lose sight of the bigger picture.” It’s clear that the Queen hates seeing her country divided over the issue and would consider rioting a pointless display of violence.

“The continued emphasis on patience, friendship, a strong community-focus and considering the needs of others are as important today as they were when the group was founded all those years ago,” Queen Elizabeth said.

What is the evacuation plan for Queen Elizabeth?

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip | Alastair Grant/AFP/Getty Images)

However, security officials must always hope for the best while planning for the worst. Several newspapers speculated that plans dating back to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis were being reviewed to effectively plan for extracting the royal family safely from London. This plan, called Operation Candid, would remove key British royal family members from the city and relocate them to rural countryside locations for their protection.

“These emergency evacuation plans have been in existence since the Cold War but have now been repurposed in the event of civil disorder following a no-deal Brexit,” a source from the British Cabinet Office told the Sunday Times.

Will the Queen evacuate?

Still, many people are saying the evacuation plans are “silly” and insist the royal family members will stay put. After all, the royal family famously stayed in London during World War II and in doing so, became a beacon of hope for the British people.

“The Royal Family remained in London throughout WW2, even when the Luftwaffe was raining bombs on the capital. But in opaquely sourced stories the Sunday Times and Mail on Sunday claim Brexit means the Queen might have to be ‘evacuated’. Truly doth Brexit make some media mad,” journalist Andrew Neil said in a tweet.

The Brexit vote is scheduled for March 29. Until then at least, the royal family is staying right where they are.