Queen Elizabeth II is the United Kingdom’s longest reigning monarch, which, among other things, means there’s long been talk of the massive, “disruptive” impact her death will have both on her own nation and the world. A new report by The Guardian brings the subject up again, going into great detail about the intricate ins and outs of what will happen when that day comes. It’s pretty fascinating.
There are the obvious things that will change, like the face of British currency and the national anthem switching back to “God Save the King.” But the palace plan for handling her death and succession ― reportedly called “London Bridge” or “the Bridge” ― includes plenty of less obvious, equally interesting things might happen in the moments, days and years after her death.
Here are five of them.
1. The first people to know will speak in code.
The queen’s private secretary, Sir Christopher Geidt, will be the first to be informed of her death, followed by the prime minister, according to The Guardian. When it happens, “civil servants will say ‘London Bridge is down’ on secure lines.”
2. Reporters will be sartorially prepared.
Previous reports suggested the news might be held until 8 a.m. if the queen dies overnight, but the Guardian now says it will be reported immediately. Either way, it will be delivered by reporters who are appropriately dressed in somber clothes.
“Every senior BBC presenter has to have a dark suit and black tie on standby in which to announce the death of a senior member of the royal family,” according to the Daily Beast’s Tom Sykes. Vice notes this is due to the fallout when, in 2002, Peter Sissons had on a red tie as he announced the Queen Mother’s death.
3. The palace website will go dark.
News of Queen Elizabeth II’s death will be blasted out to the Press Association. That same text will appear on the palace website, which The Guardian said will be “transformed into a sombre, single page.”
4. You will be able to visit her coffin.
In the days after her death and leading up to her funeral, the queen will lie in state for the public to come visit. Business Insider reports that her coffin will sit in Westminster Hall, where “there will be a short ceremony to mark the coffin’s arrival, after which the public will be able to file past and pay their respects.”
More than 200,000 people filed past the Queen Mother’s coffin, a number Business Insider says the queen will “easily eclipse.”
5. Her dogs may be invited to the funeral.
Queen Elizabeth II’s love of corgis knows no bounds, so it only makes sense they might be invited to help celebrate her life. The Guardian reports that just as “the mourners for Edward VII were led by his fox terrier, Caesar,” the queen’s corgis might attend her funeral.
For now, though, we’ll continue to wish her good health and celebrate her long life, which has no doubt had an impact on millions of people around the world. Read the entire new report at The Guardian.