“I say, Charles, don’t you ever crave / To appear on the front of the Daily Mail / Dressed in your Mother’s bridal veil?” sang Morrissey on The Smiths’ legendary song The Queen Is Dead back in 1986.
Well, the moody Mancunians started counting their chickens a bit too early as more than thirty years later, Queen Elizabeth II is very much alive. On the 6th of February this year, she became the longest reigning monarch in the history of Britain, having spent 65 years on the throne.
No matter what anyone thinks of the British royal family, their popularity home and abroad is undeniable. That, however, does not mean that plans are not in place for the inevitable departure of the soon-to-be-91 monarch.
Last Thursday (the 16th of March), the carefully laid-out and extensive plans for the day when Elizabeth II shuffles off this mortal coil emerged to the British public. As in the cases of former monarch deaths, everything is planned out. From who alerts whom about the news, how it is done, how the media are informed and everything that needs to be carried out so the country goes through the transition process as smoothly as possible.
Reportedly, officials will use the code words ‘London Bridge is down’ to inform each other the Queen has died. Her private secretary will call the Prime Minister with the coded message. This, in turn, will set off a series of carefully planned events about how the death will be handled and the news reported.
“It will be 10 days of sorrow and spectacle in which, rather like the dazzling mirror of the monarchy itself, we will revel in who we were and avoid the question of what we have become,” The Guardian writes.