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Royal Family death code names: Secret protocol codes to be used when Queen and Philip dies

Queen’s coronavirus speech discussed by experts

Plans coming into force upon the Queen’s death have been widely reported in the past. According to these reports, the monarch’s death will be announced to the Prime Minister through a secure line using the code words “London Bridge is down”.

This is because the Queen has been assigned the code name London Bridge.

After the political leader of the country is made aware of the death of the monarch, the Prime Ministers and governors-general of all the other territories of which the monarch is head of state will also be alerted.

Similarly, the leaders of the countries member of the Commonwealth, of which the Queen is the head, will be among the first to be notified.

The public will later be told via the media, alerted by news agency Press Association.

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As the news breaks for the public, a footman in mourning clothes will emerge from a door at Buckingham Palace to pin a black-edged notice to the gates.

The Royal Family’s official website will also change and, for a limited period of time, it will no longer present several webpages tinted in royal blue but will only show a single, sombre page on a dark background.

The Queen is neither the first or only member of the Royal Family who has been assigned a code name with the aim of communicating the passing in a swift and private way.

Her father King George VI, who died on the Sandringham Estate on February 6 1952, had received the code name Hyde Park Corner.

His wife the Queen Mother was also given a code name – Tay Bridge – and her funeral plans had been rehearsed and revisited for 22 years before her death occurred in 2002.

However, Operation Tay Bridge was launched also following the untimely and unexpected death of Princess Diana in July 1997.

Prince Philip is believed to have been assigned the code name Forth Bridge.

This choice is apt considering the Duke of Edinburgh’s title, as Forth Bridge is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Edinburgh.

Prince Charles’s code name is said to be Menai Bridge.

The name of the Operation to be reportedly used when Charles will die has links to his title of Prince of Wales.

The Menai Suspension Bridge is a Welsh bridge which connects the island of Anglesey with the Welsh mainland.

Younger members of the Royal Family are not believed to have been assigned a code name linked to funeral plans yet.

However, a royal source has claimed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are given code names, which change regularly.

The insider told the Daily Star: “If anyone got hold of a phone belonging to a royal aide or security team member, they won’t find Harry Windsor and Meghan’s names in it.

“It is far too risky in the wrong hands. They get given code names but they are changed regularly for obvious reasons.”

The use of code names to launch royal funeral operations has been recently depicted in the latest season of Netflix’s show The Crown.

In an episode showing Prince Charles being feared dead following an avalanche at Klosters in Switzerland where he was on a skiing holiday, the Queen’s private secretary says: “We have contingency plans in place for all members of the royal family, ‘Menai Bridge’ is no exception.”

Speaking to Prince Philip, the fictional Queen adds: “We’re all bridges, the choice of name was to suggest a link between this life and the next.”

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