Dr Anna Whitelock on future levels of interest in the Royal Family
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Royal Family members are hugely significant not only to their loved ones but also to the world. This means protocols and plans for key life milestones are planned in advance to ensure these occasions are handled sensitively, effectively and in an orderly fashion. Plans for Prince Philip’s death, which were enacted earlier this year, had been in the planning for several years – all under an important code name.
The Royal Family has a set of secret code words which can be used to update individuals on certain events concerning members of the Firm.
In the fourth series of Netflix drama The Crown, the Queen’s private secretary mentioned these code names.
He said: “We have contingency plans in place for all members of the Royal Family.”
The Queen then informs her husband Prince Philip some of the code names for the death of certain Royal Family members.
She said: “We’re all bridges, the choice of name was to suggest a link between this life and the next.”
Prince Philip died in April and the code name for his death was Forth Bridge.
Forth Bridge is a bridge in Edinburgh – and it was picked due to his title, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Operation Forth Bridge included a set of procedures which took place after he died.
The plans had been in place for years and were regularly updated to reflect Philip and the Queen’s wishes.
The first part involved the announcement of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death – the official statement made by Buckingham Palace to the BBC and Press Association.
When the Queen dies, it is believed the code words “London Bridge is down” will be used.
The Queen’s private secretary will be the one responsible for informing people of this important news and beginning the planned protocol.
Her mother’s code name was Tay Bridge – a bridge located across the Firth of Tay in Scotland.
Operation Tay Bridge described the death and funeral plans for the Queen Mother which were rehearsed for 22 years before the term’s eventual use in 2002.
When the Queen’s father King George VI passed in 1952, the palace told government officials using the code phrase “Hyde Park Corner”.
But it is not only in the tragic event of her death that she uses a code name.
When she is going out and about, police, military and other officials use the name Sharon to refer to her.
This name was chosen many years ago and was picked because using such an ordinary name often deterred anyone who may have attempted to hack radio waves looking for information about her whereabouts.
Generally, officials shorten this name to S.
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Prince Charles is next in line to the throne and therefore he has been given many code names throughout his life.
The first is Unicorn and this name was used during a royal visit to the United States in 1971.
There is no official explanation for this name, but the Secret Service gave him this code name during his time across the pond.
Upon the death of the Queen, Prince Charles will become king – and there will be a large British coronation ceremony to mark the important occasion.
The code name Operation Golden Orb has been used to describe this occasion due to the gold ball topped with a cross which the Prince of Wales will carry during the coronation ceremony.
Sadly, Prince Charles also has a death code name.
In 1988 he disappeared during a ski trip and the Royal Family were told to prepare for the worst.
The code name Operation Menai Bridge was used to describe his possible death – taken from the Welsh suspension bridge of the same name and Prince Charles’ status as the Prince of Wales.
Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, do not have funeral code names – but they have been given alias names for when they are on royal tours or on holiday.
The Cambridge couple are known as Danny Collins and Daphne Clark.
Both names have the initials DC which stands for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Prince William’s name shares a link with an Al Pacino film, but this is not thought to have been a deliberate motivation behind the code name.
Although they are no longer working members of the Royal Family, Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex also had similar alias names as the Cambridge couple.
Their names had the initials DS to refer to their Sussex title.
Meghan was known as Davina Scott, while her husband Harry was known as David Stevens.
The pair used these code names while in the UK, but it is not known if they are still used now.
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