The death of the Queen has triggered a carefully-prepared plan designed to ensure the continuity of the monarchy while marking the end of a long and remarkable reign.
The plan, codenamed Operation London Bridge covers the 10 days between Her Majesty’s passing and her state funeral, which is likely to attract a huge worldwide television audience.
The separate plan for the new monarch’s accession to the throne is codenamed Operation Spring Tide.
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Her Majesty will be given a full state funeral, an honour normally reserved for the sovereign.
The last state funeral in the UK, though, was not for a royal but for the country’s revered wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1965.
The Queen’s late husband, Prince Philip, like Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and Diana, Princess of Wales were all given a ceremonial royal funeral.
The differences between the two types of funeral are fairly subtle. Both include a gun carriage to bear the coffin and a service attended by royal family members and prominent politicians.
King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward are certain to attend the funeral. It’s very likely that Prince Harry will also be present.
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Leading aristocrats and politicians will also be among the 2,000 guests packed into Westminster Abbey for the funeral service, with countless people watching the proceedings on TV from around the world.
Edward Fitzalan-Howard, 18th Duke of Norfolk, will be in charge of arranging the funeral, in his ceremonial role as the Earl Marshal.
The 65-year-old peer will also be organising the coronation of King Charles III, which will also take place at the Abbey.
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Buckingham Palace is yet to confirm the date and details of Her Majesty's funeral, but royal protocol dictates that it is held 10 days after the monarch's death.
Before The Queen is laid to rest, a lying in state at Westminster – which is expected to be open to the public for 23 hours a day – will enable family members and the general public to take one last look at the woman who sat on the throne for an unprecedented 70 years.
The lying in state is expected to last for three days.
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Concerns have been raised within the official documents that London could becomes "full," with hundreds of thousands of mourners from across the country making their way to the capital to pay their respects – potentially leading to a massive transport headache and hundreds sleeping on the streets.
After the state funeral at Westminster Abbey, processions will take place in London and Windsor before the body is laid to rest in King George VI Memorial Chapel at Windsor Castle.
The day of the funeral will be designated a national day of mourning, with a two minutes’ silence at noon.
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It’s yet to be officially decided whether the day of the Queen’s funeral will be a bank holiday, though it’s likely it will be treated as an unofficial bank holiday with many businesses closed and workers sent home.
The Department for Education has said schools and colleges in England will remain open as normal during the mourning period.
The DfE said: “Schools and further education settings should remain open. While normal attendance is expected, headteachers continue to have the power to authorise leaves of absence for pupils in exceptional circumstances.”
While many workers will get an unexpected day off, rail workers have cancelled the strikes that were planned for September 15 and 17.
Most major sporting events across Britain have already been postponed and the second day of the third test between England and South Africa has been cancelled. The Premier League and EFL have also called off planned weekend matches.
Although the Last Night of the Proms might have been seen as an opportunity for royalists to get together, that event has also been scrapped.
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- Royal Family
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