To Top

London Bridge is down: Secret code word to signify The Queen’s death

The Queen is currently alive, and well, however, a complicated and well thought out plan has already been put in place in the event of her death.

The death of King George VI was signalled with the words “Hyde Park Corner”- in order to stop switchboard operators at Buckingham Place from learning the news straight away- the equivalent word for Queen Elizabeth II is “London Bridge is down.”

The Prime Minister, if not already awake, will be woken and informed straight-away by civil servants that “London Bridge is down.”

These four words will signify the death of one of the world’s most well-known leaders and kick off Operation London Bridge – a highly organised arrangement which will end with The Queen’s funeral.

The Foreign Office Global Response Centre will immediately let the 15 governments outwith the UK where the Queen is Head of State know. Following that, the message will be passed on to 36 other Commonwealth nations in which the Queen has served as a figurehead for many decades.

It won’t take long for this news to spread from very select world leaders to the entire world public. The news will be released to the global media simultaneously.

George VI’s death was not reported until four hours after his death. The news of The Queen’s demise will be far more instant and travel across the globe in minutes, if not seconds.

Following The Queen’s death, a footman dressed in mourning attire will be sent to the door at Buckingham Place, whether it be morning or night, to pin an official notice of the news to the gates. The official palace website will feature one solemn page; a dark background that reveals the news of the Queen’s death.

The BBC will activate the “radio alert transmission system”, and rehearsals for the Queen’s funeral will be put into action.

On radio stations, an “Obit light” will glow blue to tell DJs to switch to appropriate music and go to the news as soon as possible.

BBC One, Two and Four will be interrupted straight away, and then the news will come on. It is likely that other programmes will be interrupted. The Lords and Commons will be recalled; schools will most likely be let out, people will go home early.

Flags will be lowered to half-mast and royal trumpeters wearing red plumes will stand on top of Buckingham Palace and give three blasts of their trumpets. A 41 gun salute- seven minutes of gunfire- will be fired in Hyde Park.

The coffin will lie in state for four days in which around half a million people will visit. The funeral will be held ten days after her death.

The news of the Queen’s passing will be talked about for days, weeks – if not months.

Britain and the rest of the world will be in shock as they mourn the death of one of the world’s most well-known and inspiring figureheads.

  • nancy conner

    I’m getting tears in my eyes just reading about it. It will be deva


  • Gill Phipps

    We did’nt need to know this, there is enough sad and depressing news about things that have already happened. Our Queen is alive, well and looking pretty.

    • Laura Deagler

      People find it interesting and unless you’re above a certain age don’t remember George VI’s or the Queen Mother’s deaths and funerals. For the Later, for me personally I didn’t know about it. I only began to follow the royals before Will’s and Kate’s wedding six years ago.

  • Wayne Rogers

    Actually this is a very much abridged version of Jordan Cavell’s piece , it is a fascinating read it goes into what happened with The Queen Mum , Sir Winston Churchill , Kings George V & VI , Queen Victoria and other Royals . I read it on a Facebook news feed entitled “The Long Read” and it was but interesting .

    • Kenneth Hammer

      Could you post a link to the piece? Thank you.

  • robert

    Well, it’s not a secret code now, is it?

  • After she goes the royal family can become redundant, they’re no better than anyone else, in fact over the decades there have been all sorts of scandals and sexual escapades from them.

More in Her Majesty The Queen

Royal Central is the web's most popular source for the latest news and information on the British Royal Family and the Monarchies of Europe.

Subscribe via Email

To receive the latest Royal Central posts straight to your email inbox, enter your email address below and press subscribe.

Join 31,929 other subscribers.

Copyright © 2018 Royal Central, all rights reserved.