UK POLITICS: ‘London Bridge is Down’: Meticulous Preparations in Place to Inform the World When Queen Elizabeth Dies
Queen Elizabeth is still very much alive but the plan for what will happen on the day of her death has already been meticulously laid out. Everything is planned, even down to the playlist on radio and the width of the mourning armbands (three-and-a-quarter inches), for the inevitable day when she passes away.
There is a code word that will be used to deliver the sad and tragic news to the upper echelons of the Government that will signify her passing and the starting of what happens next: “London Bridge is down”.
According to The Guardian, the UK Prime Minister at the time will be woken if they are asleep, and will be told the above code word by civil servants.
This message will signify to the PM that the Queen has passed away, kicking off a highly-organised series of events that will eventually lead up to the monarch’s funeral.
Once the Prime Minister has been told, the Foreign Office, from an undisclosed location in London, will inform 15 governments outside of the UK where the Queen is also the head of state.
The Global Response Centre will also pass on the news to the 36 other nations of the Commonwealth for whom the Queen has served as a symbolic figurehead.
As for the general public, the media has already planned the details in how to break the news and start a period of mourning.
Where previously the BBC was the first to reveal the death of a monarch, modern technology and social media has effectively destroyed that monopoly.
Instead, a newsflash will be sent to the Press Association, as well as the rest of the world’s media at exactly the same time.
A footman in mourning clothes will be sent out of a door at Buckingham Palace at the same time to pin a notice of the tragic news to the gates, while the official palace website will feature just one page, displaying the news on a dark background.
Newspapers and their respective websites will already have several stories ready to run, written in advance so that they can go up as soon as the news breaks.
Television news, including Sky and ITN, have already signed up various royalty experts to chat to them exclusively, while rehearsals on delivering the news that have taken place for years will finally be put into action.
Unsurprisingly, newsreaders will be wearing black suits and outfits, while regular television coverage will be cancelled to switch to the news that will dominate channels for weeks, if not months.
Commercial radio stations have blue lights that begin flashing in the wake of a national tragedy – these will alert DJs to switch to the news and play “inoffensive music” in the lead up to the announcement to millions listening in cars and trains across the country.
A former BBC head of news told the Guardian that the organisation and planned mourning period will be needed so people can grieve for “the only monarch that most of us have ever known”.
Everything that has been rehearsed for years will be meticulously played out – and you will remember exactly where you were when the Queen died.
– Yahoo News