What Is Operation London Bridge, Operation Unicorn? Everything to Know Amid Queen Elizabeth’s Health Scare
Royal lingo. As doctors have said that they’re “concerned” for Queen Elizabeth II’s health, terms including “Operation London Bridge” and “Operation Unicorn” have been circulating online. Keep reading to find out what the royal terms mean.
What Is Operation London Bridge?
If the Queen passes away in England, her death will kick off a meticulous plan of action that has been dubbed “Operation London Bridge.”
The all-hands protocol was set up in the 1960s and gives detailed instructions on how to handle the first 10 days after her passing. The plan was made to ensure a smooth transition as her eldest son, Prince Charles, takes the throne.
The nursery rhyme-inspired name represents a secret code used to announce the news to the most senior Buckingham Palace staff and members of government before her death is announced publicly. Once the Queen passes, the first to be alerted will be told, “London Bridge is down.”
The Royal family has adopted similar tactics when dealing with other deaths. For example, “Operation Forth Bridge” went into effect when Prince Philip died in April 2021 and “Hyde Park Corner” was the code name when dealing with the death of the Queen’s father, King George VI, in 1952.
What Is Operation Unicorn?
While the Queen’s death will follow Operation London Bridge if it occurs in England, the plan of action will be called “Operation Unicorn” if she dies in Scotland. She is currently receiving medical treatment in Balmoral, Scotland.
If she dies in Scotland, Parliament will immediately be suspended in order to prepare for her state funeral.
Thousands of people would be likely to travel to Scotland to pay their respects and mourn the loss of the Queen. Additionally, mourners are expected to congregate in Edinburgh at St Giles’ Cathedral, the Scottish Parliament and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
What Happened to Queen Elizabeth II?
The Queen’s medical team announced that they’re “concerned” for her health, Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday, September 8.
“Following further evaluation this morning, The Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision,” the statement read. “The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.”
Shortly after the news broke, Prince William, Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla were said to be heading to Balmoral, multiple U.K. outlets reported. Additionally, a spokesperson for Prince Harry confirmed the Duke of Sussex is traveling to be with his grandmother.
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