On Thursday, Buckingham Palace confirmed the worst fears and speculations over Queen Elizabeth's health. The statement said that Queen Elizabeth's health had deteriorated in recent days which required her to be placed under medical supervision with doctors being, "concerned" about her health.
Prince Charles and his eldest son William already arrived at the site to be with the Queen. But what happens when the 96-year-old and the oldest British monarch passes away? After seven decades of Queen Elizabeth being on the throne, the United Kingdom will experience a time when it will be left without a monarch.
The moment Queen Elizabeth passes away, that very moment her eldest child Prince Charles becomes the monarch. However, there is a detailed and lengthy process to the protocols already drawn out and traditions to be observed and how the announcement is to be made.
A long list of protocols to be followed
Starting with British media organisations, such as the BBC, that will be obliged to follow a strict and long list of protocols beginning with reporting on Queen's deteriorating health itself. In the event of the Queen's death, the anchors and reporters while reporting will be resorting to black clothes, sad music and cold war era alarms. Some anchors at British media organisations wore black even while reporting on the Queen's deteriorating condition, who has been struggling with her health for a year now.
Although Buckingham Palace officials have always been guarded about the Queen's health, citing it as a private matter, but the protocols in the eventuality of her death will be observed pan United Kingdom.
The UK government, government departments and also the royal family will immediately go into state of mourning and refrain from posting and retweeting non-essential content on social media. The official websites will also change into a black holding page. All social functions will be immediately cancelled and for at least twelve days after her death, Britain will come to a screeching halt costing the economy billions. The name of Prince Charles will be changed and the changes will reflect on the national anthem as well. The next ten days will be spent planning the Queen's funeral arrangements and the transition of power to King Charles.
'London Bridge is Down'
Beyond the nursery rhyme that talks of London Bridge falling down, when the monarch actually passes away, the phrase becomes a codename: London Bridge is Down.
Much to the astonishment of many in the world, the elaborate planning for when Queen Elizabeth dies has already been underway for decades. The phrase London Bridge is Down will be used to communicate the Queen's demise to family members and foreign diplomats.