Are you as obsessed with the royals as we are? Let's face it: Most of the western world is absolutely obsessed with the British royal family. Will and Kate are having a baby?! I must watch the news 24/7 until it's born! Harry and Meghan are engaged!? This is a real-life version of The Prince & Me and now I'm counting down the days until their lavish wedding! So we are slightly interested in the royal family, maybe it's because most other western countries don't have royals, or maybe it's because this British family is so extra in all the best ways (those hats! Those tiaras!). Either way, we are fascinated with the royals, and most of all, with the queen. (We're all caught up on The Crown, by now, aren't we?)
For as long as most people can remember, Elizabeth II has been the queen of England. She became Queen on February 6, 1952, after the death of King George VI. (Although her coronation was not held until June 2, 1953.) If you're reading this online, chances are you are fairly young and have never known another monarch sitting on the British throne.
However, the queen is now 91 years old. So as sad as it is, it's likely that, in the not-too-distant future, she will pass away. It will be a very tragic day for England, but it is inevitable. And as you would expect them to do for the leader of the royal family, England has a plan in place.
Earlier this year, The Guardian released an article explaining in great detail what will happen when the Queen passes away. The first to know the news would be members of her family, which I think is appropriate. She may be the queen, but her family still deserves to be the first to know about her passing. After that, the news would go to her private secretary, Sir Christopher Geidt.
Geidt would then alert Britain's Prime Minister, currently Theresa May. Civil servants will break the news by using the code "London Bridge is down." Word will then be delivered to the 15 other countries across the world where the queen is also considered the head of state, and to 36 Commonwealths where the queen is a symbolic figurehead.
Commercial radio stations would start to get the news through a network of blue "obit lights." When these lights start flashing at the station, DJs would know that they will soon need to switch to news. In the meantime, they will be instructed to play mood-appropriate music before the announcement is made.
The TV channels BBC 1, 2, and 4 will be interrupted and go silent before any announcement is made. On the radio, Radio 4 and 5 will also be interrupted. Instead, listeners will hear the words, "This is the BBC from London."
Presenters at the BBC will then go on TV and radio to announce the news. Knight said that when King George VI died, the presenter began with the words, "It is with the greatest sorrow that we make the following announcement." The wording will likely be similar for Queen Elizabeth II.
The funeral will take place nine days after the queen's death. It will take place at The Abbey, with 2,000 guests in attendance. When her coffin reaches The Abbey, "the country will fall silent. The clatter will still. Train stations will cease announcements. Buses will stop and drivers will get out at the side of the road."
The funeral will start when the archbishop begins speaking. Then pallbearers will place the coffin "on the green gun carriage that was used for the queen’s father, and his father and his father’s father." The carriage will then be pulled by 138 Royal Navy sailors.
A hearse will then take the coffin to St. George's Chapel of Windsor Castle. The broadcasting of the service will end, and she will be laid to rest. "The lift to the royal vault will descend," said Knight, "and King Charles will drop a handful of red earth from a silver bowl."
And just like that, the queen will be laid to rest, and a new monarch will take the throne. All we can say for now is, "God save the queen."